Saturday, January 19, 2008

Now what?

Well, South Carolina proved something I wished was not true. The American electorate, even hard core Republicans, prefer sizzle to steak. John McCain and Mike Huckabee, who came in first and second in the Palmetto State respectively, can not remotely be considered conservative. The criticisms of Fred sound ridiculous and hollow, most of all the one that his heart wasn't in it. That he didn't really want it. How could Fred Thompson prove to those people that he wanted it? By standing on his head or holding his breath? I guess Fred's big mistake was overestimating how discerning the voters would be. He assumed that a candidate's track record should speak louder than his words. He assumed that being on the right side of the issues more often than his opponents would mean something. He was wrong. Huckabee proves that you can be very successful by offering voters a helping of cotton candy. It looks good and tastes good, but in the end it's certainly not very good for you.

Oh well. I've said it before and I'll say it again: no hay mal que por bien no venga (there is not bad from which good doesn't come). If it hadn't been for Jimmy Carter, there more than likely would not have been Ronald Reagan. If not for Clinton, we more than likely would not have had the Republican Revolution in 1994. In politics just like in the natural world, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

If Fred were to drop out before the Florida primary on the 29th, which looks likely, than my list of preference looks like this:

1. Mitt Romney
2. Rudy Giuliani
3. John McCain


Srcohiba said...

Like I had said last summer after talking to big time insiders and long time capaigners ... FT waited too late and has run a lousy campaign.

It's too bad really. Maybe he'll get a veep slot. He would be good to get the hard core conservatives.

As for me, Romney's too slick and from Mass. Huck? Forget it.

I still like Rudy but his campaign is going nowhere. Hence I have to go with McCain in the primary.

Heck, Arizona is my favorite state ....

Robert said...

Indeed Henry. The only thing I wish Fred would have done differently was to add more fire to his campaign. To use your metaphors, add some real sizzle to the big steak. That's what was missing from Fred's campaign. Alas, but you can bet Fred will still be a factor in at least some way, if not as VP.

My order would be Romney first, followed by McCain and Giuliani.

Alex said...

Thompson banked on starting his campaign late, after the other prospects had pummeled each other. He had good buzz earlier because of that strategy, but failed to capitalize on it.

I don't like the "sizzle over steak" either. But those are the times we live in. A prospective nominee HAS to sell himself. That's just it. (That's also why I don't fool myself with thoughts of a Richardson nomination). Thompson obviously thought he was too good for it and let Huckabee steal his thunder. He'll drop out soon.

Then it gets interesting. Neither the Dems or the Reps have a perfect candidate in the conventional sense. The front runners (McCain, Romney, Hillary and Obama) all have defined constituencies that don't necessarily overlap. For example, if you read some of the main grassroots Democrat sites, you'll see anguish over Hillary comparable with the scorn she draws among conservatives. Will the voters go for party loyalty regardless of the candidate? It's going to be a thrilling ride.