Skip to comments.Opinion: History Says Mitt's the Man for 2012
Posted on 11/30/2010 3:23:19 AM PST by Rome2000
Opinion: History Says Mitt's the Man for 2012
Michael Medved Contributor AOL News (Nov. 29) -- Conventional wisdom says the battle for the GOP nomination in 2012 is wide open and unpredictable, but Republican history suggests that there is an obvious front runner who is nearly certain to represent his party in the presidential race.
For nearly 70 years -- long before most of the current contenders were even born -- GOP leaders and primary voters have displayed a shockingly consistent tendency to pick a candidate whose previous national campaign, whether successful or not, suggested it was "his turn."
This means that with very rare exceptions, Republicans choose a sitting president or vice president or else the runner-up in the previous nomination fight. Consider:
Thomas E. Dewey: Dewey had been runner-up (to Wendell Willkie) at the 1940 convention, and four years later the 42-year-old candidate won an almost unanimous vote for the nomination. He lost to FDR in a surprisingly close race in the midst of World War II. Because of his youth and his previous national campaign, Dewey became the heir apparent four years later, but lost to Harry Truman in one of the epic upsets of American political history.
Richard Nixon: President Dwight Eisenhower's loyal two-term vice president, Nixon got the nomination by acclamation in 1960 and lost a squeaker race to John F. Kennedy. This meant that he ran three times as part of a competitive national ticket before he claimed the nomination again in 1968 and went on to win the presidency.
Ronald Reagan: In 1976, Reagan put up a strong challenge to President Gerald Ford's nomination and so could make the case that the party owed him a shot in 1980 -- when he captured both the nomination and the White House easily.
George H.W. Bush: As runner-up to Reagan in the fight for the presidential nomination in 1980, Bush got the consolation prize of the vice presidency and became the obvious choice for Republicans in 1988.
Bob Dole: The Senate majority leader ran for vice president with Ford in 1976, then was runner-up to Bush in the 1988 primaries; inevitably, he drew the presidential nod in 1996.
George W. Bush: In 2000, after two embattled terms of Bill Clinton, the closest thing to an heir apparent for Republicans was Gov. Bush of Texas, the son of a prior president.
John McCain: Considering the clear GOP pattern, it should have surprised no one that the candidate George W. Bush beat for the 2000 nomination -- Sen. McCain of Arizona -- seized the prize in 2008, despite a good deal of intraparty grumbling about his "maverick" reputation.
Only Two Exceptions
Since the early 1940s, there have only been two exceptions to the Republican instinct to crown the heir apparent. Ohio Sen. Robert Taft, widely acclaimed as "Mr. Republican," sought the nomination against Dewey in 1948 and could easily make the case that it was "his turn" in 1952 -- but he lost the presidential nomination to the peerless war hero, Gen. Eisenhower.
And in 1964, Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona ran a successful insurgent conservative campaign against "the Eastern Establishment" of "country club" Republicans, and went on to lose 44 states to incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. In fact, this one uncharacteristic Republican experiment with a "surprise" nominee worked out so badly that in the last 45 years the GOP has never tried again.
Unlike Republicans, Democrats have nominated several dark-horse candidates in recent years, but with decidedly mixed results. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, though little known when they began their campaigns, won resounding victories, but not so George McGovern. The senator from the sparsely populated state of South Dakota became the Democratic nominee in 1972 but went on to lose 49 of 50 states (including South Dakota). The one-term governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, emerged as the unexpected nominee in '76 and won a close race for the White House, but became a deeply unpopular one-term president.
Yes, the GOP could select from an array of appealing and promising fresh faces in 2012 -- Govs. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Mitch Daniels of Indiana, Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; and Sen. John Thune of, yes, South Dakota.
But the most likely outcome by far would see the GOP reverting to form and selecting this year's well-known heir apparent: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Romney came close to wresting the nomination from McCain two years ago and ran a credible, well-financed national campaign.
Sponsored Links His most serious opposition might come from two other figures who ran national campaigns last time: Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin. But Huckabee's 2008 run, powered by his formidable communications skills, suffered consistently from limited financial resources, and he's made little progress in building his fundraising base.
Palin also inspired millions of Republicans after her selection as the vice presidential nominee, but with a series of rookie gaffes and a polarizing persona, her one experience as a national candidate can hardly qualify as an unmitigated success.
Newt Gingrich is another potential candidate for 2012, but as former House speaker he hardly qualifies as a fresh face, nor has he been around the track as a candidate for national office, so that he lacks the kind of credibility that seems particularly important to Republicans.
Romney remains the safe choice -- last time's runner-up for the nomination, and a mainstream conservative generally acceptable to many tea party insurgents as well as veteran office-holders.
Most of all, the suave and savvy candidate has history on his side. The last two generations prove that Republicans award their nomination to the obvious guy who's next in line.
For 2012, that means Mitt's the man.
He’s the only one I wouldn’t vote for.
They’re trying to pick our 2012 candidate again!
Mitt will lose and Obama will Rule and finish The US off!!
Medved is a loser.
Get a load of this crap...
He calls himself a "conservative" but appears to be just another scam artist like his buddy MYTH ROMNEY.
Hopefully, in 2012, Romney will finally be “HISTORY”
I wont vote for him or the huckster. Plenty of conservatives out there to pick.
Romney is going to have his Ceausescu moment any day now, sans the firing squad.
He will be jeered derisively though, and will run and hide behind his bodyguards.
If it is Mitt we are voting 3rd party. No point in voting for whitey 0bama.
Oh yeah Medved?
IMHO, the ONLY acceptable tea party insurgent has a TV show on Sunday's at 9PM on the Discovery Channel! She gets her hands dirty!
Myth wears funny underwear and wants to be god...
Gingrich in 2012
“To Save America”
Flush Mitt, it’s a stinking turd!
The author seem to forget Reagan’s run
Also Palin can easily be considered the runner up, “her turn” candidate from the last election, not romney or huckabee
Let’s make this real clear for the Republican insiders who continue to push RINO’s like mittens...........
Mitt Romney is a POS!!! If supporting Obamacare lite in Massachusetts doesn’t disqualify him, his constant pandering just to gain political power should make him DOA.
Pushing Romney is like beating a dead horse; of course, the dead horse has a more pleasing personality than Romney. A more lively one also.
You don’t need to make fun of someone’s religion when calling him a RINO commie will do.
Here is another history lesson. RINOs LOSE to charismatic Democrats.
Here is another history lesson. RINOs LOSE to charismatic Democrats.
I think there are a sizable number of “establishment Republicans” who would strongly prefer being the minority opposition to Obama than having to give up control of their party to the “rabble” represented by grassroots conservatives.
I hope my nightmare scenario does not come to pass.
The issue with Palin - will she be a Goldwater or a Reagan. Can she overcome the odds. Everyone was predicting a massive Reagan lost, til the last few weeks of the election
Mitt’s history. It is obvious to all but the leftists that the voters want to take our government to the Right.
Medved dismisses her out of hand, too caught up in the Hollywood scene to even imagine her as the next POTUS.
I do think there’s a place for a guy like Romney in a GOP administration. He’d be great over at Treasury, IMHO. But at the top of the ticket? Not my choice at all.
IOW, History says the GOP will blow it in 2012.
If the GOP nominates another rich old white man to slap down a black president many underdog voters will slap back on that point alone. If the GOP nominates a Hispanic along the lines of Marc Rubio then Barky can’t win. A woman candidate has a chance. The political timing isn’t right for another rich old white man that strangely wants it too bad.
Does this Medved guy actually have an audience?
This has to be addressed,and soon.
Somebody on the right has got to step up and smack this phony SOB good.
Heck, he’s been riding that train for years.
Ummm, the Huckster was the runner up, not Mitty. (Not that I’d vote for either.)
By the article’s own definitions, Mitt’s toast.
You could read from the article how Sarah fits the described mold.
As a friend of mine says, “You can’t polish a turd.”
Mormons prey on the gullible with their social welfare and organized lies. They present a nice picture, but are little different from the muzzies with their attitudes about women. They just don't make the girls wear burkhas. Women are only vessels to make babies for a Mormon man to get a jump start on his own kingdom.
Plus, that some special powers can be attributed to underwear is about on par with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!
Mitt is the perfect candidate if we are talking about the Presidency of New England. Outside of New England he’s the perfect asterisk for ‘also ran.’
...that the Party will decide whose turn it is to play candidate. Winning is optional.
But he has no political convictions to speak of. In fact, he's not really a believer in politics at all.
He looks at government as another venue for his superb intellect and problem-solving skills.
People want abortions? Fine. People don't? Also fine. Health care? Get me the numbers, show me the assets and liabilities, we'll work something out.
He would be a catastrophe were he to be nominated as the GOP candidate for President, because he's not a good liar. When he got up and read his "conservative" lines (gotta do what you gotta do to pass the interview) his transparent phoniness would shine through.
But I don't like running him down as a man. He's a good neighbor in town here, he loves his family, and, at Treasury or the Fed (assuming it continues to exist) he would serve Madame President exceptionally well.
The problem is, he wouldn't care if the lady in question were SLP or HRC.
Mitt’s DOA. Give it up.
I think its going to be Romney. No one else has his organization, skills and talent. Unless someone else makes a good run, history says Romney is the presumptive favorite to beat.
Source = AOL...go figure.
Will never vote for the Myth.
The whole idea of an annointed - it’s his turn now - process, is a big part of the problem.
I don’t think the cocktail party crowd has read the memo. I know we sent one out earlier this month. Didn’t they read it?
My nightmare scenario is that Romney and Palin will split the anti-Obama vote (with one of them running as a third party candidate) and Obama will win again.Very early in the primary season, one or more of the Republican candidates should call on ALL Republican candidates to take the No Third Party Pledge.
By running in the Republican Primary I hereby pledge not to later run as a third party candidate or as a write-in candidate.
Severely castigate and refuse to debate with those who don't take the pledge.
You can’t argue with Republican history. The Party could nominate a fresh face but that’s not likely give its stated preference for the safe choice. In modern times, Eisenhower and Goldwater were the exceptions to that rule.
And as the story related the 'safe choice' tended to get creamed in the election. Unless we want another 4 years of Obama then I suggest that in this case the safe choice is the wrong choice.
Mitt has a couple of albatrosses around his neck...his flip flopping on abortion and denial that Mass Health isn’t socialized medicine. The latter, by the way, is bankrupting MA. Also Mitt’s a Mormon, which spooks enough people to affect the outcome. If he got the nomination, millions of republicans would stay home or vote for a third party candidate — presumably the tea partiers would nominate someone — and Obama would win. A dem. dream.
Yes please, by all means choose the safe candidate. That has worked SO well in the past./s
Nominating Romney gaurantees 0bambi a second term. Conservatives will no longer hold their nose and back the Party’s nominee, irrespective of philosophy.
“Mittcare” Romney is history, alright. Hope he enjoys a long career lending voice to conservative causes, because he’s not done anything towards following the basic principles. If he did, it was all canceled out by his tyrannical socialist deathcare program that crushed MA citizens under the burden of state’s whims.
I would say good luck. You don’t to convince committed conservatives - you’re going to have to convince Republican voters who are not Freepers. They take a different view of it from us on here.