Will 2012 Ruin 2016?

In 1996, after Democrat President Bill Clinton had embarked on a regime so liberal that he swept Newt Gingrich and Republicans into power in 1994, it seemed for Republicans that it was Bob Dole’s time. However, with Republicans being frowned upon for shutting down the government and Clinton getting credit for reigning in spending, Bob Dole’s clear path became more and more difficult. It didn’t help that a third party candidate was stealing GOP votes or that Dole showed the charisma and enthusiasm of Fred Thompson at 3 in the afternoon.

In 2012 things may not be so different.

Noemie Emery writes in the Washington Examiner that the class of 2012 for Republican candidates may be the weak link in the GOP ascendancy. CPAC showed just how deep a divide exists between the different brands of Republicanism. None of the current field is an across the board favorite, and as I mentioned last week even Mitt Romney scares some conservatives.

Contrasted with the candidates who could be prominent in 2016, the 2012 class seems dull and divisive. As Emery points out, 2016 could see figures who have emerged as highly popular among conservatives and have already proven themselves as leaders. She mentions Marco Rubio. I would add Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Scott, Chris Christie, Allen West, Mike Pence, Jim DeMint, and Paul Ryan to that list.

Each of these politicians have become rock stars among the conservatives in their constituency and are starting to build national respect.

As wide as the 2012 field appears right now, it may end up being the year of lost potential. Many candidates who could have injected the young vibrancy of the conservative resurgence into 2012 have made other commitments. Mike Pence will likely run for governor of Indiana. Chris Christie is staying put in New Jersey. The candidate who best embodies the conservative values that swept into Congress in 2010 also happens to be one of the most divisive among conservatives in Sarah Palin.

So what about Emery’s suggestion that Republicans would be better off losing in 2012? Honestly I don’t think we can afford to lose in 2012. And when I say we can’t afford it, I don’t just mean the Republican party.

 

Thanks to a friend who posted the Emery article at u4prez.com

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