Friday, December 9, 2011

Huntsman's One-Time Shot?

Ross Douthat pokes a huge hole in the idea that Huntsman, arguably the sanest voice in the 2012 Republican candidate field, is setting himself up for 2016, when the Democratic field will be very thin indeed.  His money quote:
If Barack Obama is re-elected and the Republican nomination is up for grabs in 2016, there will be a long list of heavyweights ready and rested and ready to compete for the prize— Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Bob McDonnell, and probably other up-and-comers as well. (Not that all of these big names will run … but if one takes a pass another will be waiting in the wings.) Many of them will more than match Huntsman’s presumed ability to appeal to centrists and independents, while vastly exceeding his (seemingly-limited) capacity too win conservatives. All of them will be able out-raise, out-organize and out-buzz a guy who couldn’t rise to the top of the weakest presidential primary field in my lifetime.

In other words, if Huntsman can't find his way to at least a very respectable finish (top-three, perhaps?) in this primary season, don't count on his running in 2016.  Douthat conveniently forgets (like so many of his conservative fellows) that the American public has a horrible memory.  Look at how much attention they're now paying to a disgraced former House speaker and a former governor who has lost more elections than he's won?

Really, honestly, and truly, the GOP is going to fumble this election so badly.  They cannot bring themselves to take a serious candidate seriously.  Even Erick Erickson at RedState is willing to try, but even his influential voice is going to be drowned out by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity.  Even the blond bimbo with the large Adam's apple has warned her fellows thusly:
Gingrich has spent his years since then having an affair, divorcing his second wife and making money by being the consummate Washington insider — trading on access, taking $1.6 million from Freddie Mac and palling around with Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Al Sharpton. 

Even Chuck Schumer wouldn’t be seen doing a joint event with Al Sharpton! But Newt seeks approval from strange places.  

Newt Gingrich is the “anti-Establishment” candidate only if “the Establishment” is defined as “anyone who remembers what happened the day before yesterday.” 

So please, Ross, before you dismiss Huntsman entirely, develop a proper amount of disdain for the failings of your party.  Only then can you be taken seriously by the readers of The New York Times.

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