Bootleggers, Baptists, and Three-Legged Stools
Posted by Steven Hayward
Over at the Washington Examiner
today I take up the strange alliance
between environmentalists and natural gas interests. Meanwhile, on NRO's Corner, I dilate how Mitch Daniels can learn to walk on three legs
12:07 PM / February 15, 2011
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As a moderate Daniels skeptic, I will resist making jokes about a candidate with three legs--we've had enough of them.
Limbaugh criticized Daniels' speech the Monday after CPAC. The criticism pointed at the idea of "reaching out" beyond the conservative base.
Limbaugh couldn't stop McCain in '08, but I think Rush can stop the momentum of any "conservative" candidate before he or she can gain the critical mass needed to wrest the nomination from Romney.
Most GOP voters are indecisives at this point. As such the influence of Talk Radio may in fact be decisive this time around.
Palin + talk radio can dictate terms.
Steve, several points,
1. Daniels is going to need real answers on what kind of defense cuts he wants and how this will impact US security commitments. If he does choose to run for President I don't think he will even try avoid giving those details.
2. Daniels has a good record and a tin ear on social issues. Dave Weigel thinks Daniels can finesse the issue by referring to his record when asked. I don't think so. Daniels would be better off being proactive with a set of incremental social policy proposals (constitutionalist judges, Second Amendment, cutting off federal subsidies to abortion... He won't listen to me though. Dammit.
3. I kind of think of Daniels as a version 1.0 of reformist conservatism under present conditions. Maybe he will make himself into the 2.0 as 2011 goes on. Maybe it will have to be someone else in 2016. I have little hope for the rest of the 2012 Republican presidential field.
Tim, were GOP voters ever more indecisive than in 2008 and will Romney ever face a weaker field? As for the right-leaning media. Don't wilt, don't apologize, don't take criticism personally and take every opportunity to get your message out. Go on Limbaugh and talk about education reform and cutting the deficit. Talk about how Reagan expanded and consolidated the conservative base by reaching out to FDR-loving voters based on their interests and principles. Talk about how reaching out on principle means winning
Pete, I was simply making an observation that Talk Radio (+ Palin as Ken points out) will have enormous clout this time around if not be outright kingmakers. So I'd strongly suggest to a Daniels supporter to find a way to make peace with Limbaugh.
For my own part I'm still quite undecided. I'm a notoriously late decider in fact. I've solicited sales pitches from "Thuners", watched Newt clips, avoided Huckabee altogether, but watched Trump with curiousity. Unfortunately for The Donald his stated pro-life and anti-gay-marriage positions (as stated on Van Susteren Monday night) make him look like a lying opportunist.
I'll continue to keep an eye on Daniels, Palin, Bachman, Barbour, Cain, Bolton, and the rest of the mega-cast of Republican Presidential Nominee Glee Club 2012.
Tim, who ever suggested war (I mean I'm sure they are out there, just not me.) I think that, when it comes to the right-leaning media (to include Limbaugh) Daniels should be neither hostile nor obsequious. He should want to go on those programs and sell his message. He should continue to make clear that the conservative message needs to get out to those who don't consume much right-leaning media.
Not so fast my friends...
Starting a war with Limbaugh and the "Religious Right", sounds just as opportunist to me as Donald Trump's pro-life+anti-gay marriage positions.
The difference is that Mitch Daniels is one of the few guys other than maybe Mitt Romney who is actually in it to win the presidency.
Donald Trump I think is in it to create a political derivative of the Apprentice. Palin is probably more sincere, but between the two my money is still on Donald Trump for being able to explain Supreme Court precedent on Abortion and Gay Rights.
With all these jokers shooting for the stars, you start to seriously consider the moon as a viable target.
Palin, Rush, Huckabee and Trump are already on the Moon, but this doesn't mean they aren't competing for market share, larger media contracts and new reality TV spots.
The question for the realist given that most handicapers suggest Obama crushes these contenders...is just what they are contending for. This question looms larger until Obama is seen as a clear 1 term president, but the difficulties and head winds involved in being president are such that serious consideration has to be given even then. McCain has in certain respects been better off as Senator than Obama has been as president, and Palin enjoying the bounty and beauty of Alaska, with Fat Contracts from Fox is certainly better off than Biden. Just as a statement of fact she chose this over being Gov of Alaska.