Balkinization  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite Son/Daughter Candidates

Gerard N. Magliocca

Normally I wouldn't post on something that has nothing to do with law, but in this case I can't resist. If Newt Gingrich wins the Florida primary and turns the campaign for the GOP nomination into a long fight, I wonder whether we might see an old-style tactic reemerge; namely, local politicians running in their home state to win delegates and thereby prevent anyone from getting a first-ballot majority. For example, Mitch Daniels could run in the IN primary in May, Mike Huckabee could run in the AR primary in May, Mitch McConnell could run in the KY primary in May, etc.

People could have many motives for doing this. Maybe it's because they don't want any of the current candidates to be the nominee. Maybe it's because they think that they could the nominee of a brokered convention. Maybe they just want bargaining power at the convention. ("That first Supreme Court vacancy would look nice in exchange for my support.") Or maybe they want to serve as a stalking horse for somebody else. Granted, many of the filing deadlines for these later states are coming up quickly or have already passed, but that doesn't prevent an organized write-in campaign from taking delegates.

Is this far-fetched? Sure. Would it be entertaining as all get-out? Absolutely.

Comments:

I would guess that there would be FEC and other regulations that might make this more complicated than in the old days.
 

Maybe mls is right about restrictive laws, but the basic argument makes a great deal of sense to me, given the panic by mainstream Republicans about the potential nomination of the surging Newtster and the ever-more-obvious limitations of the animatronic (both heartless and increasingly brainless) Mitt Romney.

Of course, Texas is a problem, since Perry was quick to endorse Newt and presumably is unavailable to re-emerge as a "favorite son." (Perhaps George H.W. Bush would be willing to play that role :) )
 

You don't have to worry about Texas, Sandy. The way things are going, we're not likely to have a primary before the Republican convention anyway.
 

Something like this was raised on one of the talking heads shows over the weekend. It would be complicated by certain ballot laws, such as SC where Stephen Colbert had to use Cain (on the ballot) as a surrogate or Virgina where only two candidates managed to get on the ballot.

It would be entertaining. It's more entertaining than the idea that Romney sewed things up when it turned out he only won one small state primary, more people voting against him than for him.

I wonder if Huntsman (who?) is upset he endorsed Romney so soon.
 

I heard the same that Joe noted on the Sunday political shows. This could indeed be more entertaining but could also result in yahoos, racial and otherwise, coming out of the woodwork. The Sunday NYTimes Book Review (1/22/12) includes a review of Thomas Edsall's "The Age of Austerity -How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics" which is quite interesting. (I hope my library has it.) The review includes this observation by reviewer Mark Schmitt:

"The newer voters are more difficult to mobilize than older whites, and conservatives have become adept at activating the gut reactions of their voters. The buttons they push are those of race and immigration, and increasingly those of economics, which is now depicted in terms of absolutely incompatible worldviews."
 

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I wonder whether we might see an old-style tactic reemerge; namely, local politicians running in their home state to win delegates and thereby prevent anyone from getting a first-ballot majority.

These folks are not going to spend money gathering signatures to get on the state ballot, if the deadline has not already passed.

Sandy is correct about the GOP establishment panic about the actual voters giving the pass to their candidate Romney. Newt has returned to his 1990s conservative rebel persona and has started to gather the base.
 

Our yodeler pines for the "good old(-boys) days:

"Newt has returned to his 1990s conservative rebel persona and has started to gather the base."

Did Newt make it to first or second base BC* prior to being dumped as Speaker?

*BC:Before Callista
 

Shag:

The last thing you Dems want is a candidate who will mobilize the conservative base to get out to vote as they did in 2010. That would give the GOP candidate a base of about 43% and the need to add just a few percent of the center to gain a majority.
 

Is our yodeler's alleged conservative base of 43% monolithic? With the GOP political blood roiling the waters, is Romney's base the same as Gingrich's base, Sanctorum's base, Paul's base or whoever-else-may-surface's base? Will they coalesce behind the eventual choice? Will nasty words be forgotten? Are increasing disapprovals and decreasing approvals of GOP candidates suggesting coalescing? Will race and immigration coalesce the base or will it fracture from the blood that's being spilled? [See Mark Schmitt's observation noted in an earlier comment.]

Perhaps our yodeler is suggesting that the Democrats without Obama would have a better shot against the GOP. If so, the thin air of CO plus inhaling second hand DUI fumes is making our yodeler even more delusional than usual.
 

Please, please nominate a fire-breathing candidate who will get out the conservative base. I'm begging you, go with that strategy. Every single person who self-identifies as "conservative" rather than "moderate" or "liberal" in opinion polls is a certified member of the conservative base and can be relied upon to show up for any conservative candidate, I assure you.
 

Yesterday's (1/24/12) NYTimes "Check Point" feature includes a short commentary by Jackie Calmes about how Newt omits "... his long history as a self-described liberal 'Rockefeller Republican' during much of his early adult life and career."

Calmes also points out:

"in a 1989 interview with the Ripon Society, a moderate Republican organization, Mr. Gingrich said, 'There is almost a new synthesis evolving with the classic moderate wing of the party - where, as a former Rockefeller state chairman, I've spent much of my life - and the conservative/activist right wing.'

"In 1992, when asked whether President George Bush would 'revert to Rockefeller Republicanism' if he were reelected, Mr. Gingrich said:'Bush has never been a Rockefeller Republican. I have been. In 1968, I was for Rockefeller because he was the most pro-integrationist Republican candidate.'"

Apparently Gingrich's devolution into a conservative with his "Contract" a few years later was politically designed to empower his role in the House. But Newt blew it and House GOP conservatives ousted him from the Speakership.

Newt as a historian should not attempt to hide his past as a Rockefeller Republican from the 43% conservative base that our yodeler is now touting in his support for Newt. Can't conservatives recognize this belly flop by Newt?
 

Shag:

The last thing you Dems want is a candidate who will mobilize the conservative base to get out to vote as they did in 2010. That would give the GOP candidate a base of about 43% and the need to add just a few percent of the center to gain a majority.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 7:11 PM


These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!!
 

McCain is actually a perfect example of what happens when a GOP candidate does not mobilize the conservative base and finds there are not enough "moderates" to get him past the finish line. Think also Bush 92, Dole 96 and Bush 00.
 

Our yodeler's lastest comment lists the GOP candidates starting in 1992, suggesting that they failed to mobilize their conservative base. But his Bush OO was elected (5-4 by SCOTUS!) and reelected in 04 (which our yodeler failed to specify for some reason). So it seems that our yodeler is not so subtly relying upon Reagan 80, 84 - but not Bush 88 who actually won. Our yodeler seems to be placing his entire bet on Gingrich (+ #3), who had been a Rockefeller Republican for much of his political career before being dumped as GOP Speaker in the late 1990s by his fellow GOP House members. Does our yodeler believe that Gingrich has been redeemed for his many sins, the worst of which seems to be having been a Rockefeller Republican? Does our yodeler believe that Gingrich running on race, immigration AND religion (hint, hint, Mitt!) will turn the tide? Is this how the conservative base is mobilized, according to our yodeler? And will this entice moderates? Think of Tom-Tom Tancredo in our yodeler's own CO.
 

Does our yodeler believe that the conservative base of Reagan will buy into Gingrich even though he was a Rockefeller Republican during the Reagan years? Or might Reagan's conservative base look upon Newt as:

"MOURNING IN AMERICA"?

Consider the spaced-out Newt's recent "Lunar (Looney) Tunes" in his effort to grab the FL NASA vote, in imitation of Jackie Gleason.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

McCain is actually a perfect example of what happens when a GOP candidate does not mobilize the conservative base and finds there are not enough "moderates" to get him past the finish line.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 11:53 PM


That certainly didn't stop you (These poll numbers are great news for John McCain!) from waving your pom-poms. Aren't you "the base"?
 

Blankshot, what do you think of this report about Newt torturing puppies?

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289159/gingrich-and-reagan-elliott-abrams
 

Bartbuster's link demonstrates that historian Newt romances his own history as a Reaganite ("Raygunite"?). And Dole also throws a pineapple at Newt:

http://news.yahoo.com/dole-vs-gingrich-gop-empire-strikes-back-172946203.html

Our yodeler's silence might suggest he is distancing himself from yet another "not-Romney" king-of-the-hill.
 

Paul Krugman's The Conscience of a Liberal Blog at the NYTimes posts today (1/27/12) "Goodbye, Newt" with a lovely rendition of "Fly Me To The Moon" to click on. But a commenter suggests that we can expect another "not-Romney" to surface. Maybe our forecasting, ever searching yodeler can provide a name to echo through the hills of CO.
 

And NYTimes conservative columnist Ross Douthat has a blog post today "The Last Days of Newt." But we'll always value Newt when we do crossword puzzles with a clue of an adult "eft," whether across or down. Of course, Newt was down twice and rose up again as the "not-Romney" candidate. Newt may come across yet again, but might end up a three-time loser to match his marriages.
 

Too late to get on the ballot pretty much everywhere. In short, another pipe dream
 

The "Fat Lady" (in the guise of a portly Newt) refuses to sing after the swamping in FL. Who will be the Tea Party's "Great White Not-Romney" hope going ahead?
 

It's funny as hell that Caribou Barbie thinks it annoys liberals when dimwits like Bart vote for Newt. Hell, I'm going to vote for Newt in the MA primary. I want him in this race for as long as possible.
 

Was Donald T-Rump's endorsement yesterday of Mitt the final nail in Newt's political coffin - or the start of boxing in Mitt's? Recall that T-Rump was an early Not-Romney. The endorsement took place in Nevada. With T-Rump's casino mentality, is Mitt taking a gamble accepting the endorsement, in spite of his faith? How will Newt respond? Will Newt's casino mogul in Nevada come up with even more Super PAC money for Newt? Republican Roulette continues to spin out of control.
 

IIRC, the primary deadlines have expired for most of the delegates.

Gerald, you are also assuming that this won't settle down quickly. Romney's strategy all along has been the guy who's there, winning, while the other surge and crash. Newt was just the guy who surged last, at a time when the primaries were about to start.

And he's not done too well. He might pick up Mississippi, but Romney will crush him everywhere else, and it looks like the Money Boyz are helping Romney swamp Newt with ads.

Also, it's in the strong interest of the majority of the GOP leadership and sponsors to get this settled down after Super Tuesday. This campaign season has not been good for the GOP. They need to get behind Romney, and Romney needs to start running for the Presidency.
 

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