To turn the clock back 10 months
Dabbling in alternate realities
In this political season where we seemed predestined to lose, where we have tasted what it is like to lead, still have a solid hope of pulling off the presidential election, and minimizing congressional losses, I’ve found myself drifting back a few months to our heated candidate comparison during our party’s presidential primaries.
I’d like to preface this by noting that Conservatives lost in the primaries. America’s left party nominated the farthest left candidate they had available. And we nominated arguably the farthest left candidate we had available. Maybe I just miss comparing different candidates who I at least respected, I’d like to speculate where each candidate would be at this point in the campaign and invite some hypothetical discussion to lighten the mood around here. Here’s how I think each candidate would likely be fairing-
Giuliani: Out of our field, I have no doubts that Rudy would have criticized Obama hardest, the loudest, and most importantly, in a way we can relate. Obama would have been forced to fight back and would have likely ended up in a mudslinging heavy campaign (even by today’s standards). Rudy’s success would depend on
1) How successful his attacks stuck to Obama
2) His trust created on economic issues by comparing his mayorship of NYC to his role in the economy as president. Ultimately, would he get the perceived universal Republican blame for our current economic distress.
3) His ability to earn the trust of social conservatives (a Palin VP pick would have been perfect for him).
4) Creating major campaign themes besides his response to 9/11.
Huckabee: Populism vs Populism. Speaking talent vs Speaking talent. To win moderates Huckabee would essentially need to beat Obama at his strengths and his image would be a major role. I’m not confident he could pull it off. For every inch Huck lost on the image battle, he’d need to regain it in the social issues battle. All the while he’d have to somehow comfort the fiscally conservative and constitutional originalist in our midst. I think his success depends on:
1) Image in comparison to Obama’s Image. (Read, cult of personality)
2) Ability to sell the fair tax (I’d be most interested in how this debate goes). This would be his only chance at surviving the current economic crisis.
3) Getting every social conservative in the nation out to vote, and converting moderates to social conservatives.
4) Getting a VP of the Bobby Jindal level to comfort fiscal conservatives.
Paul: (Just because this is a fun alternate reality) Government spending (and size) would be at the center of the debate and the most extreme contrast. The only foreign policy debate would be who is more naive. Obama and Paul Supporters would be having a scream off to see who could yell louder, and spam more political content in wasted bandwidth. Paul could never, in a million years, connect with a huge chunk of the electorate (including moderates). This economic crisis would probably actually work to Paul’s advantage. To Win… well, his only shot would be a sudden die hard love for the inner workings of the constitution from the majority of our country.
Romney: I think Romney would go the exact same way as our brand. He doesn’t have career accomplishments that really make him excellent. He might be fairing better during this economic crisis than McCain. You can bet the campaign would be incredibly negative because Mitt would have very much he could get people excited about. I do think he’d run the best campaign from an executive level. His path to 270 would be
1) A well calculated plan that would indeed understand the exact message and states that it’d require to become president.
2) A revitalization of the Republican brand recognizing that without that he has no shot.
3) Proving major political accomplishments.
Thompson: Gotta save the best for last. I honestly think we call Fred a lousy candidate because he couldn’t stand out in a field of 6+. When narrowed down to one on one, I think he’d be a much better candidate. He could possibly make Barrack’s Image appeal look silly and childish. He would excite every corner of our base for a well funded campaign. I have no idea what Fred could legitimately be attacked for other than being a Republican. To counter that, I think Fred could renew pride in the GOP. His highly principled approach to government would earn trust. His path to victory likely depends solely on his ability to relate with the moderates.
I do hope these guys continue to help the conservative movement. They all have places where we desperately could use them. I can’t wait to hear more about the accomplishment’s of Fred’s PAC. Well, back to spectating reality.