Skip to comments.Spengler: Why the Republicans can't find a candidate
Posted on 04/06/2011 9:53:26 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Never before in American politics have so few offered so little to so many. I refer to the prospective Republican candidates for next year's presidential elections, not a single one of whom elicits a response that might be mistaken for enthusiasm from the voters, the pundits, or the party's elder statesmen.
There are a couple of generic governor types like Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota or Mitch Daniels of Indiana, and a long list of has-beens and never was's. But the Republicans despair of finding the man or woman who can define an alternative to a weak and waffling President Barack Obama.
Something deeper is at work than the luck of the draw. Former president Ronald Reagan defined his part for a quarter a century, and it is worth remembering how he did so. During the 1979 primaries when Reagan trounced his establishment competitors - Texas governor John Connally and the elder George Bush - he was told during a strategy session that not one Fortune 500 chief executive officer had endorsed him. America's big corporations, the pillars of the party during the Dwight D Eisenhower and Richard Nixon administrations, backed Connally or Bush.
"Then I will be the candidate of the small businessman, the farmer, and the entrepreneur," Reagan told his staff. The late Jude Wanniski, who preached what became Reaganonomics from the Wall Street Journal editorial page through the 1970s, told me this story 10 years later, when I became his partner in an economic consulting firm.
Reagan unleashed a wave of entrepreneurship such as post-depression America had never seen, and transformed the Republicans from a party of country-club conservatism to the party of boot-strapping creative destruction.
Where are the entrepreneurs?
Judging from recent economic data they are an endangered species.
(Excerpt) Read more at atimes.com ...
With the MSM ready to provide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of “in kind” contributions to Obama in the form of lies and vicious, unfounded personal attacks on whoever dares to challenge him, it’s a daunting prospect for a challenger, at best.
No one wants the job for the pubs because you get eviscerated, harrassed and lied about by the media. That is why it’s best to wait until almost the last possible moment to announce.
Yes, it's frustrating, but certainly understandable. There are many good people out there, but they're taking a pass.. they simply don't want to lay themselves open for a vicious, hostile media that will relentlessly attack not only them, but their families on a 24-7 basis. They know they'll have to contend with the headwinds of not only an enemy propaganda cabal, but a massive financing disadvantage.
Plus.. who in their right mind would even WANT to preside over this dysfunctional mess?
The left is going to write our epitaph in a thousand different ways, right up until November 2012. Chuck this one (and all the rest) in file 13.
As is expected, the GOP will find a stimulating and exciting candidate like John McCain or Bob Dole to run against a charismatic liberal like 0bama. God forbid they run some old school bore like Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann.
That's Sarah in the role of Cincinnatus. That's why they have spend so much effort and plumbed the depths in trying to silence her.
If we just lost a few RINOs who think they can be President.
We can easily agree on a candidate.
When Reagan rises from the dead, we are solid.
This is a much different country than when Reagan was President.
Who was enthused about Nixon or Ford or Bush 1 or Dole or Bush 2?
That’s about it. This the norm for the pansy GOP.
And you can add McPain to the first list.
Grumbling Old Pops
Dick Lugar/Mitch McConnell 2012!
I don't think America would even have the soul to elect Ronald Reagan these days.
I don't think so, either.
I think that has more to do with it than anything. Behind closed doors our political class knows what's coming.
They know whoever takes the next 4 year term is going to be the lead engineer of a downhill locomotive with the wheels coming off.
We had an Illinois politician that was narcissistic enough to want the job in this situation before, and it seems we're getting another one this time.
I think we’ve actually found several candidates and are in the process of sorting them out.
“Plus.. who in their right mind would even WANT to preside over this dysfunctional mess? “
It would take a courageous patriot. Who in their right mind would have wanted to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Almost all of those men ended up losing their lives and/or their fortunes. None lost their sacred honor, though.
“When Reagan rises from the dead, we are solid.”
When Reagan rises from the dead, he would be vilified for his acts on illegal immigration and his former support for legal abortion!
In all actuality, I am confident he will rise with all the saints on the last day; and that nobody will be worried about any Presidential candidate any more!!
Why do we have to be settled on a candidate when the first primaries are still nearly a year away?
GASP!!!! Reagan was a RINO!!!! (/mindless FReeper)
GASP!!!! Reagan was a RINO!!!! (/mindless FReeper)
It is hardly surprising that economic times such as these tend to discourage small-scale startups - one does, after all, need surplus cash for venture capital. That is not the result of any profound demographic or cultural change. Let us be honest about this: conservative males, especially white conservative males, have not become soft and unproductive; the projected view of such individuals within the popular media has become openly hostile and malign for ideological reasons, and for those same reasons black conservative males are relegated to the status of non-person. We do not need to import entrepreneurs, our own bloodlines having grown thin and anemic, we need to renew the economic conditions under which our own perfectly successful entrepreneurs may once again flourish. It is not an immigration issue, and it does not reflect in the availability of Presidential candidates, but rather in the perception of Presidential candidates by such outside observers as Spengler.
Naturally I could be mistaken, but there is a very simple test that will reveal it if so: I'd ask him if he thinks Sarah Palin is stupid, and if so, why. If the answer is "because other people I read are saying so" then we have a fairly definitive answer. Intelligent female conservatives are non-persons too. They do not exist, they cannot exist, they must not be allowed to exist. It is repeated often enough that it is no wonder outside observers tend to believe it.
My personal experience with those is very limited, but utterly disappointing in each case. Might as well include PhD diplomas in Asian Cracker Jack boxes.
Palin is fundamentally unserious. Her interview with Greta, covering Israel, was an embarrassment. Even fired softballs, she couldn't hit. She could not articulate what she would do differently. It was all platitudes and cheerleading. She made the right decision to become a pundit.
The cult of personality around Palin is as troubling as the one that gave us the messianic Obama. We do not need to trade one empty suit for another. I believe it's a mistake to put all eggs in the Palin basket.
While Bachmann has had a few flubs she seems serious and I'm eager to hear more. There are other candidates I'm interested in as well.
None of the tired old names floated are exciting me nor give me much hope of avoiding the Dole and McCain fiascos. I put Palin in that camp too. No coronations: if she wants it, she better earn it.
RE: Quantity does not equate quality. Just how capable - in real world marketable skills terms - are all those Asian PhDs?
Let’s grant for the sake of argument that Asian universities are inferior to Americans ( and remember, I am doing this very reluctantly because many Universities like the ones in Japan, China, India and Korea are fast catching up with the West in terms of science and technology).
We still need to consider this observable phenomenon -— A significant number of top universities IN THE USA, award Ph.D’s in the sciences and in the quantitative fields to ASIANS.
My experience with entrepreneurs is very first hand. Remember, I ran a number of investment bank research departments. As for the capability of Asian entrepreneurs: the nerdy number-cruncher of the stereotype is not the competition you have to worry about. There are 35 million Chinese studying classical piano. That’s not counting the string players. Kids who study math and science AND play classical music aren’t robots. They’re likely to be smart and inventive. I sit on the board of a music conservatory in New York; we have an orchestra that at its best is hard to distinguish from the NY Philharmonic, and two-thirds of the players are Asian. Classical music is the most unique and characteristic Western art form and Asians are starting to dominate it.
You have a tsunami of competition coming straight at you.
Most Asian college grads, by the way, are diploma-mill dross. The doctorates are pretty good. I hired tons of them on Wall Street.
Spengler conveniently overlooks one candidate who generates remarkable enthusiasm from her supporters -- Gov. Palin.
True, the pundits and the party's elder statemen are not enthusiastic about her. But neither were they enthusiastic about Ronald Reagan.
True, Palin's considerable positive approval rating is offset by an equally large negative approval rating. But would you expect her -- or, indeed, any Republican -- to cadge a single vote from those disapprove of her. These disapproving legions are, in fact, a badge of honor -- representing a left that is scared to death of her.
If enthusiasm is the coin of the political realm, Palin's candidacy would be a juggernaut -- uniting all three legs of the "conservative stool": national security, fiscal and social.
Whether she unites the "pundits" and the "elder statesmen" would be totally irrelevant to the electoral equation.
That characteristic alone makes them formidible competitors.
I have a lot of regard for Sarah Palin but I don’t think she’s electable. It was a shame that she was pushed into the VP slot too early. She should have spent a few years as a Senator learning the ropes. Her instincts are good, and I certainly agree with her about most things. But she’s too inexperienced and it shows, and I can’t imagine her getting nominated, let alone elected.
I live not too far from the Hunter College School, a free K-through-12 prep school run by Hunter College (part of the CUNY system)—one of the top schools in NY. So many apply that they throw out all but the top 1% test scores and then start interviewing. Some times I see a class trooping off towards Central Park for sports — more than 90% Asian.
This must be that "New Math" I've heard so much about.
You really believe those numbers?
Did you really believe Ronald Reagan's negative poll numbers in 1978-79?
True. We are on the verge of one of the biggest landslides in our electoral history...
Whether we like it or not, "experience" is no longer a significant qualification for the Presidency. To be sure, Palin's experience puts Obama's to shame.
Moreover, I suspect your concern for her experience has less to do with her actual executive experience than with her experience running a national political campaign. In that regard, I submit a.) that she is an extremely quick learner and b.) surprisingly unconventional and inventive.
For example, how many politicians can post a sentence or two on Facebook and...make the earth move?
Finally, I'm in complete agreement that winning the nomination will be the larger challenge. But she would mop the floor with Obama -- if he is, in fact, the Democrat candidate.
Holy Cow I can’t believe you actually do have an account here.
who could emulate Ronald Reagan with a fair degree of credibility - Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all come to mind.
I must respectfully disagree. Reagan had a vision of and for this country. Huckabee and Gingrich only have visions of themselves sitting in the Oval Office, riding Air Force One and listening to "Hail to the Chief" at state dinners. Both would be disasters for the Republican Party registering on the Nixon/Dole scale.
Here’s a (non-rhetorical) question: Does anyone out there think Romney has a chance? Wouldn’t be my first (or fifth) choice, but friends are asking.
A. The one who can raise the most money.
IMHO he has a very good chance. John McCain went from odds on favorite to flying around alone and broke when most of his staff quit. Then he won. The conservatives didn't want McCain, but they couldn't decide who they did want. He won the states with open primaries and lost all the states with closed primaries. Romney could do the same thing. In fact, with an incumbent President liberals have every reason to cross over and vote for whoever they think will be easiest to beat in open primary states. Romney's people can do math. They'll pick off the states they need without winning a majority in any state and barely showing in the South.
Then in November all the evangelicals will vote third party and the least qualified man in America will win a second term.
RE: Q. Who will be the candidate?
A. The one who can raise the most money.
Why should raising more money make a difference to the true conservative?
Are they going to bribe you to get their vote?
As a small-business owner, I have to agree with him. The lack of character in applicants - many of them former managerial-level corporate employees who were victims of the 2008 crisis - is mind-boggling. We appear to have been paying a whole lot of useless people far too much money during the last two decades and calling it prosperity.
Now every Republican claims to be a 'true conservative'. So the one nominated will be the one who can raise more 'free speech' to campaign. BTW with apologies, just what the hell does a true conservative want to conserve, these days?
RE: just what the hell does a true conservative want to conserve, these days?
Answer: Faithfulness to the constitution.
As for raising more money to win, a person who has his convictions and his serious about the presidency would consider this irrelevant. Mitt Romney can raise a trillion dollars for his campaign for all I care, it would not make a dent on my impression of him. HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ROMNEY CARE AND STILL BELIEVE THAT IT WAS (IS) THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
No amount of money will make me vote for him on that record alone.
If raising more money makes one win in this country, then I am afraid that there’s a problem with most American voters.
For those who’ve paid attention, Gov. Palin has endorsed main street entrepreneurs over corrupt corporate interests from the very beginning.