Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Jumping in Late

Paul Ryan? For president? In 2012? Really?

Not gonna happen. Or at least: there's no precedent for anyone jumping in this late and seriously contesting for the nomination.

Yes, I know that some candidates have declared their candidacy later than this, but Bill Clinton (for example) hardly started running at the last minute. Ryan, as far as I know, has done basically nothing in the way of campaigning so far.

I mean, really: James Pethokoukis has this late entry coming...I don't know, after the Ames straw poll?
But if Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich — maybe Mitch Daniels, too — fail to catch fire, expect the pressure on Ryan to run to rise.
Let me explain something. There are lulls in the presidential nomination process during every cycle, more or less built into the process, but the press on the presidential beat has to keep writing about it. And they're not going to keep writing "Romney and Pawlenty are likely to win, unless Huck or Palin or maybe Daniels becomes a full active candidate" over and over again. So we get wild speculation during the lulls. New candidates! Brokered convention scenarios! Third party candidates!

And then the next round of visible events happens, and one of the boring old candidates "wins" that round, and the press will go all goofy in the knees about how that candidate has "grown" or whatever, and everyone forgets about Paul Ryan or Donald Trump or Colin Powell or Warren Beatty or whoever else was supposedly going to enter and upset everything. Until, of course, the next lull.


  1. Fred Thompson!!!

  2. I don't know if I agree that no one could jump in late. The media meme, backed up by polling and the Trump surge, is widespread dissatisfaction with the field and longing for someone else. Would a Ryan run be appreciably different than Daniels who hasn't really done much? Why couldn't he receive a bath of publicity, encouraged by Obama, and attract donors and grassroots support? And JB, isn't this your same take that RIck Perry could jump in? Is it just the lack of precedence for someone from the House while the last GOP president was a Texas governor? I think the rules have been changed by climate of stronger anti-establishment sentiment in the GOP, the breadth of people getting news off internet, and the phenomenon of more House celebrities like Ryan and Bachmann (both of whom gave a SOTU response!)

    But I think it's less the timing that the fact that Ryan specifically, is political poison. I don't know if anything was better for Democrats than his plan, approved nearly unanimously by the GOP House. I assume the GOP senate is dreading the prospect of Reid bringing it up for a vote. Pawlenty, Daniels and Romney all had warm words for his proposal but will attempt to acrobatically distance themselves from it. It won't change the fact that their first reaction to the plan was not, "Oh God. We can't do this to Medicare." It was: "We're on the same page. He's showing real leadership, blah blah blah"

    Curious to hear JB's take on how much damage the Ryan plan is likely to do to GOP 2012.

  3. Methinks that Paul Ryan in 2012 talk is actually Paul Ryan in 2016 talk.

  4. Thank you Very Much, Mr. Bernstein, you ably describe the corrupted process of the mainstream media. They are so obvious, and unfortunately, so detrimental to any actual political evolution as long as they play these games.

    Until Americans can organize themselves at least as well as Tunisians and Yemenis, we can't escape. I tried to describe a progressive path out of the morass in an article last December, still basically relevant and available at my website.

  5. P-R,

    Yes, it's what the press does...but I disagree that there's really much wrong with it. I'd just warn people not to get carried away with it.


    You never know, but Budget Committee chair, especially one willing to take radical positions, doesn't strike me as a good stepping off point to national politics.


    Yes, I think Perry could still jump in and have a chance, but that's because he could easily raise gazillions of dollars very quickly, and because he's already done a ton of work to position himself on issues relevant to GOP nomination fights. Doesn't mean he'd win, but he'd be a lot closer to hitting the ground running than, say, Ryan.

  6. Perry may be able to raise huge amounts of money but his problem will always be that he looks, speaks and acts just the Oliver Stone/Josh Brolin version of W.

  7. Off topic, your blogroll link to Kevin Drum is to his January 2010 archives.


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