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Unwarranted Presumptions of Rationality


Were that this was true:

Add Mike Huckabee to the list of Republicans criticizing the Arizona law. As I keep saying, Huckabee is dangerous; he’s very conservative and not very well educated, but he’s smart and sane and has a conscience. Unlike Sarah Palin, he could wind up as President.

Certainly, if we were playing “death is not an option” I would much prefer Huckabee to Palin as president. The problem is, I’m not a Republican primary voter, and more to the point I’m not a major Republican businessman or fundraiser. It’s pretty clear from the 2008 primaries that the GOP’s money wing doesn’t want Huckabee, which ends his chances. While I see no reason why they would object to Palin, and hence if she chose to run in the primaries she could definitely win. And while she’s inept and unpopular enough to challenge political science evidence that candidates don’t really matter in presidential elections, any major party candidate can win under the right conditions. Be very afraid.

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  • DocAmazing

    Huckabee, as far as I can tell, is actually Christian. On the plus side, that means he takes that “whatsoever ye do to the least of these” business fairly seriously, thus angering the money wing of the party. On the minus side, he goes in for that uterine-control thing in a big way, which endears him to the “social conservatives”.

    You just can’t please everyone.

  • modH1N1

    the sad thing is that i really, really like huckabee as a person. and i would rather he be president over palin. unfortunately, that’s not saying much. but sometimes huckabee goes beyond the bar to impress me and this would be one of those times.

  • ploeg

    Republican businessmen and fundraisers also have a thing about having a chance in hell to win the general, and in 2008, they thought they had their guy. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t predict what a hash their guy would make of his VP pick. And that goes double for Palin; the nightmare scenario is that Palin picks somebody even more unstable than she is, and if by some miracle she wins, she quits after three months for God knows what reason. Much better to hold your nose and go for the known quantity. The only party elites who will go for Palin are those who still think that Chalabi is a swell guy. Far too many of those people for my comfort, but not enough to swing a nomination at this point.

    • g-rant

      Chalabi for prez!

    • djw

      Republican businessmen and fundraisers also have a thing about having a chance in hell to win the general, and in 2008, they thought they had their guy.

      Yeah, I don’t think so. I’m guessing a good number of the Republican kingmakers knew 2008 was a lost year all along.

      • ploeg

        You don’t get anywhere by being fatalist. The Republicans were in a massive hole before they got started, and the world economic crisis was inconveniently timed, but McCain had at least a chance in hell of maverick bipartisan surging his way out of it. The two things that killed McCain were 1) picking his VP candidate with his base in mind (rather than trying to tack to the center) and 2) trying to portray Obama as a extremist crazy while letting the extremist crazies on his side run rampant. I don’t think McCain’s sponsors had much of an idea of how ineptly he would run his campaign, though they probably should have.

  • Knecht Ruprecht

    Speaking as someone who disdained those who claimed “If GWB wins reelection, I’m moving to Canada”, I have already agreed with my better half, at her suggestion, that we will emigrate in the event of a Palin presidency. Destination TBD.

  • hv

    If I had a magic button that would ensure Palin would win the nomination at the end of an acrimonious primary, I would certainly press it.

    Palin is weak and brittle. The center has already rejected Palin; offering her up again would demonstrate an arrogance the voters seem to need constant reminders of. Her campaign of failure would cause maximum embarrassment to its architects.

  • DrDick

    There are no rational Republicans left. Zombie Reagan has eaten all their brains long since.

    • DocAmazing

      Ten years ago, there were a few Republicans that I could name for whom I had some respect. No longer. Everyone I have any regard for left that party screaming in Bushtime.

      • DrDick

        There has been a steady attrition of sanity in the Republican Party for the past 30 years, beginning with their embrace of the counterfactual Reaganite philosophy of trickle down economics and mythical welfare queens. Once you embrace unreason, there is really no turning back.

  • I’m surprised by the thinking that a Palin run is inevitable. First off, it would mean that she’d be walking away from all the money she is making right now. Even though she’s a huge attention whore she doesn’t need to run for office to activate the bright lights. Secondly, except among the fringe that presently tea parties down with her there are few who think she could win. “Qualified to govern” is a separate issue for the cynical bastards that pull the Republican levers– after Nixon I’m hard pressed to come up with a Republican presidential nominee that anybody actually thought was qualified to govern. (Dole, maybe.) It’s not part of the selection criteria that they use. It seems to be pretty generally acknowledged that picking Palin is what sunk McCain. Even though I’d argue that McCain had managed to sink himself quite effectively without any help, if the conventional wisdom is that tapping Palin was the final nail, how would a Palin run at the top job make any sense? The glib answer is that it doesn’t have to make sense, but that isn’t really true. Republicans want the White House back, a lot, and they know she can’t win it for them.

    • Scott Lemieux

      I’m definitely not saying that she’s “inevitable,” and indeed I agree that she probably doesn’t want the job. But if she runs, she can win, especially assuming the Republicans keep the same primary rules. If you can raise money, having a consistent base spread fairly evenly across states is a major, major advantage.

  • JW

    Palin has no chance whatsoever of gaining the GOP nomination in 2012.

  • mds

    Huckabee is a national sales tax booster who signed on to Grover’s tax pledge. So he’s now on record as advocating keeping taxes low on the rich and corporations, while favoring a regressive tax that would either be crushingly high, or would further defund the federal government. Combine that with the dangerous fundamentalist Christian tenets that he embraces; his existing Fox News propaganda platform; and the fact that his folksy charm can apparently even make progressives inexplicably like a vicious corrupt theocratic thug; and we’ve got trouble, Wayne DuMond or no Wayne DuMond.

  • Halloween Jack

    Bill Altreuter has already given my reasons for why Palin wouldn’t make a serious run for the office, but I think that she might jump into the primaries, and then, after dropping out (possibly right before the convention), sell her support to the front-runner in the most literal fashion possible; she’d stump for him in return for her usual speaking fee (to be billed as “consulting fees” or some such). It would give her a renewal on her 15 minutes without any danger of having to give up her very lucrative career, and if the eventual candidate wants to even pretend to try to win it, he’ll take it.

    • mds

      and if the eventual candidate wants to even pretend to try to win it, he’ll take it.

      Unless (probably a faint hope here) the way he won the primaries was to be an anti-Palin. For instance, Huckabee and Palin’s natural bases have a lot of overlap in fundagelical land. But with stuff like the above, he’s already put daylight between them. So if he runs as the less unintelligent, occasionally compassionate alternative, it’s harder for him to turn around and have her stump for him.

      Then again, Palin already comes pre-stamped with the Franklin Graham seal of approval, which might be difficult for another Religious Right candidate to do without, even though every time Franklin opens his mouth, his father’s reputation dies a little more.

  • Huck was there for McCain. That counts for Republicans– they believe in taking turns. The fact that Palin was the VP nominee doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s her turn next, because, like Quayle, quite a few people blame her for the loss. Huck’s appeal overlaps with Palin’s. Perhaps more importantly, Huck is not a Mormon. Mittens will still be in 2012, and religious bigotry is all that is needed to keep him off the ticket. Romney has no appeal in the South, and the best Palin could hope for there would be a split with Huck.

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