If a brokered convention is our only hope … then we need to;
- Get united around someone.
- Convince him (or her) to throw his hat in.
- Help him win some of the Primaries he can still qualify for …
… and hopefully he would have gathered the support he’ll need to make him a viable choice for the nomination by the time we get to Tampa. That’s the only way we get an acceptable alternative to the three men we are currently having to choose from. We have to identify someone, have him step up and demonstrate that he can unite all the Party’s various factions and convince people that he can defeat Barack Obama.
The idea that the decision would go down to the convention floor in Tampa and someone acceptable to all, who had previously not declared himself or campaigned for the nomination in any way, would magically be drafted (and save us all) is a pipe dream. This didn’t happen in the last somewhat-contested convention in 1976 – Reagan had already put himself out there and mixed it up with Ford before everyone got down to Kansas City – and it’s not going to happen now. Even in 1948 – the last truly brokered GOP convention – every single one of the names on the ballot had already thrown their hats into the ring.
So, for us to head into a brokered convention just to pick between Mitt, Rick and Newt is nothing more than a waste of time. It becomes significantly less so if Rick Perry were to withdraw his endorsement of Newt, acquire better communications skills and a new campaign team and aim to win at least ten states. But the possibility is, if anything, lower than that of a brokered convention actually happening.
Either way, Al Cardenas, boss of the ACU – which runs CPAC – is already calling out the name of his fellow Floridian – Jeb Bush as a possibility should it come down to a contest on the convention floor. But we all know that dog won’t hunt – if Jeb Bush had been Jeb Smith, he would not need to be drafted as a last resort at the convention because he would be far and away the frontrunner and I won’t be writing this because the race would have been over three weeks ago.
But using Jeb Bush as a template – someone articulate, late fifties-to-early sixties, with some executive experience (preferably in a Governor’s office), a record of conservative accomplishment in office, success at the polls i.e. reelected at least once, a strong home base of support and without the baggage from being the brother and son of Presidents widely perceived to have failed in office …
Off the top of my head, this leaves us with people like John Hoeven (who might have to shave off his mustache) and Mike Johanns, both of whom are in the first terms in the Senate, both of whom have been Governors for more than a single term and both of whom come from states that are reliably Red. Of course, there would be an immediate influx of people who will declare that they can never ever vote for one or the other because blah blah blah …, but I do not foresee any major problem with any one of them winning support from all the necessary wings of the Party.
That is, if they can be coaxed to enter the meat-grinder that is a Presidential election.
Good luck with that.
In the interest of full disclosure, after Rick Perry dropped out, my support has returned to my 2008 choice, Mitt Romney. Frankly, I can’t quite fathom how he went from being the conservatives’ alternative to John McCain in 2008 to the most liberal Governor in the history of the entire world in 2012 – especially since he left the Governor’s office in 2006. Furthermore, I’m not convinced he’s just itching to get into the Oval Office to be a one-term President, especially considering the number of still youngish people with names like Christie, Sandoval, Martinez, Walker, Jindal, Haley, etc. that would be just about rounding out six (or more) years in Governor’s offices – which is right around the time Governors start feeling Presidential – by 2016. To paraphrase Milton Friedman, we’d have Mitt Romney in a position where it is politically profitable for the “wrong [person]” to do the right things.