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The Republican Trinity

Pawlenty's departure, Perry's entrance and stagnation among Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman and the other hard-to-remember GOP candidates seem to indicate that the Republican nominee will emerge from a battle between Perry, Romney and Bachmann.

Marc Thiessen has a solid case for Perry in today's WaPo. Much will be decided for Perry in the next few weeks. If he flounders and disappoints expectations, voters will quickly look elsewhere. But he has the potential to rally a base divided between a lackluster resignation toward Romney and hesitant uncertainty toward Bachmann. Perry needs to thread the needle and poach supporters from both candidates - all the while representing himself as the GOP moderate between Romney's unreliable conservatism and Bachmann's uncompromising conservatism.

Romney and Bachmann are still in the fight because they emerged as leaders of the pack - Romney as the party's crown-prince and Bachmann as the hero of the people. Perry needs to define himself as something superior to both - and soon - if his star is going to rise as far as the nomination.

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Discussions - 3 Comments

For those better able to analyze these things: Does this scenario remind you at all of 2008? Specifically, Fred Thompson (like Rick Perry) being the late entry, big potential, but ultimately going no where. Romney would be the McCain candidate, with the base resigned to follow. And (oddly) Bachman being the Romney-like candidate, mostly because of controversial stances and personal beliefs?

I've heard Bachman before, and she's likely to only improve over the next few months, becoming sharper, more polished, in a word, more persuasive. Therefore an "anybody but Bachman" contrived frenzy is going to have difficulty making headway with a base that will grow increasingly comfortable with her, and the thought of her as their standard bearer. Bachman isn't going to pull a Howard Dean, she's not going to implode, and overt attempts by the GOP establishment to put her down might only awaken a powerful backlash in her favour.

Romney on the other hand is very much a finished product, {in what way has he improved since his latest attempt at the nomination?}. What reason does he offer the Republican base to embrace a candidacy that they previously rejected? Consider too his present polling numbers. Now compare them to his numbers four years ago. They're not that much improved. Which suggests, strongly suggests that is, that whatever support he may presently possess is likely to wilt.

I'm strongly persuaded that Romney can't go the distance.

Additionally, Republicans aren't of a mind that "only" a certain candidate, or kind of candidate can defeat Obama. And they're way ahead of the curve on this, and way ahead of putative, Republican pundits as well. The economy is only going to get worse, DRAMATICALLY worse. We're dealing with an electorate that does not have a taste for deferred gratification. Thus Obama's calls for patience and sacrifice will find less traction than those of Carter before him. .The electorate well recalls the prosperity of the post Reagan years, and isn't much inclined to listen to Obama blaming his woes on some black cat crossing his political pathway, covering him with "bad luck."

In as much as Obama can be defeated, and is likely to be defeated, the base wants as conservative a candidate as they can find. Bachman's chances are far stronger than many credit.

Not a word about Ron Paul coming in second?

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