RICH COSSETED REPUBLICANS WHO WANT TO BE PRESIDENT
This is no surprise, obviously:
Later this winter, Mitt Romney will strike out on a national book tour....
The March 2 release of "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness," will kick off a monthlong tour taking the former Massachusetts governor to at least 18 states, including Iowa....
(Romney has yet to confirm appearances in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early primary states.)...
But this seems like the triumph of hope over experience:
St. Martin's will print 200,000 copies of Romney's book....
Obama, the Clintons, and Sarah Palin sell in the seven figures, as do rabble-rousers like Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, but your typical presidential aspirant's book? Five figures at best, and I don't mean the high five figures.
On the other hand, the thesis of this one is going to be Fox- and talk-radio-friendly:
The title refers to what Romney describes as President Obama's pattern of apologizing for American behavior in speeches abroad.
Is that enough to fill out a whole book? In Wingnuttia, sure it is. But is Romney, as a messenger, sufficiently hardcore to put this across -- especially if he tries to dole out the red meat in portions that are merely moderate, because he thinks that's how he'll remain a viable candidate among non-crazy voters? He might pull off this balancing act, but I wonder if this is going to be an early fizzle. We'll see.
Meanwhile, what brain-tissue-eating virus circulates among political journalists in this country that makes them feel compelled to argue every few months that Haley Barbour could become president of the United States? It was just the Yazoo City Herald in Barbour's home state of Mississippi back in '04 -- but later it was The Washington Post in '05, and recently U.S. News, the Post again, and now Newsweek.
What's infuriating about the Newsweek piece is the way it suggests that possible objections to a Barbour candidacy are as much the result of multiculti political correctness, unfairly imposed by slickster political consultants, as of Barbour's legitimate handicaps as a potential national candidate:
Haley Barbour is not well equipped for the age of Obama. Just look at the man's office. The Republican governor of Mississippi keeps a large portrait of the University Greys, the Confederate rifle company that suffered 100 percent casualties at Gettysburg, on a wall not far from a Stars and Bars Confederate flag signed by Jefferson Davis. Then there's the man himself. Rather than walking across the street from his office to the state capitol, he rides a hundred or so yards in the back seat of a large SUV, air conditioning on full blast.... The cofounder of one of the nation's largest lobbying firms may or may not be the Good Ole Boy Republican Fat Cat his liberal critics make him out to be, but he certainly looks the part.
A year ago, when Barack Obama was inaugurated, the Serious, Responsible people who appear on Sunday-morning talk shows agreed that, if it wanted to survive, the Republican Party needed to stop letting men like Barbour appear as its public face.... No longer could Republicans count on the basic conservatism of the American people, the reflexive hostility to candidates who favor big government. The electorate had changed: white Reaganites and religious conservatives no longer held sway. Now the power lay in the growing Hispanic population and all those teeming masses of idealistic people, yearning for something cool.
The next great Republican leader wouldn't be someone who looked like Haley Barbour -- chairman of the national Republican Party in the '90s, an insider's insider who has been involved in every presidential election since 1968. The man (or woman!) to lead the party out of the wilderness would have to remake and reform until the Grand Old Party was unrecognizable to its former self. That was the only equation for Republican revival: unrecognizable + cool + Hispanics + Twitter + being nice to gays + Facebook.
Translation: it's somewhat about Barbour as a fat cat and a far-too-unreconstructed product of the Jim Crow South ... but what's really holding him back is all this foolishness about Twitter and multiracialism and maintaining a proper body mass index. It's your fault, latte-swiller! If it weren't for you, this fine man could be president!
Er, no. It's about the corruption. And the ties to racists like the Council of Conservative Citizens.
(Even Newsweek notes that, back in the '80s, after an aide in his Senate campaign made a remark about "coons," Barbour compounded the outrage by "warn[ing] the aide that if he 'persisted in racist remarks, he would be reincarnated as a watermelon and placed at the mercy of blacks.'" But this is treated not as a shockingly offensive remark, but as a youthful indiscretion -- a sign that Barbour "still had a lot to learn about politics.")
Oh, and did I mention Barbour's bizarre record of pardoning men who've murdered their wives and girlfriends?
(And he also, Newsweek tells us, wants the party to be a moderate-friendly big tent, which surely means that even the tea party crowd won't touch him.)
We find the mainstream press's Newt Gingrich fixation baffling, but this makes even less sense. Nobody really wants this guy to run -- except insider journalists.