Permalink to Could a Late Entrant Win the Republican Nomination?

Could a Late Entrant Win the Republican Nomination?

 

When I travel abroad, as I do with some frequency, I am nearly always asked who the nominee of one party or the other is likely to be. And when I have my wits about me, if we are not already deep into the primary season, I reply that nobody knows. Politics in most countries is far more predictable than it is in the United States. Who would have predicted in January, 1991 that William Jefferson Clinton would be elected President in November, 1992? Who would have predicted in March, 2007 that Barack Obama would be elected President in November, 2008? Who would have predicted that either would be their party’s nominee? In the United States, politics is a bit like grand opera. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings.

MitchDaniels.jpgI say this as a prelude to drawing your attention to a blogpost by Rhodes Cook on Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball entitled 2012 Republican Race: The Field May Not Be Closed.  It examines with very great care the unfolding logic of the Republican race – with considerable attention paid to the order in which the primaries take place and the filing deadlines. Cook’s contention is that — if Mitt Romney stumbles, or if neither Newt Gingrich nor Rick Perry garners a commanding lead in the early primaries and caucuses — another contender could enter the race as late as Valentine’s Day and win the nomination. This has Bill Kristol at The Weekly Standard excited, as well it might.

Paul-Ryan-2.jpgCount me a skeptic, but do not for a second suppose that I know what I am talking about. I thought that Rick Perry would be formidable. I never imagined that Herman Cain would emerge, even briefly, as a front-runner. I did not think that Newt Gingrich, given his record, had a chance. My mistake was that I failed to recognize just how great an impact the televised debates would have.

One of the reasons that one cannot predict what is going to happen in Presidential sweepstakes is that there is always a new wrinkle in the campaigns. Last time out, Mike Huckabee used e-mail lists to mount a low-cost campaign and win the Iowa Caucus. Last time out, Barack Obama outwitted Hillary Clinton and gamed the caucus states. Who knows? Rhodes Cook may be right that this time out the schedule of the Republican primaries and caucuses provides an opening for a late entry.

MarcoRubio.jpgRead Cook’s piece. Judge for yourself. And let me know what you think. And if there were a late entry with the moxie to pull this off, who might it be? Jeb Bush? Paul Ryan? Marco Rubio? Mitch Daniels?

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Members have made 45 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of pensworth Member

    A name missing from this discussion is Gov Bob McDonnell. He remains one of the most successful and popular governors in the country; he is governor of a southern swing state that’s almost a must-win for Obama; he retired from the military as a Lt. Colonel and both he and his wife come from military families; he is smart, articulate and has a non-threatening manner; he is catholic and enjoys very strong ties to the evangelical community; he is unquestionably socially and fiscally conservative; he has an impressively decent family life; he’s solid on policy; he is currently Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association; he gets the entitlement and fiscal crisis facing the nation; he is quite articulate and has had business, legislative and law enforcement experience. Furthermore, his election-and Chris Christie’s- in 2009 can justifiably be considered the very first tea-party victory.

    If our options remain unsatisfactory, and a late entrance is indeed possible, can you imagine a scenario in which GOP governors-at least the ones who haven’t yet endorsed a candidate- all come out to endorse him? 

    • #1
    • December 10, 2011 at 1:12 am
  2. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher
    Paul A. Rahe

    And if there were a late entry with the moxie to pull this off, who might it be? Jeb Bush? Paul Ryan? Marco Rubio? Mitch Daniels?

    Sarah Palin.

    • #2
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:39 am
  3. Profile photo of flownover Inactive

    In one of the very first podcasts, Jeb Bush made an absolutely wonderful appearance. Just listening to the introduction gave me the feeling that the old saying about “Jeb was supposed to be the one who ran for president” was a dream that might take awhile to come true, but someday….would . Dynasties aside, character and experience always win out and he’s got both in spades.

    As for the tut-tutting class, to heck with them. Imagine what they would say if Tom Jefferson, Jesus Christ or Winston Churchill were running ? They are those who can’t be pleased (except with themselves) and they need to be shunted aside like the mad dogs or smelly protesters that they are.

    Maybe with one of the Cheneys as Veep.

    • #3
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:47 am
  4. Profile photo of A.J. Chianese Inactive

    Can’t be Palin.  It would have to be someone who would unite the establishment and tea party wings of the party, and Palin cannot get the establishment.  Nor can Newt.  And Romney can’t get the tea party.

    First, let me join Prof Rahe in his skepticism.  I do that partly to prevent myself from getting my hopes up.

    But second, Bush just will never run this time around, I think, because of his name.  Christie would have a hard time, given his final denial and endorsement of Mitt.  I can see him having some trouble getting tea partiers on his side for fear of RINOism, but I’m not sure.  I have similar thoughts on Daniels, though his problem will always be that he’s a short bald man, however accomplished he’s been.  To my mind, though, he’d be better than Newt or Mitt.

    Ryan or Rubio, both so young, but maybe if pushed?  Particularly Ryan.  Even, I should say, Christie, if he were really strongly pushed.  I happen to think Christie-Rubio would be our most electable general election ticket.

    Again, none of this is at all likely to happen.  I just hope it does.

    • #4
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:48 am
  5. Profile photo of Mike LaRoche Thatcher

    Lest anyone think I brought up the former Alaskan governor’s name just to stir things up, consider this from Cook’s article:

    To be successful, a late-starting campaign needs to feature a candidate with considerable fund-raising and organizational ability who is capable of quickly grabbing national attention. Charisma helps, as does a campaign message that can evoke widespread support.

    Also:

    The entry of any of these Republicans [Daniels, Ryan, Jeb Bush, Christie] would cause waves, and because of their high profiles they would have little trouble raising money or attracting establishment support. On the other hand, if Romney gets off to a strong start in January’s opening round, then there might be pressure on the right to enlist former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to pick up the anti-establishment baton.
    • #5
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:50 am
  6. Profile photo of Inactive
    Anonymous

    Electrical-Plug-with-Cord-KH-99221.pngShameless plug: Mitch Daniels will be on the Ricochet Podcast week after next.

    Paul, would you like to be on with the Governor?

    • #6
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:56 am
  7. Profile photo of Scott R Member

     Bobby Jindal would be spectacular: He’s now freed up from his reelection run in LA, he clearly has long-term presidential ambitions, he’s got a resume a mile long for one so young, and now he has a substantial and great record as an executive.

    He’d probably require a public “recruitment drive” so he could accept without seeming to go back on his claim that he had no intention of running.

    • #7
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:59 am
  8. Profile photo of Duane Oyen Member

    I still want to run former Florida governor Jeb Clinton.  Who cares what his name is, he is the right man.

    • #8
    • December 10, 2011 at 3:59 am
  9. Profile photo of A.J. Chianese Inactive

    To Scott’s and Duane’s points: I think both Jindal and Jeb would be great, and I wish Jeb’s name wouldn’t be the liability for him that (I suspect) it is, because he’d be great.

    • #9
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:05 am
  10. Profile photo of Mendel Member
    Scott Reusser:

    He’d probably require a public “recruitment drive” so he could accept without seeming to go back on his claim that he had no intention of running. · Dec 9 at 2:59pm

    Wouldn’t this be necessary for any candidate making a late start?

    Jumping into the race in early February would be a harsh slap in the face to the front runner.  I imagine it could only be done if there was a deafening grassroots call for a new candidate. 

    And what better place for such a grassroots movement to start than…Ricochet.

    • #10
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:12 am
  11. Profile photo of Squishy Blue RINO Inactive

    Jeb Bush would be my first pick, and if he picked Rubio to run with, even better.

    Make no mistake, there is as grim and resolute a resolve against Newt Gingrich among some Republicans as there against Mitt Romney among others.

    The upshot is delegate count vs momentum, Bush Rubio by Valentines Day would drop Newt-mentum like Clay dropped Liston and there would still be plenty of delegates up for grabs.

    • #11
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:26 am
  12. Profile photo of katievs Inactive

    The only scenario I can imagine possibly working–and the odds are about as long as long odds get–is a successful write-in campaign for Marco Rubio in Florida.

    He’s too young and unseasoned to announce for President.  But, being a man of faith with a passionate desire to serve his country, I think it’s not impossible that he would interpret a successful write-in campaign coupled with strong support from DC power brokers as indicating that whether he feels ready or not, Providence is calling.

    • #12
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:27 am
  13. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    Blue Yeti

    Shameless plug: Mitch Daniels will be on the Ricochet Podcast week after next.

    Paul, would you like to be on with the Governor? · Dec 9 at 2:56pm

    Edited on Dec 09 at 03:01 pm

    Sure. That would be a pleasure.

    • #13
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:34 am
  14. Profile photo of Albert Arthur Coolidge
    Duane Oyen: I still want to run former Florida governor Jeb Clinton.  Who cares what his name is, he is the right man. · Dec 9 at 2:59pm

    Ha! Jeb Clinton. That was a slip of the keyboard, no? I was thinking a Jeb Bush/Liz Cheney ticket, just to drive the left absolutely bonkers.

    Squishy Blue RINO: Jeb Bush would be my first pick, and if he picked Rubio to run with, even better.

    · Dec 9 at 3:26pm

    But they’re both from Florida so they can’t be on the same ticket or else they couldn’t get any electoral votes from Florida. And Florida is a pretty key state, ya know?

    • #14
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:42 am
  15. Profile photo of Squishy Blue RINO Inactive
    Albert Arthur
    Duane Oyen: I still want to run former Florida governor Jeb Clinton.  Who cares what his name is, he is the right man. · Dec 9 at 2:59pm
    Ha! Jeb Clinton. That was a slip of the keyboard, no? I was thinking a Jeb Bush/Liz Cheney ticket, just to drive the left absolutely bonkers.

    Squishy Blue RINO: Jeb Bush would be my first pick, and if he picked Rubio to run with, even better.

    · Dec 9 at 3:26pm

    But they’re both from Florida so they can’t be on the same ticket or else they couldn’t get any electoral votes from Florida. And Florida is a pretty key state, ya know? · Dec 9 at 3:42pm

    Together on one ticket, Jeb with Marco as veep, I was unclear.

    • #15
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:55 am
  16. Profile photo of Troy Senik Editor

    Bush-Rubio would be a great ticket, Squish. Alas, it can’t happen. The Constitution functionally precludes the running mate from being from the same state as the nominee (you may recall that this was an issue with the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000).

    Edit: I originally said the Constitution prohibits both candidates from being from the same state. It’s actually more subtle than that. As Duane alludes to above, it could happen but there would an electoral vote penalty in the state in question — which, in the case of Florida, would be a near-insurmountable handicap.

    • #16
    • December 10, 2011 at 4:56 am
  17. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive

    The trouble is, people who get in this late don’t look like they’re on a holy crusade for better leadership. They just look opportunistic. Certainly to the untrained eye they do. If their goal is to lead America out of its economic crisis, well, they’re a little late.

    • #17
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:04 am
  18. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    Troy Senik: Bush-Rubio would be a great ticket, Squish. Alas, it can’t happen. The Constitution forbids the running mate from being from the same state as the nominee (you may recall that this was an issue with the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000). · Dec 9 at 3:56pm

    There’s still time for Bush to move, isn’t there? He’s got claims to both Texas and Connecticut roots and probably has ties elsewhere.

    • #18
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:07 am
  19. Profile photo of Mendel Member
    etoiledunord: The trouble is, people who get in this late don’t look like they’re on a holy crusade for better leadership. They just look opportunistic. Certainly to the untrained eye they do. If their goal is to lead America out of its economic crisis, well, they’re a little late. · Dec 9 at 4:04pm

    I think they could look quite altruistic: joining the race only reluctantly, to answer the call of voters and the call of duty.

    Unfortunately this tactic could only work if, in fact, there was an outcry from primary voters demanding a new candidate.  At the moment, I sense a much stronger sense of general resignation.

    • #19
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:08 am
  20. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive
    Mendel
    etoiledunord: The trouble is, people who get in this late don’t look like they’re on a holy crusade for better leadership. They just look opportunistic. Certainly to the untrained eye they do. If their goal is to lead America out of its economic crisis, well, they’re a little late. · Dec 9 at 4:04pm
    I think they could look very altruistic: joining the race only reluctantly, to answer the call of voters and the call of duty.

    Unfortunately this tactic could only work if, in fact, there was an outcry from primary voters demanding a new candidate.  At the moment, I sense a much stronger sense of general resignation. · Dec 9 at 4:08pm

    I don’t want anybody entering the race reluctantly, and you shouldn’t either. Being President is like discerning a call to the priesthood. If you don’t crave it with all your heart, you don’t belong there. It’s not a job–it’s a calling. It takes all the mental and physical energy you have, and more. Especially this time. That’s the problem with Obama. He thought it was the ultimate cushy job.

    • #20
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:16 am
  21. Profile photo of Publius Thatcher

    Late entries seem to be very perilous even for experienced candidates. We’ve seen both the Fred Thompson and Rick Perry campaigns fail to live up to their pre-entry hype and go down in flames relatively quickly. I’m not saying it’s impossible to come in late and do well, but I’m increasingly skeptical that it’s a good idea for a serious candidate.

    I think getting in early allows for better organizational development and fund raising and it allows candidates to make blunders early while few are paying attention.

    • #21
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:38 am
  22. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator
    A.J. Chianese: Romney can’t get the tea party.

    The Tea Party Caucus in Congress has been perfectly happy to endorse Romney. Essentially all of them went with Romney or Newt, way before the Newt boom. It appears that they’re mostly concerned with cutting spending. Who’d have thought?

    • #22
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:50 am
  23. Profile photo of Michael Tee Inactive

    The answer to the title question is: NO.

    What do I get for a prize?

    • #23
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:56 am
  24. Profile photo of Squishy Blue RINO Inactive
    Troy Senik: Bush-Rubio would be a great ticket, Squish. Alas, it can’t happen. The Constitution functionally precludes the running mate from being from the same state as the nominee (you may recall that this was an issue with the Bush-Cheney ticket in 2000).

    Edit: I originally said the Constitution prohibits both candidates from being from the same state. It’s actually more subtle than that. As Duane alludes to above, it could happen but there would an electoral vote penalty in the state in question — which, in the case of Florida, would be a near-insurmountable handicap. · Dec 9 at 3:56pm

    Edited on Dec 09 at 04:08 pm

    Thank you Troy, I had no idea that was the case.

    • #24
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:57 am
  25. Profile photo of Michael Tee Inactive

    Last time out, Barack Obama outwitted Hillary Clinton and gamed the caucus states. Who knows?

    That was Operation Chaos, which backfired awfully.

    • #25
    • December 10, 2011 at 5:57 am
  26. Profile photo of Cunctator Inactive

     Yes, but there won’t be one.   #punditryiseasy

    • #26
    • December 10, 2011 at 6:23 am
  27. Profile photo of Larry Koler Member

    Enough with the Paul Ryan love affair already.

    (This post is a stalking horse for Ryan. Didn’t get a lot of support for it, though, I see.)

    • #27
    • December 10, 2011 at 6:25 am
  28. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    The Cloaked Gaijin: Christie, Ryan — Bush, Rubio, Daniels…

    Christie, Ryan — Bush, Rubio, Daniels…

    Christie, Ryan — Bush, Rubio, Daniels…

    What’s the acronym for this constant mania?

    The CRy BRiDe party?

    They made their decision.  Let’s try to have some respect for those who actually threw their hat into the ring.  The George Will-Bill Kristol-Rich Lowry child-like crying that they seem to hate everyone doesn’t really do us a lot of favors in my opinion — especially at this late stage. · Dec 9 at 11:08pm

    But it is not late — if Cook is right — and, as he points out, others in the past have won nominations after entering late in the game. His speculation presupposes widespread disappointment with the previously available options (which there is). I am still skeptical. Putting together an organization for a campaign is a considerable task. But we may be playing under new rules.

    • #28
    • December 10, 2011 at 7:36 am
  29. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    Larry Koler: Enough with the Paul Ryan love affair already.

    (This post is a stalking horse for Ryan. Didn’t get a lot of support for it, though, I see.) · Dec 9 at 5:25pm

    Edited on Dec 09 at 05:27 pm

    Actually, it was Jeb I had in mind.

    • #29
    • December 10, 2011 at 7:39 am
  30. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author
    James Of England
    A.J. Chianese: Romney can’t get the tea party.
    The Tea Party Caucus in Congress has been perfectly happy to endorse Romney. Essentially all of them went with Romney or Newt, way before the Newt boom. It appears that they’re mostly concerned with cutting spending. Who’d have thought? · Dec 10 at 4:50am

    The Tea-Party Movement is one thing: Republican Congressman, who publicly identify with the Tea Party, are another. The former do not look to the latter for guidance. If anything, it is the other way around.

    • #30
    • December 10, 2011 at 7:40 am
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