Conservatives demand new candidate to throw race into further disarray

Maybe Daniels or Jindal should enter the race next month and we can take this thing all the way to the convention!

Topics: 2012 Elections, Newt Gingrich, Mitch Daniels, Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney, Republican Party,

Conservatives demand new candidate to throw race into further disarrayMitch Daniels and Bill Kristol (Credit: WIkipedia)

No serious person thinks Newt Gingrich will be or wants Newt Gingrich to be president. I’d bet a significant percentage of the people who vote for him don’t want him to be president. Voting for Newt Gingrich is just an act of pure petulance.

But Newt Gingrich just won the South Carolina presidential primary (South Carolina’s new motto: “Picking presidents a couple times since a couple years ago!”) and is now amusingly ahead in the early polls in Florida. The conservative elite can attempt to sabotage Gingrich, but the message from the voters is clear enough: Romney is really not particularly liked, at all, and they are willing to vote for literally anyone else who can seem credible on television for a few precious minutes.

Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard was quietly promoting Gingrich since just before his first surge in the polls, and Kristol himself early this morning asserted that of Gingrich, Romney and Santorum, “any of the three could be the nominee.” (No, actually, but this is Bill Kristol.) He then quotes an editorial he wrote two months ago, predicting, sort of, “a late January entry [I'd now say an early February entry] by another candidate.”

And he ends with: “I notice a new online petition was launched Saturday night to try to produce one possible outcome. It’s at runmitchrun.com.”

The idea, still apparently existent, that what this electorate — having previously paid close attention to statesmen like Donald Trump and Herman Cain before turning to Newt Gingrich — is clamoring for is the respectable conservativism of Mitch Daniels is fun enough. (You didn’t like the former governors of New Mexico or Utah? Try Indiana’s current guy — he’s also a former pharmaceutical executive!) Rahm Emanuel himself just teased Mitt Romney by suggesting Chris Christie or Mitch Daniels would’ve been perfect to run against Obama.

But actually parachuting into the presidential campaign after Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and presumably Florida and Nevada have all voted would certainly be a … challenge for anyone who doesn’t currently already have a massive campaign war chest and experienced national campaign staff. (Though obviously this election is so different, because complete clowns like Gingrich and Santorum can win … after spending the better part of a year campaigning.)

You Might Also Like

Ross Douthat is at least realistic about a latecomer’s chances (he or she — well, he — “would have a necessarily uncertain path to the nomination”) but says “it isn’t too late for one of the non-candidates to change their mind and run,” which is I guess technically true. A non-candidate could change their mind and run the weekend of the convention, too! I’d be all in favor of it, and I suspect the president would be, too.

Good news, then: “a source tells me that a representative from runmitchrun.com will be on Fox News today at 4:45 p.m. making the case that Daniels gets in the race.”

Jennifer Rubin flat-out begs Haley Barbour(!), Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Jon Kyl, Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Mike Pence to either run themselves or hurry up and close ranks behind either Santorum or Romney — Jim DeMint’s late entry to the presidential race would be good February entertainment, it’s true — which seems to miss the fact that those people have about as much control over the party electorate now as John Boehner has over the Republican House majority.

(Jonah Goldberg should get some credit for being slightly ahead of the curve for once, having posted his slightly tongue-in-cheek version of this plea last Thursday, before Gingrich had even humiliated the probable nominee in South Carolina.)

There is a great deal of point-missing going on. Each of these savior non-Romney Gingrich-killing dream candidates completely lacks the quality that led Gingrich to suddenly take the lead: No one likes him and he’s embarrassing. The voters respond to his breezy shamelessness, and Bobby Jindal is not going to fire this crowd up. (Chris Christie, a loud bullying caricature, might do the trick, but he’s too smart to enter now.)

I am also not sure how essentially begging for a brokered convention helps alleviate the “chaos” everyone is currently worrying over, but, again, I welcome the entertainment.

Sadly, they’re probably still stuck with Mitt. Sorry, Bill.

Alex Pareene
Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    DAYA  
    Young Daya has yet to become entirely jaded, but she has the character's trademark skeptical pout down pat. And with a piece-of-work mother like Aleida -- who oscillates between jealousy and scorn for her creatively gifted daughter, chucking out the artwork she brings home from summer camp -- who can blame her?

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    MORELLO   
    With her marriage to prison penpal Vince Muccio, Lorna finally got to wear the white veil she has fantasized about since childhood (even if it was made of toilet paper).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CINDY   
    Cindy's embrace of Judaism makes sense when we see her childhood, lived under the fist of a terrifying father who preached a fire-and-brimstone version of Christianity. As she put it: "I was raised in a church where I was told to believe and pray. And if I was bad, I’d go to hell."

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CAPUTO   
    Joey Caputo has always tried to be a good guy, whether it's offering to fight a disabled wrestler at a high school wrestling event or giving up his musical ambitions to raise another man's child. But trying to be a nice guy never exactly worked out for him -- which might explain why he decides to take the selfish route in the Season 3 finale.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    BOO   
    In one of the season's more moving flashbacks, we see a young Boo -- who rejected the traditional trappings of femininity from a young age -- clashing with her mother over what to wear. Later, she makes the decision not to visit her mother on her deathbed if it means pretending to be something she's not. As she puts it, "I refuse to be invisible, Daddy. Not for you, not for Mom, not for anybody.”

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    SOSO
    We still don't know what landed Brooke Soso in the slammer, but a late-season flashback suggests that some seriously overbearing parenting may have been the impetus for her downward spiral.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    POUSSEY
    We already know a little about Poussey's relationship with her military father, but this season we saw a softer side of the spunky fan-favorite, who still pines for the loving mom that she lost too young.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    PENNSATUCKY
    Pennsatucky had something of a redemption arc this season, and glimpses of her childhood only serve to increase viewer sympathy for the character, whose mother forced her to chug Mountain Dew outside the Social Security Administration office and stripped her of her sexual agency before she was even old enough to comprehend it.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    CHANG
    This season, we got an intense look at the teenage life of one of Litchfield's most isolated and underexplored inmates. Rebuffed and scorned by her suitor at an arranged marriage, the young Chinese immigrant stored up a grudge, and ultimately exacted a merciless revenge.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    HEALY
    It's difficult to sympathize with the racist, misogynist CO Sam Healy, but the snippets we get of his childhood -- raised by a mentally ill mother, vomited on by a homeless man he mistakes for Jesus when he runs to the church for help -- certainly help us understand him better.

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NORMA
    This season, we learned a lot about one of Litchfield's biggest enigmas, as we saw the roots of Norma's silence (a childhood stutter) and the reason for her incarceration (killing the oppressive cult leader she followed for decades).

    The 12 most incredible pint-size look-alikes in "Orange Is the New Black" season 3

    NICKI
    While Nicki's mother certainly isn't entirely to blame for her daughter's struggles with addiction, an early childhood flashback -- of an adorable young Nicki being rebuffed on Mother's Day -- certainly helps us understand the roots of Nicki's scarred psyche.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>