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who will run against Obama in 2012?

I've been wondering this a lot lately. So if you had to bet, who would you bet is going to get the Republican nomination?

The most ridiculous so far is birther Donald Trump. Jimmy Kimmel has a pretty funny bit on him where he describes America under a Trump Presidency as "looking a lot like it did in Back to the Future II when Biff was in charge":



And so far the candidate who seems the most likely to me, if I had to guess, would be Tim Pawlenty, although I'm mostly just basing this on this ad which seems like a pretty serious bid:



I'm not sure why, but I have a real hard time picturing Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, or even Sarah Palin being President. And yet I can picture Tim Pawlenty being President, and I can picture a lot of people voting for him. He's an evangelical Christian with a Juris Doctor degree, which is a pretty potent combination for getting Republicans on your side. I guess that's not a terribly good reason to think someone will win the nomination, but it's the only thing I have to go on right now. If I had to pick which candidate I'd personally be most likely to vote for (if I absolutely had to vote Republican), I think it would be Newt Gingrich. But I think that most Republicans are tired enough of Gingrich and the rest of the Washington beltway (and not too keen on his adultery either) that he's very unlikely to win the nomination if he runs. Of the rest, I'd take Romney easily over Huckabee, with Pawlenty somewhere in between. Then Sarah Palin or Rick Santorum, I'm not sure which is worse, but they're both really bad... and finally, last and least, Donald Trump would be my worst nightmare. I cannot stand conspiracy theorists (even though I doubt he really seriously believes the crap that he says about Obama's birth certificate) and the guy is just a total schmuck--I doubt there is an honest bone in his body.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
easwaran
Apr. 9th, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
The thing about Donald Trump - he admits that one month ago he didn't believe in the birther stuff, but that he's just making up for it now.
spoonless
Apr. 9th, 2011 08:21 pm (UTC)
What is his latest statement about it? I remember listening to an interview with him about a week or two ago (on the Laura Schlesinger show), and he did say something like "the more I look into this the less sure I am that he was born in the US." But those kinds of statements are so vague that I feel it's got to be just for publicity, because he knows that a billionaire business man is not going to get too many Tea Party votes, unless he has some other gimmick to attract the huge rightwing base. It's actually brilliant, but completely dishonest from what I can tell.

The only part of his statements that I'd give any chance of being right would be the possibly, for some reason, it could say "Muslim" on his longform birth certificate. But while he mentioned that possibility as a "some people say", he said that personally he thought it was more likely that he didn't have any birth certificate (by which I assume he means the longform birth certificate that many officials in the Hawaii State department have confirmed publicly that they've seen it with their own eyes and that it doesn't say anything contradictory to the shortform that's online.
crasch
Apr. 10th, 2011 05:32 pm (UTC)
My preferred candidate would be Gary Johnson. He's like Ron Paul, but pro-abortion, pro-immigration, and without the baggage (no racist newsletters). He's also a lot more telegenic than Ron Paul.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/309253/may-10-2010/gary-johnson
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_E._Johnson
spoonless
Apr. 11th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
Thanks for the links. I had briefly heard mention of his name in a couple places, but hadn't gotten around to looking into his character and track record in depth. The main reason I didn't include him in this post was that it seems he has no serious chance of winning the Republican nomination. But he does seem like a pretty interesting guy--and certainly, a libertarian dream candidate.

Unfortunately I think it's more of a wet dream than a realistic dream. If Ron Paul couldn't get the Republican nomination (or come anywhere even close) then how would someone who is strongly pro pot legalization, pro abortion and pro immigration going to have a chance? Looking over his Wikipedia page, he seems like a cool guy, but I think he is too out of synch with the Republican base to get more than a few percent of the vote in the primary. Then again, as you mention Ron Paul came with some extra baggage, like the racist stuff and just generally seeming kind of like a nutty Texan when he speaks.

Also, even without his pot, abortion, and immigration views, I wonder how many in the Republican Party actually want to slash Medicare, Social Security and Defense as much as he would want to. Some of the tea party perhaps, but what about all of the senior citizens who have a huge voting block who voted for George W Bush and worry about their perscription drug coverage being taken away, or their social security checks? That's a problem Ron Paul faced just as well, but I think it's a pretty insurmountable one.
crasch
Apr. 11th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
I think a lot of people who would've otherwise been supporters of Ron Paul were too squicked out by his religosity (mixed record on abortion, separation of church and state, and gay marriage) as well as his racist associations. Johnson, as far as I know, as no such baggage. Johnson is also much younger than Paul, and doesn't have the "cranky grandpa" vibe Paul has.

As for his chances, I agree that they are low. However, how many people were betting on Barack at this stage? For many Republicans, I think cutting spending is their most important issue, and I think he's one of the few that can credibly cast himself as a budget hawk.

Even if he doesn't win the nomination, he could still shift the debate, much as Ron Paul did.
spoonless
Apr. 11th, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)

I think a lot of people who would've otherwise been supporters of Ron Paul were too squicked out by his religosity (mixed record on abortion, separation of church and state, and gay marriage) as well as his racist associations.

My impression is that most of the country is both religious and racist. So while I don't doubt that people *we* know were put off by those things, I think it may have worked more to his advantage than to his disadvantage.

I could totally see Gary Johnson getting the Libertarian nomination. But while he seems to agree with the Libertarian Party on pretty much 100% of the issues (I guess the only question is on whether he's extreme enough), he only really agrees with the Republicans on something like 50% of the issues. I'm guessing that if someone feels they have a shot at the Republican nomination, even if it's a long shot, they ignore the Libertarian Party and go for that... so maybe that's what he'll do. But wouldn't it make more sense for him in terms of ideology to run as a Libertarian?
crasch
Apr. 11th, 2011 02:08 am (UTC)
No, it makes no sense to run as a Libertarian. The institutional barriers are such that he would waste a lot of time and money simply getting on the ballot, the media would ignore him, and he would not get into the debates. If his chances are low running as a Republican, they're almost zero running as a Libertarian.

As for whether Paul's racist/religious associations hurt/helped him on net, I can't say. Paul didn't appeal to the mainstream Republicans due to his anti-war beliefs, and he couldn't pull much from the Independents/Democrats because of his racist/religious associations. I think Johnson can pull more Independent/Democrats because he doesn't have those associations.
spoonless
Apr. 11th, 2011 03:37 am (UTC)

I think Johnson can pull more Independent/Democrats because he doesn't have those associations.

Agreed completely, but the first hurdle he has to overcome, if he goes the route of seeking the Republican nomination, is winning over Republicans. And since he has less of a chance there than Ron Paul, it seems pointless to go that route. As you say, Libertarian candidates are generally ignored by the mainstream media anyway, so it may be pointless for him to go that route too. But I feel like it would at least be a more accurate label of his political stance. Maybe he could just run as an Independent?

I think the basic problem here is that... the majority of people in the US really don't want Libertarian policies. Both traditional Republicans and Tea Party types have often used the rhetoric of "limited government" (and so has Obama, even) but when it comes down to, that's not really what they want... it's just one of those things it's nice to say you want, like being "for the children" or "for the future". Everyone wants government limited when it's working against them, but in the cases it's working for them that's where ideology ends and practicality begins. Perhaps I'm just summing up what Peter Thiel and others have said, that democracy and liberty are fundamentally incompatible.
roxymartini
Apr. 10th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
Is Lady Gaga old enough to run? I think that she has enough fans to get her elected.
spoonless
Apr. 10th, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
If she ran, I'm pretty sure she'd want to run as a Democrat, but the Democrats already have a good candidate, Barack Obama. It's the Republicans who are in need of a candidate.
wutajiao
Apr. 13th, 2011 11:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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