Sunday, December 25, 2011
Simon Johnson at Baseline Scenario argues rather forcefully that Jon Huntsman is the only candidate of either party who understands how to avoid the next financial crisis. I myself like Huntsman more than any of the others -- I view him as competent and smart and sort of Romney-with-sincerity -- but despair at his inability to get traction.
Sounds like a good argument for him as Secretary of the Treasury.
Problem is, the President cannot be a technocrat - he needs to be somebody who cannot only make the right decisions, but persuade others to accept them. If Huntsman cannot even persuade conservative Republicans who are not enamored of any of the existing candidates to support him - what chance would he have in getting these sensible rules enacted?
Have any here sen less impressive campaigns before? Gingrich and Perry, two ostensibly major candidates, cannot even manage enough signatures to get on the Virginia ballot (and thats only the first one to tell us!).
Huntsman is a special case: he was dismissive, and almost insultingly so, of Iowa's caucus to start his campaign and went on from there to speak snarkily about the Christian right. I'm fairly liberal socially (my main rule is "what business is it of mine?" when deciding my stance on social issues) but I think calling out the people who do care about these issues in kicking off a primary campaign (as Huntsman did) was stupid. No other word describes it.
Moreover sneering at the Iowa caucus, no matter how justified, was equally dumb.
This tells me Huntsman either wasn't serious from the get-go, and has been running a vanity campaign, or that he just isn't a very good politician. I wanted to like him, as I did a little business with his father years ago and respect him and I like his tax and economic plans above all the other candidates plans. But one must be an adept politician above all to get elected. Look at Obama- vapid, self absorbed, insecure and a good politician. He won, as he so often reminded us in the early days.
Huntsman lacks that skill, and thats why he never has gotten the traction he should have.
"Support the most conservative candidate that's electable".
Gingrich could do well in the general and might surprise, but he's a risk.
Romney won't do well in the general. Compared to a generic Republican, Mitt will lose White Working Class (including Reagan Democrats) and Pro-Choice Suburban Soccer Moms . He'll get killed with Hispanics (Bush 43 actually did OK here, which is why he won twice). Mitt won't draw the Holy Rollers nor the Strong Defenders. Mitt only does well with the 1%.
And that's before David Axelrod does his magic. Mitt is Axlerod's dream opposition. Axelrod will do such a job on Romney that it will drag down the ticket in all 50 states. Romney will be made to look like a latter day Robber Baron out to protect his Wall Street cronies. We'll be made to see that Bain Capital is responsible for half the unemployment and income disparity in the nation. It'll be a referendum on "carried interest" and capital-gains corporate stock options which the Republicans will lose in a relative landslide. Because of this, Mitt will lose most of the battleground states that the Republicans "woulda, coulda, shoulda" have dominated.
Huntsman should do well in the general, if he got the nomination. He's the only "Goldilocks" candidate left in the current field, which is why he's got shot. Jon has enough "cool" that he can be sold to the young and to Independents -- think "Mormon JFK". It's also good that he's targeting Too Big To Fail Banks.
Huntsman is a good politician. He's playing a long game, and even looking ahead to 2016.
Fuck Iowa. Its caucus is not representative. Romney had planned to blow it off too. It panders to fringe candidates and Holy Rollers. It exists in current form to protect the ethanol subsidy. Best thing is if Ron Paul wins it so we can all just ignore it.
Re: Iowa. There's a story out there that Obama & Co bussed enough folks over from Illinois to affect the outcome in 2008. That was Obama's springboard to become the anti-Hillary for the rest of the campaign. The rest is history. Caucuses are un-democratic in practice, Iowa's especially so.
The total destruction of the arguments made in "The Myth of Romney's Electability".
@ Anon 3:11
The article you cite by its own terms is not a "total destruction". It's a mild refutation, and not very convincing. It relies on a lot of current polling -- some of which actually favors Gingrich. It even acknowledges that "Bain Capital" will be an issue in PA and OH. The comments to the article are mostly intelligent, and mostly critical of the article's thesis.
2012 will be a populist year. Nominating a guy who's essential message is "Vote for me, I'm better than you!" isn't a winning proposition. It'll be even less so when Axelrod's demagoguery over the Latter Day Robber Baron kicks in.
Current polling of a hypothetical Romney v Obama match-up doesn't reflect this. Obama-Axlerod-Plouffe have a talent at campaigning. They'll have lots of money, an incumbent's ability to drive the agenda, an organized base, and most of MSM humping for them. Axelrod is capable of anything during a campaign (witness the 2006 Senate race) -- and will be shameless. They've never had a better target than Romney.
Read carefully, the original piece purports to say Romney's "electability" is a "myth", which is an all or nothing proposition. All Karl had to do to disarm the the ridiculously overblown thesis was demonstrate a possible argument that Romney could get elected. He did that, with room to spare.
No one is arguing that Romney's path to winning is certain, or even easy. But there is a path to victory, and getting elected in Massachusetts is an accomplishment not to be ignored in our present circumstance of national political division.
"Read carefully" "which is an all or nothing proposition"
I read past the title, and so get a different result. When you get past the title, the first article attacks the premise that "Mitt Romney is supposed to be "the most electable" candidate." " It doesn't say that Romney is unelectable. It doesn't day he's the "least electable". It's not "all or nothing".
This is isn't a small point. Mitt is being sold to us that he's the "most electable" so we should just fall in line to best defeat Obama. But he's not "most electable" even when compared to a weak field. He's less electable than Huntsman, and even Gingrich. And "less electable" than my nutless monkey. There's still time to find other candidates.
Romney is being foisted on us. "Mitt or else" is a false choice. He's only got 25% support within the Party. He has little natural support outside the Party. He'll be a disaster as a candidate.
I'm not the only one saying this, but I have been saying it for a long time. I haven't heard anything from the Romney Cheerleaders here to suggest we're wrong.
Call me paranoid, but why does Jon Huntsman get so much positive coverage from CNN? Despite his continuing no-show in the polls, his name, his picture, his words have appeared on Wolf Blitzer's show almost every day during the run-up. And his presentation on that channel is unrelentingly positive. Call me paranoid....