The Great GOP Candidate Malaise that Simply Won't Go Away
Republicans seemingly can't choose between Mitt Romney and the The Other Guy, whoever he happens to be in that particular week. It's no huge admission to say that there is no single candidate the party, to say nothing of its conservative wing, will rally around. That got me to thinking earlier "isn't this almost the exact same place we were in last time?"
I remember from last time around all of the conservative hand-wringing about who the conservative candidate should be, and who would be the true reincarnation of Ronald Reagan. There was no satisfaction about any of them. Mike Huckabee had little appeal beyond the evangelical wing, Ron Paul was, and still is, Ron Paul, Thompson just didn't seem to have the energy, and Mitt Romney had to deal with being a Republican from Massachusetts. That still leaves us with Rudy Giuliani, the social moderate, sometimes cross-dressing former mayor of New York, and John McCain, chairman of the Senate Republicans Disliked by Talk Radio conference.
After months of hemming and hawing, there seems to have been sort of a mad dash towards Mitt Romney, but by the time he had lost both New Hampshire and Florida, it was too late. All of this considered, I don't remember quite the same degree of pessimism about the party's nomination in 2008. I suspect that it was because we all suspected, deep down, that in 2008 we were doomed. Leading up to 2012, anticipating years of Obama blunders in basically every area imaginable, we knew he would be vulnerable if we only had the right candidate. Not having the right candidate is bad news when defeat seems likely, but it is very frustrating when the election should be yours to win.