Posts Tagged ‘Is It 2012 Yet?’

My friend and former colleague John Mercurio makes a good argument for why Bobby Jindal won’t even run for the GOP nomination in 2012.

Louisiana chooses its governors in off years, which means Jindal, who has already announced plans to seek a second term, will likely have his name on a state ballot in November 2011. That’s just a few short months before Iowa caucusgoers will cast the first votes of the 2012 primaries. Other Republican candidates already will have spent months participating in a dizzying round of televised debates and town-hall forums. (Remember how Fred Thompson was widely panned for joining the 2008 race too late? He announced in September 2007.)

The prospect of Jindal seeking both offices in 2011 would require political contortions the likes of which even he would be hard-pressed to perform. Imagine him urging Louisiana voters, still recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to support his re-election so he can spend the next year as an absentee governor, traveling the country as a presidential candidate. He could deny charges, likely to come from all corners, that he’s using his re-election bid as a launching pad for the White House. But if he reverses course after November and runs for president, he would face the impossible task of assembling a last-minute national organization at the same time he’s suffering a fatal blow to his credibility.

Elsewhere, the Bobby Jindal/Kenneth the Page comparisons have gone viral. Check out this clip:

Jindal should consider himself fortunate that Jack McBrayer (the actor who plays Kenneth the Page on 30 Rock) doesn’t bear an uncanny physical resemblance to him. Otherwise, Jindal would be getting the full Tina Fey/Sarah Palin treatment. On the other hand, Ben Smith pointed out the new Facebook group calling for Kal Penn (of Harold and Kumar fame) to play Bobby Jindal on SNL.

Update: Andrew Sullivan nails it — “All that really happened here is that Jindal – stylistically and substantively – had the worst debut on national television of anyone since Palin’s encounter with Katie Couric.”

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Louisiana governor and rumored 2012 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal was tapped to give the GOP rebuttal to Barack Obama’s first address to Congress. John Cole brutally explains the sacrificial lamb nature of this political tradition. It seems especially relevant this year considering Obama’s well known reputation as a public speaker. Anybody who would have to follow him would have an easier time taking the stage after the Rolling Stones or U2.

Now, in fairness, the responses are always awful. Every year (with the exception of Jim Webb) someone is trotted out and forced to give the response, and it is at this point the political equivalent of throwing a virgin into a volcano. It is beyond time for them to end. However, there was something just especially awful this year, and already the comparison to Kenneth from 30 Rock is sweeping across the intertubes.

Jindal’s speech is being panned left, right, and center, with some of the harshest and most surprising criticism coming from his own party.

This was not a good national coming out party for Jindal, especially if he has presidential ambitions in 2012. However, one bad national speech does not mean it’s the end of your aspirations for higher office. Remember Bill Clinton’s much panned speech during the 1988 Democratic National Convention? He went on to bigger and better things four short years later.

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If Mitt Romney is the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, this New York Times op ed he wrote pretty much guarantees he’ll lose Michigan.

I included the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as one of my winners from the 2008 election because of their successful role in getting Proposition 8 passed in California in a year that for the most part was a political disaster for social conservatives. Marc Ambinder makes an interesting observation:

By bankrolling opposition to same-sex marriage in California, the LDS church has earned some serious cred in social conservative circles.

And the Prop 8 protesters — those who are now protesting the church — are only fueling the impression that when it comes to standing up for “traditional marriage,” the Mormon Church is where it’s at.

This development has fascinating implications for 2012.

Utah (where LDS is based) is one of the most solidly Republican states in the country. It may not replace the religious right which is largely based in southern states, but it could tip the scales in favor of one candidate or another. Who benefits most from the LDS’s new political muscle? Mitt Romney.

CNN noticed something curious at a recent Palin rally in Florida:

POLK CITY, Florida (CNN) — At a boisterous Sarah Palin rally in Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon, one name was surprisingly absent from the campaign décor — John McCain’s.

Looking around the Fantasy of Flight aircraft hangar where the rally took place, one could see all the usual reminders that it was a pro-McCain event. There were two large “Country First” banners hung on the walls along with four enormous American flags meant to conjure the campaign’s underlying patriotic theme. Many of the men and women in the audience wore McCain hats and t-shirts.

But on closer inspection, the GOP nominee’s name was literally nowhere to be found on any of the official campaign signage distributed to supporters at the event.

Members of the audience proudly waved “Country First” placards as Palin delivered her stump speech. Those signs were paid for by the Republican National Committee.

The other sign handed out to supporters read “Florida is Palin Country,” but those signs were neither paid for by the Republican National Committee nor the McCain campaign. In small print, the signs were stamped with the line “Paid for and authorized by Putnam for Congress” — as in, the re-election campaign of Florida congressman Adam Putnam, whose district skirts Polk City.

In fact, Putnam’s name was considerably more prominent than was McCain’s — his campaign had placed a number of large “Putnam for Congress” banners around the event site.

And the race for 2012 is on!

Down in the polls but certainly not out, Gov. Sarah Palin remains in the fight as the campaign enters its final week.

In an interview with ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas, the Republican vice-presidential nominee was asked about 2012, whether she was discouraged by the daily attacks on the campaign trail, and would instead pack it in and return to her home state of Alaska.

“I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken, that would bring this whole & I’m not doing this for naught,” Palin said.

Palin said she believed in the current GOP ticket and that she was “thinking that it’s going to go our way on Tuesday, Nov. 4. I truly believe that the wisdom of the people will be revealed on that day,” she said.

Also see this live report from CNN’s Dana Bash:

This may be the ultimate jumping the shark moment for a campaign that has had more than its fair share already. Sarah Palin has essentially told the world that she’s looking out for Number 1. Expect to see another series of damaging internal campaign strife stories from former Romney aides who want to kneecap her to give their man frontrunner status for the next election.

Update: ABC News screwed up hard with the initial writeup of the article to the point where it was blatantly misleading and rapidly picked up by other news organizations. Someone seriously needs to be fired over this. Here’s the complete transcript of the exchange:

ELIZABETH VARGAS: If it doesn’t go your way on Tuesday … 2012?

GOV SARAH PALIN: I’m just … thinkin’ that it’s gonna go our way on Tuesday, November 4. I truly believe that the wisdom of … of the people will be revealed on that day. As they enter that voting booth, they will understand the stark contrast between the two tickets. …

VARGAS: But the point being that you haven’t been so bruised by some of the double standard, the sexism on the campaign trail, to say, “I’ve had it. I’m going back to Alaska.”

PALIN: Absolutely not. I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken, that … that would … bring this whole … I’m not doin’ this for naught.

It is getting nasty inside the McCain campaign. An unidentified adviser takes a whack at Sarah Palin:

***In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”

Update: The finger-pointing over the $150,000 shopping spree is reaching fever pitch. Palin allies are trying to toss communications adviser Nicolle Wallace under the bus. Jake Tapper has the details. This particular excerpt stands out:

At McCain HQ, senior aides rolled their eyes, unable to believe that Palin was continuing to give the story more airtime.

And some Republicans are starting to now say they should have seen this coming, since Palin has a reputation for making friends who can help her and then screwing them over.