Friday, December 05, 2008
Who Should be the 2012 GOP Presidential Candidate?
Governor Sarah Palin has a great personal history and is a good campaigner. She also has a solid track record as Governor. Unfortunately she proved all too vulnerable to the vicious smear campaign waged against her by Obama's proxies in the press.
For her to make a comeback, she would need to assemble a solid team, and demonstrate that she can overcome the negative pop culture image attached to her, and maintain a strong public image despite everything the media can throw at her. It was something that Ronald Reagan could do, but it took him a while to have that deftness, and unless Palin proves that she can bypass and dominate the media, another Palin race would be a dead end.
Last time around Palin was transformed into a "blond joke", one that let men comfortably bring out their contempt for women under the guise of being progressive, while women laughed along to show that they didn't deserve to be included in the stereotype.
Palin has shown that she has the potential to overcome that image, but it won't be easy. That means Palin needs to be less the housewife and grow a much thicker skin. It means she would have to be a lot more calculated about her phrasing, and be prepared to operate in a hostile media environment 24/7. In 2008 she came with a track record, in 2012 she would have to come with a battle plan.
In 2012, Palin and Jindal and any potential Republican candidate who belongs to a minority or stereotyped group, will have to face a media environment that isn't simply biased, but nakedly hostile, and eager to relay "independent"attacks that are openly bigoted.
It's important to remember that liberals are the biggest bigots around, and that their constant screeching about racism or discrimination, is nothing more than a useful tactic for suppressing their political opponents and enslaving minorities. When a member of a discriminated group actually opposes them, their fury translates into the vilest and most bigoted attacks imaginable, as the entire Palin frenzy demonstrated. And those attacks will come with a complete pass on their side.
Jindal may look good now, but if he runs the campaign against him will be as ugly and vicious as against Palin. And the same goes for any minority candidate. Jindal seems like a nice guy, which is exactly why he'd be shark bait within two weeks. Any minor controversy from his administration will be inflated into a major scandal, the way Troopergate was. Comedians with fake Indian accents will mock him, there will be skits involving convenience stores, and the same morons who voted Obama in will laugh along without caring what the truth is.
As much as conservatives want the next Reagan, a major criteria for that must be a candidate who has Reagan's public resilience in the face of the media mob. And any minority candidate will have to be twice as tough, because what they will undergo will be far uglier. That doesn't rule out a women or minority candidate, but it means that thanks to the degradation of the press and the growing ugliness of the popular culture, it will be much harder and tougher for them out there.
A great part of Reagan's success was his ability to laugh at his enemies and himself, the right witty comment in the right place, the easy manner and the approachability brought it all together. Fred Thompson has unevenly channeled some of that ideal, but lacked the energy to do is consistently. He never truly seemed to be the happy warrior, except on videotape.
As for Romney, if Reagan was the cowboy, Romney is the eastern banker, slick and phony. Huckabee had the personality and the rhetoric, but unfortunately when you look at his actual record, you come up with a man who makes McCain look like a conservative.
The first lesson for 2012 should be that recycling 2008 won't work.
The second lesson is that it isn't necessary to look for Reagan a Republican, but to a strong candidate who can outlast the media, and articulate strong Conservative values as an alternative to the Democratic Congress of Corruption and the Obama Kleptocracy.
That is what will win the election in 2012, when Republicans stop talking like Democrats and acting like wimps.