Skip to comments."Republican Gridlock Rekindles Talk of Third-party Candidate"
Posted on 01/20/2008 5:16:22 PM PST by AmericanInTokyo
Republican gridlock rekindles talk of third-party candidate
WASHINGTON Talk of a protracted nomination race or a brokered convention may excite political junkies and horse race aficionados, but it masks a grim reality for the U.S. Republican party.
Three different winners in three presidential contests now provide evidence for what has been long suspected the Republican coalition is fractured and there's no one to paste it back together.
GOP gridlock is already sparking talk of a search for a saviour and rekindling talk of a third party bid, talk that has been a mainstay of American political chatter for months but only gets louder as the Republicans dish out primary and caucus victories like they were party favours.
So, as the Gang of Five Republican presidential hopefuls heads to South Carolina for Saturday's primary, a lot of political observers are looking west, where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the nation's most celebrated noncandidate is heading to delegate-rich states of Texas and California.
Texas is the earliest state to demand the requisite signatures to get a third-party candidate on the state ballot.
In California, Bloomberg meets with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has remained above the presidential fray, but would be a coveted "get" for any Republican hopeful.
The billionaire mayor has issued a litany of nondenial denials over the past months, clearly enjoying the flirtation, but also, according to a number of published accounts, travelling the country and conducting polling to gauge his support.
A new draft-Bloomberg movement has been formed, even as Bloomberg said this week, "no matter how many times you ask the question, I am not the candidate."
Maybe it's just the silly season here because no Republican candidate has caught fire, and voters in successive states reject the previous state's winner, like children holding their nose and pushing away a plate of vegetables.
This clear lack of enthusiasm is leading to various movements to lure former House speaker Newt Gingrich into the GOP race or get CNN host Lou Dobbs to declare an independent candidacy.
As they head to South Carolina, a state proud of having picked the ultimate Republican nominee in every contest since 1980, it is easier to list the various liabilities of the candidates than it is to predict who will eventually emerge.
John McCain? The truth-telling, straight shooter may have told too many truths to a party base that refuses to warm to him and views his positions on immigration, interrogation methods and campaign financing with suspicion.
Mike Huckabee? There may not be enough churches in which to campaign in when the big Super Tuesday states weigh in Feb. 5 and the glass slipper should fall off a candidate who often appears to be running against party elders on foreign policy and economic issues.
Mitt Romney? He can only be a native son once and his victory in Michigan, where he pitched bromides about bringing a once-proud state back to its former glory, reinforces a perception that he will say anything to get elected.
Fred Thompson? He set the campaign alarm clock way too late in the day and snored through a phase in which he could have seized the moment.
Rudy Giuliani? While pundits start talking about his late-state strategy bearing fruit, it ignores the fact he never established any conservative bona fides, carries way too much personal and business baggage and is trying to win the Super Bowl without taking the field during the season.
Tony Perkins of the powerful Family Research Council told members yesterday the party has to find someone who will build the "three-legged stool" that supports the conservative coalition.
In Iowa, Perkins said, a Huckabee win represented a triumph for the coalition's "social leg," while McCain's New Hampshire win meant the "defence leg" carried the day.
When Romney won Michigan on a message of economic hope, the three legged-stool was complete with the win for the "economic leg," Perkins said.
Except the three-legged stool has been represented by three different candidates and, Perkins said, it is up to the candidates to now rally around all themes.
He offered this rather tortured metaphor as the race goes forward: "The GOP electorate is asking its leaders to reassemble the stool, plant it firmly in the cockpit of the party, and get the plane fast down the runway and off the ground."
And his message to Giuliani?
"The tailwinds have passed you by, and the party you want to lead is moving on. The race is not wide open."
But unless Republicans can coalesce around a winner, Democrats and the U.S. will be immersed in the story of the first female or first black presidential candidate while the GOP is still stuck in traffic.
The answer is Fred Thompson.
bs. they’re angling for another Ross Perot crapola.
There are only two candidates I simply cannot vote for at this point: McCain and Huckabee.
If it’s McCain, he’s going to have to do a whole lot of convincing in order to prevent me from jumping ship.
That’s the thing. I love Fred to death, but if he’s not able to win a primary in the South, then HTF is freakin’ Lou Dobb’s or Gingrich going to fair? Answer: not very well.
It has less to do with a fractured coaltion and more to do with a competitive race when there are no incumbent Presidents or VPs running. There are clear choices. The Dems really have none with all of their candidates essentially running on the same platform.
Not the GOP.
Let’s have Obama and Hillary as candidates for Prez. And Edwards.
Democrats should vote their conscience, after all.
Geez louise, 6% of delegates awarded, not even to Feb. 5 yet, and they’re using the word gridlock.
“If its McCain, hes going to have to do a whole lot of convincing in order to prevent me from jumping ship.”
McCain has already lied to you. Anything coming out of his mouth now can only be seen as another lie.
And of course the NY types who were rooting for Rudy are now talking up Bloombillionaire.
My prediction -
There will be a lot of people chastising the writer, and a handful agreeing with most of it.
I’m in the latter group. The ‘top tier’ are buffoons.
I think it would result in another deal made just like the Perot/Clinton deal.
Thanks, reason. I believe him to be a good man.
He could not get a Republican cat to vote for him in the red states, and he would force hillary to spend big bucks to defend the Socialist States of the North East, and possibly California.
“The answer is Fred Thompson.
If Fred couldn’t win SC or even come in a close 2nd, how can he win anywhere else?
My guess is he’s out after Florida.
And there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.
You see Christmas (er, sorry, “Holiday”) displays in stores in early September nowadays!
If conservatives leave the RINO run GOP to form a new party,the GOP would become the third party—a small party populated by a circus of little prima donna generals moving non-existant divisions about on a fantasy battle map.
The conservative party,the new Federalist Party,would be second in size to the Dems only and with a lot more unity, purpose and nascent power.
“Thats the thing. I love Fred to death, but if hes not able to win a primary in the South,...”
WE don’t know that he is not able to win. The MSM brain washing line is beginning to come out of your mouth.
If that happens more, perhaps we can take the artsy hat on your page and insert it into your mouth.
Sorry. You just happen to be the 501st person to say Fred can’t win and I’ve had it with that.
It is a neat hat. Actually, I have knitted one like that....
I often state that any candidate who cannot deliver his own state is suspect.
Neither Rudy nor Mitt can, so it really doesn’t matter what the pubs in those states say.
Only the dems.
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