My Republican Nominee Prediction

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With Mitt Romney’s endorsement (and push for VP nomination), McCain has really got the Nomination wrapped up–he did before this but now Huckabee really needs to get out.

I predicted from the beginning that Rudy would be the Republican nominee–that didn’t work out exactly.  So what wrong with my prediction?

1)I didn’t know Rudy would run the worst campaign strategy I’ve ever seen basically.

2)The Hamptons police watching his girlfriend on the city dime stories really killed him.  I knew those would come out eventually but I thought it wouldn’t be until a general.

I surmised that the Republicans would have to settle for the best electoral candidate they could which would be one emphasizing national security cred–it just turned out McCain won that battle and not Rudy.  But I think the rationale was vindicated.

I also knew that Fred Thompson would not work as a candidate.  He’s a very interesting and thoughtful guy (politically) but his history in the Senate was one of last in/first out.  You can interpret his run as high-minded–i.e. non-pandering to the media–or lazy or a combination of the two.  But the interpretation seems to me is less important than the end result, he’s not the nominee.

I  knew once Mitt tried to occupy the social conservative space he was a goner. Because he was patently fraudulent as that candidate.  The media focused on his Mormonism, but it wasn’t his Mormonism per se that was the issue with the right-wing evangelicals (although certainly didn’t help); it was much simpler–he was not a born again.

These believers did not rally around George H.W. Bush in 1992 (part of the reason he lost) nor are they behind McCain now.  Both of those men are Christians, but are not of the evangelical variety-a la George W. Bush or Mike Huckabee.  The thing that matters most for those voters is that the candidate is “one of them” and has Jesus in his heart.  A mainline introverted Christian (HW Bush and McCain as classic examples) are not real Christians to these people.  Mormonism is only another variety of not real Christian to these voters–but so are traditional Episcopalians, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Methodists for that matter.

All of which was too bad because I actually think Romney was the most talented and intelligent of the Republican candidates.

So final analysis on my prediction:   right persona/policy, wrong person.

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Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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