No, I'm not talking about Sarah Palin.
Well, actually, in a way I am: but I mean handicapping in the horse race sense.
Time to stop obsessing about this election and think, for a moment, about the next…
Let's suppose that McCain fails to win on Nov. 4. Who will become the likely nominees for '12?
– Palin will have a big advantage with the remnants of the 'base', but many others will blame her for the loss and her negatives are high. Presumably Palin will start reading foreign news sources, like the New York Times, and learn to mouth seemingly relevant platitudes instead of irrelevant ones. I don't think it will work.
– Huckabee will contest Palin for the evangelical vote, and his folksy ways will help with other groups too. I think it will work.
– Florida's own Charlie Crist will be a bigger possibility than Jeb! as the Bush brand will remain tarnished nationally, and Jeb!'s association with the financial meltdown will finish the job. His marriage will help.
– Tancredo will run again, but get as little traction.
– Romney will run again, he's got the money, but the same set of obstacles.
– Gulliani, Paul, and Thompson are not going to be factors (although Paul might try the third party thing, conceivably, as might Barr).
– Newt Gingrich is looking for a comeback.
I'd say the early leaders will be Crist and Huckabee, but handicapping Republicans is not obviously my strong suit. Who have I left out?
It’s funny, seems like I asked if having a JD or Poly Sci degree made a difference right before Palin answered the question on the duties of the VP. Ok, I won’t gloat, she’s an extreme case. I’m not sure anything would have helped her.
Now I wonder if she won’t be like Quayle and have her career ruined by peaking too soon. It will be hard for her to go back and go up through the usual route because the memories that last will probably ones like Tina Fey and clothing. It seems like the things that last are the ones with the most emotional, not intellectual, energy. It will be fun to guess if she has had a potatoes moment.
On the other hand, if Obama loses how will he be remembered? I really have no idea, though I think the biggest emotional impact has been the video of him and his family. To me, it would be easy to imagine him a Supreme Court Justice.
I think the Supreme Soviet of the Heffalumps will convene in the months after this election and start trying to find a young, attractive ideologue — their idea of a counterweight to Obama. They’re going to look for someone with impeccable neocon credentials, but a very small track record to bash him with. I also think that Sarah Palin is a “one and done”; my initial thought is that she was being set up for this role herself, but (a) she’ll be 50ish next time around and won’t seem young enough and (b) she missed the moose and shot off her own foot too many times.
No, I don’t have names to go along with this theory. I am an antipartisan liberal, so I don’t have corresponding names for the Jackasses, either… but I’m about 95% certain that I’d be appalled by either party’s choices.
Palin will also need to fix her tax issues. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/10/alaska-violated.html
BTW: here’s a good video to share: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TiQCJXpbKg