October 14, 2011

Is the fix in?

Texans for Sarah Palin: Did Team Palin uncover an October surprise in September?:

...There's no question that a national campaign would be a major disruption of family life for the Palins, and security issues almost certainly were factored into the decision. But political concerns had to have also been involved in what was ultimately a key decision involving the governor's political career. The words "at this time" from her official statement have been cited by some of her supporters as a clue that Sarah Palin, her family and her close advisors saw some new wrinkle in the political landscape that may have caused her to postpone her run, perhaps until 2016 or 2020.

You do not produce quality campaign ads like "One Nation" and "Together" simply to raise money for your leadership PAC or to build your image for public relations purposes. You don't cancel the southern leg of a bus tour that was to have included the early primary state of South Carolina because of family considerations, either. You don't have your lawyers make calls to early primary states to verify presidential filing deadlines unless you are still seriously considering a run. Likewise, you don't convene a round table with your closest advisors to map out strategy for a presidential run, unconventional as it may have been, if your aim is just to string people along.

No, something happened. We think Gov. Palin and her advisors sensed "a great disturbance" in the political force, probably at some point in September, that caused them to put on the brakes. Could it have been that they concluded that the fix is in for Mitt Romney? Consider Stacy McCain's bombshell Thursday that Cesar Conda, Sen. Marco Rubio's top staffer and a Romney loyalist, was instrumental in the Florida GOP's decision to move their state's primary up to January. The earlier states schedule their primaries, the more it helps Romney and hurts other candidates like Herman Cain. This revelation taken together with the GOP establishment's strategy to co-opt Sarah Palin's allies in the TEA Party, make it difficult to believe that such political factors as these were not involved at least to some degree in her decision not to run.

The primary shuffling will throw up obstacles that will be very difficult, if not insurmountable, not only for conservative candidates such as Cain, but also for any other candidate not named Mitt Romney. This had to have been a key factor in the political calculus of Sarah Palin, but don't doubt that it was a consideration for Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani as well. Not just political instincts, but good political intel were likely involved in all three of these decisions not to run. Christie's quick endorsement of Romney so soon after he announced that he would not get into the race indicates that not only did the New Jersey governor realize that the fix for Romney was in, but like any political opportunist, he was determined to use it for his own future political gain.

Unlike Christie, Sarah Palin is not for sale and neither are her core supporters. In his follow-up piece for The American Spectator, Stacy attributes the increase in Cain's poll numbers largely to Palin supporters jumping on board the Cain train following the governor's announcement that she would not run. But if you look carefully at the polling data, it's clear that Cain's rise is almost directly proportional to Rick Perry's decline. What Stacy seems to have missed is the fact that Sarah Palin's strongest supporters are in no hurry to jump to any other candidate's ship. Indeed, her own ship is not sinking. It has only lowered its sails "at this time."...

I've been getting e-mails asking me to join "Team Romney," or some such. They have the flavor of coming from someone already nominated. Gag me with a silver spoon. Man, how I hate this "Republican Establishment" crap.

Well, a lot of other people do too, and we aren't shuffling away. Time is on our side, because big changes are going to have to be made. You can't outrun the history train, bro.

Posted by John Weidner at October 14, 2011 7:59 PM

Here I was thinking that 2012 was gonna be a game changer...more the fool me.

Posted by: Scott at October 15, 2011 5:13 AM

Changing the game is more than just electing a president. We're still on track to control both House and Senate, and can expect some much better sausages. And if a President Romney is filling those thousands of appointed positions, he will be drawing on the ranks of Republicans, many of whom are more conservative than he is.

And statehouses went strongly Republican in 2010, and that trend isn't changing.

The blue states and cities are all going bankrupt, something that will splash cold water on a lot of bad thinking. My guess is that they won't be getting any bail-outs, or will get them only after drastic reforms imposed by congress.

Most importantly, liberalism is intellectually bankrupt. All their ideas have hit their expiration dates.

Romney's a finger-to-the-wind politician, and so I feel total contempt for him. But the good part is that the wind's going to be blowing in a Tea-Partyish direction.

Posted by: John Weidner at October 15, 2011 9:11 AM

Why are people so quick to assign nefarious motives to people who disagree with them? This guy pretty much lost all credibility as soon as he speculated that Christie's endorsement meant that he was "for sale". What exactly is his evidence for this? Does anyone care to defend this statement?

Posted by: Mike Plaiss at October 15, 2011 10:38 AM

Well, he's writing a speculative scenario. Presenting a number of known facts, making his guess as to what's happening behind the scenes, and painting a picture for us. There's nothing improper in that.

In that context, I don't think it is illegitimate to assign motives to people. But if I were re-writing this piece, I'd want to re-empasize that this is all speculation. And maybe phrasing it that "if this picture is true, then Christie is looking pretty opportunistic."

And he might have mentioned that Christie's not a Tea Party type, and is in many ways a lot like Romney. Possibly he was all along planning to support Romney, if he decided not to run himself.

Posted by: John Weidner at October 15, 2011 12:51 PM

I would love to have seen Orrin Judd's head explode when his boy Christie endorsed Romney. OJ's been dissing Romney for so long that he forgot that he's the perfect 'it's my turn' candidate that OJ backs. I won't bother going to his site; he banned me from the comments for some reason. Maybe I was too sarcastic.

Posted by: David at October 15, 2011 7:18 PM

I haven't been following. I kind of assumed Judd would like Romney, for that very reason. He's definitely "the next in line." (***spitcoughhackbarf***) He'll fall in line soon, I bet. The main thing is, that it's not a woman.

Waste of a good brain, I think.

Posted by: John Weidner at October 15, 2011 10:09 PM

Seeing much of what was directed against her, from the very beginning, beginning with the slew of phony ethics complaints, it's not surprising that such notions come to mind.

Posted by: narciso at October 16, 2011 2:59 PM
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