There – I’ve said it. I think any of the current crop of GOP candidates will be a disaster in November of 2012 if they manage to get the nomination through the existing primary process. All will bring a disaster of intra-party division and civil war, with a some bloc or other of voters staying home.
Let’s look at the options as they now exist.
Mitt Romney (who I’ve implicitly supported in a number of posts and tweets) could win the election if there were a united GOP base, because he could draw Independents and disaffected Democrats. Unfortunately, the base is fractured against Romney – and I don’t see the primary process fixing that.
Newt Gingrich may be the “brain-trust” of the GOP – but he is generally despised by Independents and disaffected Democrats, and many of them would vote for Obama to avoid a Gingrich presidency. Add to that the fact that may establishment figures are averse to supporting him – not just moderates, but even strong conservatives who have worked for and with him over the years – and it is impossible to imagine the man winning in 2012. And then there is the prospect of having Stepford Mistress Callista Gingrich as First Floozy. . .
Ron Paul – Party suicide. ‘Nuff said.
Michelle Bachmann is just out of her depth. Call her Sarah Palin without the public appeal.
Rick Santorum just cannot get any traction. Besides, when the first search results for your name bring up results related to anal sex, you just aren’t a serious candidate.
Rick Perry would be a great candidate if God suddenly afflicted him with muteness. Short of such divine intervention, he’s doomed.
Gary Johnson is a cipher to most inside the GOP, and even more so to the rest of America.
Jon Huntsman would have been a good candidate if he hadn’t gone to work for Obama in 2009. Unfortunately, that leads some to question his party loyalty rather than ascribing his deeds to patriotism – and others question his ethics in planning a challenge to Obama while still working for him.
You see the problem – there is no candidate the GOP can unite behind in this primary process.
I therefore support an outcome that has not been seen in decades – the brokered convention wherein NO CANDIDATE has sufficient delegates to take the nomination on the first ballot, and convention delegates are then free to choose the best available nominee – whether or not that individual is among the crop of candidates that ran in the primaries.
Think about it. Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race early -- could he become a compromise candidate we could all accept? Might Jeb Bush emerge as the GOP standard-bearer, since he is acceptable to all factions? Bobby Jindal? Mitch Daniels? Eric Cantor? Paul Ryan? Or maybe, just maybe, a pair might emerge from among the current crop who could unite the various factions of the GOP together and heal the rifts so that the party can move forward and accomplish that which ought to be the singular goal of all the various interest groups within the GOP – for the good of the nation, guaranteeing that Barack Obama is a one-term president.
UPDATE: Could this be a potential nominee from a brokered convention?