Friday, January 07, 2011


I can't keep track of all the crazy talk surrounding the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination -- it's getting so complex that I'm really beginning to doubt my own ability to offer idle, ill-informed speculation on how it will all shake out.

It's not just the New York Post's report that Rudy Giuliani is seriously considering a run, though that's bizarre enough. I guess he's thinking that if the gay group GOProud can go to CPAC two years in a row and Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal can get some Republican votes (and his pal Sarah Palin can give the thumbs-up, accidentally or otherwise, to a pro-"homo" tweet by a gay wingnut), then he can get some votes in the primaries no matter how many times his drag pictures get reprinted. I do think there's a smidge less anti-gay feeling on the right these days, so his support for gay rights might not be a disqualification, but I don't think right-wing opinions on abortion have shifted one iota in his direction. Also, he's clearly yesterday's man. The only question is whether he can pull enough non-extremist votes from Romney to throw the race back over to the tea party/lunatic candidate pool -- but the overall candidate pool is getting to be so huge it's hard to imagine what happens next. Brokered convention, anyone? A third-party teabagger run if Romney's money makes him the guy to emerge from the scrum (possibly after winning less that 20% of the vote in most early states)? Who knows?

Meanwhile, Dan Riehl was telling us yesterday that Haley Barbour is trying to put his guys in at top positions in the Republican National Committee, ll in anticipation of 2012. I don't know if that's true, but if Barbour thinks that's how the nomination is going to be won -- by that kind of backroom maneuvering -- he really isn't paying attention to the grassroots fervor/craziness in his party (and the wheeler-dealers who are trying to manipulate that). Barbour's quest is futile, but if you want to know who "hisa people" are, read Riehl's post, as well as this, from Vanity Fair (which refers to one of Barbour's guys as a "heartthrob").

And finally, via Comments from Left Field, I see that Bill Kristol has blogged his support for a Paul Ryan/Marco Rubio ticket. Interesting: this is coming from one of the earliest Palin adopters?

I agree that Rubio's going to be on a national ticket before he gets his first gray hair, but Ryan? I don't see it. Ryan always makes me think of the bit from Woody Allen's mid-'60s standup comedy days, in which he said he'd been hired to be a company's token Jew -- sitting visibly at a prominent desk, reading his memos right to left, et cetera. Ryan is like that for the GOP -- the token budget detail guy. He's there for show -- he's there to be trotted out so Republicans can make the point that they really, really care deeply about fiscal restraint. And then he takes a bow and they do whatever the hell they want to do. Republicans don't want to follow his blueprints -- they just want us to think they do. He's going nowhere.

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