Sanctorum Will Have His Revenge

However unenthusiastic some of you may be about the Democratic field for 2016, remember that it could be worse — you could be a Republican. As per this post from Dave Weigel, at Slate:

Politico asks 15 close observers of Republican politics, from former presidential candidates who’ve won primaries (Newt Gingrich) to journalists (Ramesh Ponnuru), what the 2016 field looks like après Chris Christie. Whatever one thinks of Rick Santorum, it’s natural to feel a twinge of sympathy when only two of these people suggest that the 2012 runner-up will even run. (Two of the pundits whiff and don’t mention any candidate.)

Really! In his prediction of who’ll make “the first post-Labor Day 2015 GOP presidential debate, moderated by Megyn Kelly,” Bill Kristol manages to include Joe Scarborough and John Bolton but not Santorum—Santorum, who has never, ever hidden the fact that he wants to run again, and who won five binding primaries and five preference caucuses last time…

… Which, in my opinion, means that the Serious Sensible Republicans and their Media Village enablers (insofar as those are separate groups) would very much like for Rick Santorum to go the fck away. And much as I loathe every image and word from the Pennsyltucky Savonarola, I will nevertheless be pleased when he refuses to bow to their wishes and goes on a prolonged slash-and-burn primary campaign. He’s the face of the ugly, sullen, reactionary id of the GOP, and the longer he’s in the spotlight, the more chances the “low information” quadrennial voters have to see what’s festering behind the media’s happy-face, both-sides facade.

If you have the stomach for it, that Politico article is, in its way, informative. Headlined by “Rick Wilson, Republican message and media strategist”:

Politico Magazine asked some of the smartest and most experienced Republican operatives, pundits and even a former presidential candidate to weigh in on the suddenly unsettled field of 2016 GOP presidential aspirants. Three months ago, this conversation would have sounded like the Republican version of the Hillary chatter we’re hearing on the left today. Most of us would simply have cast Chris Christie as the inevitable nominee-in-waiting. No one can make that argument now, and the continued sell-off of Christie’s political stock has unlocked his formerly rock-solid donor base. It clearly tempts significant players to “buy the lottery ticket,” as Grover Norquist puts it.

If you ask me, Christie is almost dead but too stubborn to lie down. But not all of my Republican colleagues agree. Some of these folks are still Christie fans; some see potential in other favorites like former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, to name a few—and weigh their various strengths, weaknesses and selling propositions. Also making the list are former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan—all with previous experience on the national stage, though with obviously mixed results. Veep wannabe Sarah Palin and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough will get a kick out of being on the list, but almost certainly won’t pull on the snow boots for a trip to Iowa or New Hampshire…

The other respondents are even less coherent; most of them read like they’re scattering business cards at a hiring fair, hoping desperately that if they include enough “strong candidates” someone will call them back. Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol, the man responsible for foisting Sarah Palin on John McCain, smootches “John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Scarborough and Scott Walker” as “the regular season starting nine”. And he’s not even the only one talking up Mike Pence, whose long record of public incompetence rivals Kristol’s own!

The one factor upon which they all agree is how very, very glad they are not to have Hillary Clinton on their team. I believe this is a form of political rhetoric commonly known as “whistling past the graveyard”…

79 replies
  1. 1
    Howard Beale IV says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t mention Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder.

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    Santorum hated sex before hating sex was cool.

  3. 3
    dp says:

    My Governor Jindal has a sad. Not very many mentions of Kenneth the Intern, and one mention says he’s already blown it.

  4. 4
    Ruckus says:

    Ahhh to be a rethuglican now that spring is weeks away. To smell the bullshit in the air that comes from living in a barn during the arrival of spring heat or from the conservative dreamers with a press pass. To sense the wiff of possibility of getting 5% of the vote in a rethuglican primary. To live in the rapture of utter failure due to their own lack of humanity.

  5. 5
    JGabriel says:

    Politico:

    In his prediction of who’ll make “the first post-Labor Day 2015 GOP presidential debate, moderated by Megyn Kelly” …

    I’m guessing the first question of that debate will be, “What color is Santa Claus?”

  6. 6
    Josie says:

    Love the “Pennsyltucky Savonarola.” Thank you, Anne Laurie, for another great phrase, which I am stealing forthwith.

  7. 7
    the Conster says:

    Please oh please let Huckabee and Sanctorum have to duke it out for the South Carolina primary. I’ll need a bigger popcorn bowl.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    Can we have a Hucklebee/Sphinctorum ticket in 2016? Please?

  9. 9
    geg6 says:

    Nothing is more guaranteed to keep PA blue than Ricky “not a resident of PA” Santorum running and so I hope like hell that he runs and wins the nomination. He’d have trouble even winning counties in the Pennsyltucky part of the state. Run, Rick, run!

  10. 10
    Mandalay says:

    Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol, the man responsible for foisting Sarah Palin on John McCain

    Bad enough for the world to know that you have made a really dumb choice. It’s something else again to double down seven years later…

    Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin would prove “formidable” in a 2016 run for president, Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol predicted Thursday.

    “She’s a huge political talent. She has a real populist streak, and a real feel for, sort of, middle America in a way that very few politicians do,” Kristol told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    “The truth is, she might be kind of formidable,” he added.

    I know we kid about our DC betters being detached from reality, but words fail me on this one.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    Somewhat OT. I guess the wingnuts have decided this is a winner for them:

    Senate GOP Firm Against Unemployment Extension

  12. 12
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie @ Top:

    Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol, the man responsible for foisting Sarah Palin on John McCain, smootches “John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Scarborough and Scott Walker” as “the regular season starting nine”

    While reserving the right to change my mind once the primaries are underway, I provisionally declare myself a member of Team Bolton.

    How, I ask you, can a man with such a magnificent mustache possibly lose?

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: Who could have ever guessed that leaving UI extension as an outlier would have led to this outcome?

  14. 14
    jacy says:

    Funny how nobody mentions Bobby Jindal anymore. Or not funny, if you’re stuck in the hellhole of Louisiana. (Which will no doubt soon be welcoming Governor Vitter….. If you ask “What could be worse than Bobby Jindal?” You really don’t want to know the answer.)

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    So help defeat the GOP in November.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    @Mandalay: Actually, I can see her being formidable — to the other GOP candidates, because I’m sure a lot of the morons who vote in the GOP primaries will be happy to vote for her. If she were to get the nom, however, all she’d do is provide the rest of the nation (and world) another opportunity to laugh at her.

  17. 17
    Corner Stone says:

    @JGabriel:

    How, I ask you, can a man with such a magnificent mustache possibly lose?

    He’s like Major Monogram. A mustache that sweet takes some serious manscaping.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Baud: I don’t see a path to gaining seats in the Senate this coming election.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Then let’s try to take back the House.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    @Mandalay: Kristol’s views about Palin shows what he really thinks about American politics. If you think politics is nothing but a big monkey cage and it’s all about who gets starbursts about what– then Palin’s as close as you’re going get to a perfect candidate.

  21. 21
    Eric U. says:

    @jacy: Governor Poopypants is better than Senator Poopypants. I suppose the media would refuse to run ads that talked about his diaper fetish.

  22. 22
    JGabriel says:

    the Conster:

    Please oh please let Huckabee and Sanctorum have to duke it out for the South Carolina primary.

    Man On Dog vs. Man Fries Squirrel!

  23. 23
    IowaOldLady says:

    What about Kasich from Ohio? Kay?

  24. 24
    shelly says:

    Joe Scarborough

    Seriously? Joe ‘Ol’ Squint’ Scarborough?

    The pickings must be mighty lean.

  25. 25
    barbcat says:

    Hillary Clinton could win this thing without opening her mouth. Might even be advisable.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    If Kasich wins reelection and can raise money, he’s running.

  27. 27
    Tokyokie says:

    @JGabriel: Oy. Whereas I think likability in politicians is overrated by pundits, I don’t think DISlikability can be underestimated, and Bolton has dislikability approaching that of Darth Cheney.

  28. 28
    Amir Khalid says:

    The nearest thing to a sane comment is from Tom Ridge, at the very end of the article. Ridge says the Republican party should think more about how it wants its party’s President to govern, and articulate that to the public. Which is, after all, obviously necessary for a decent run at the office.

    I say “the nearest thing to a sane comment” because, as we here all know, that’s damn well not going to happen, with the party so deeply fractured and the radical Tea Party still capable of heading off any approach towards sanity.

    As for the collection of horses’ arses being touted as possibles or likelies for the 2016 nomination: I don’t see anyone with Presidential-level brains, ability or temperament. Most fall very far short.

  29. 29
    piratedan says:

    waiting for the magical balance fairy to tell us why we should take any of these fuckers seriously… and the only thing I can come up with is that somehow, someway, there will be somebody on a ballot with an (R) beside their name and it don’t really matter much who it is. If they’re elected, we’re not gonna like it much.

  30. 30
    gene108 says:

    Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol

    The man did torpedo Clinton’s healthcare plan, which led to the “Gingrich revolution” and which led to Ken Starr’s hounding of President Clinton which led to Bush, Jr.

    He was right for his side once and that did enough damage to last generations.

    I never want him being right again.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    As for the collection of horses’ arses being touted as possibles or likelies for the 2016 nomination: I don’t see anyone with Presidential-level brains, ability or temperament. Most fall very far short.

    That’s never stopped them before.

  32. 32
    WaterGirl says:

    @JGabriel: Ah, sweet memories!

  33. 33
    Teddy Salad says:

    @JGabriel: Mustache? All this time I thought it was a toilet brush. Team Bolton up with any of the other “Kristol Clear” candidates and there will be no way to stop that juggernaut.

  34. 34
    the Conster says:

    @JGabriel:

    The quotes from the campaign trail would be epic. “Binders of women” will seem quaint and enlightened.

    ETA: Which may explain Mitt not going away. He must see the desolate landscape and think the third time is the charm.

  35. 35
    KG says:

    @barbcat: honestly, I suspect Hillary will be much like Mitt, the less she talks the more people will think they like her and the more she talks, the less inclined to like her they’ll be. In essence, they’ll like the idea of Hillary, but not necessarily Hillary herself. Same as was Mitt’s plight.

    As for the GOP race I am staying with Huckabee as next in line. The problem for Huckabee and Santorum is that they could end up splitting the SoCon vote, opening the door for an establishment favored candidate, most likely Jeb(!)

  36. 36
    Suffern ACE says:

    Last night I had dinner at a diner and they had on the Fox News Chris Wallace panel with Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthmmer and some other guy who’ll probably be replaced by James Carville. Basically a bunch of your best and brightest debating whether Obamacare was a failure or the economy a disaster. I could not see interviewing these fools for predictions. I could only walk away with the hope that they will all be dead before there is another Republican president. But sadly, they are all in their 60s and probably will be empaneled permanently for the next 20 years.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ash Can:

    I agree, within the closed universe of the GOP, Sarah is indeed formidable. It’s when she steps in the transporter and comes to our side of the bubble that the fabric of the space-time continuum breaks down and she’s left babbling incoherently on the transporter pad, looking like Draco Malfoy after the DA hexes him on the Hogwarts Express.

  39. 39
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @barbcat: Hillary “hard working white folks” Clinton will never be president. Chris Christie also too. ;)

  40. 40
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @barbcat: Hillary “hard working white folks” Clinton will never be president. Chris Christie also too. ;)

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    What’s with that “Mr. Rosen” crap you pulled. I forgot what blog I was on for a sec.

    I like you, and don’t want to see you banned for excessive civility.

  42. 42
    Mike in NC says:

    I like “Santorum / Scarborough 2016” even though it would make for a long bumper sticker.

  43. 43
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud:

    He’s being civil! Burn him!

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    Sounds like the Tea Party isn’t rolling over in Kentucky eithe:

    Conservatives are bringing out the torches and pitchforks for Mitch McConnell.

    Long-simmering tension between the tea party and Senate minority leader has again risen to the surface as a swath of conservative activists redouble their efforts to help Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin oust McConnell in the Republican primary on May 20, before he even makes it to the general election.

    The lobbying group FreedomWorks, the Jim DeMint-founded Senate Conservatives Fund, the political organization Madison Project and prominent tea party activist Erick Erickson are all trying to tear down McConnell, a 29-year incumbent who is vying to become Senate majority leader next January.

    Rooting for injuries!

  45. 45
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @KG:

    they’ll like the idea of Hillary, but not necessarily Hillary herself

    Same as it ever was.

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    Huntsman looks even better now than 4 years ago. I Wonder if he is running.

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:
    You might be right at that, but she’d still make a far better POTUS than any of the Republican’s likely candidates.

  48. 48
    Eric U. says:

    @Violet: is there a website where we can help fund pitchforks and torches for these people?

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet:

    The lobbying group FreedomWorks, the Jim DeMint-founded Senate Conservatives Fund, the political organization Madison Project and prominent tea party activist Erick Erickson are all trying to tear down McConnell, a 29-year incumbent who is vying to become Senate majority leader next January.

    If only some nominal D moneybags could secretly channel monies to this consortium. Not enough to really grift hardcore off of, but just enough to give Bevin some airtime in KY.

  50. 50
    WereBear says:

    @the Conster: I’ll need a bigger popcorn bowl.

    A Jethro bowl!

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    I always liked the way Charlie Pierce had new ways of calling Mitch Daniels a runt.

  52. 52
    Anoniminous says:

    Corner Stone see Violet.

    While not a clear path at moment the TeaBaggers may clear it out for us.

  53. 53
    barbcat says:

    @KG: I just hope HRC learned a lot from 2008. With all the Clinton-bashing coming from the right, her ability to maintain an even-temper & forgiving attitude (at least during a campaign) would sway so many Clinton-skeptics I know.

    And I worry about Jeb. Despite their glorious incompetence, the GOP tend to end up with the only candidate who could potentially win (McCain, Mittens). God knows how they could win, but this is America.

  54. 54
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Violet: never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake.

  55. 55
    barbcat says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: Never say never. If not her, then who?

    My dream team is Gillibrand/Castro, but I will support HRC if she has shown she is intelligent by learning from her mistakes. What am I saying, if she is the the nominee, I will support her regardless.

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @barbcat: “this is America.” Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and should get it good and hard.

  57. 57
    IowaOldLady says:

    @barbcat: I have no sense of how Jeb would do as a national candidate. Maybe he’ll be like Perry–scary until he starts talking.

  58. 58
    efgoldman says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I don’t see anyone with Presidential-level brains, ability or temperament. Most fall very far short.

    Amazingly, not unlike the most recent GOBP preznit.

  59. 59
    Roger Moore says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Ridge says the Republican party should think more about how it wants its party’s President to govern, and articulate that to the public. Which is, after all, obviously necessary for a decent run at the office.

    There’s a reason they aren’t doing this: honesty would doom them to 1964-like defeat. Their policy preferences are deeply unpopular, even with their own base. The only way the Republicans have a chance on the national level is to avoid at all costs an honest discussion of how they would govern. That leaves them with two realistic options: lie like mad or make the election about everything except the issues. Most of their candidates are going to try a bit of each.

  60. 60
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Amir Khalid: In what respect Charlie? Seriously, this woman wants to be the second coming of the “Iron Lady” aka Margaret Thatcher. She wants to be crowned hence all the bullshit teasing about will she run or not. This woman and her fixers have the audacity to think that we the people will come crawling to her begging her be president. Fuck her. We didn’t need her in 2008, we sure as hell don’t need her now.

  61. 61
    Roger Moore says:

    @Eric U.:

    is there a website where we can help fund pitchforks and torches for these people?

    Let the Koch brothers do it. It’s not like they can’t afford torches and pitchforks for everyone.

  62. 62
    Redshift says:

    @Anybodybuther2016: Yes, just as surely as “you didn’t build that” sank Obama, only 8 years longer to go stake.

  63. 63
    Baud says:

    @Redshift:

    Fuck that guy. It’s one thing to be annoying in opposition to Hillary in the primary, but anyone who doesn’t think the Dem candidate will be preferable to the GOP candidate needs to go fuck himself.

  64. 64
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anoniminous: A little early for me to count out The Turtle. I don’t think Bevin will take him, but maybe he can bloody him up enough to get Grimes a fighting chance to finish strong.
    For the other races, discounting the ones we clearly will not pick up, IMO, we have a possibility at taking GA (R) and teensiest chance of keeping MT (D).
    We have a decent chance at holding AK, AR and maybe LA. All three of these need to do some heavy lifting the next few months.
    We’ll possibly lose WV, IA, and SD.
    If that holds up, it’s a net loss of 2 seats. If by some stretch Grimes takes KY, the best possible outcome, IMO, is a loss of 1 Senate seat.
    And hell, who knows what’s going to happen in NC or MI?

    I see the R’s having 13 locks and the D’s having 5.

  65. 65
    IowaOldLady says:

    I think Bruce Braley will win in Iowa but we don’t know who his opponent will be yet.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @IowaOldLady:

    I have no sense of how Jeb would do as a national candidate. Maybe he’ll be like Perry–scary until he starts talking.

    He is – by far – a better speaker and campaigner than either perry or his brother GWB were.
    Jeb’s problem, beyond his last name and latina wife, is that he stumbles a bit when trying to go far right *enough*. It’s just not in him, IMO.
    Don’t get me wrong, he’s a venal grifter and a thoroughly vicious asshole, but in today’s world that makes him a moderate Republican.
    With Christie being in a seriously damaged position it may very well end up being Mitt v Jeb to take the “electability” argument mantle. I’m actually not counting out Mitt’s superlatively huge ego and unimaginable sense of destiny.
    Look at the clown car trying to bubble up now. If you’re Mitt, do you think Rand Paul can beat you down the stretch? Either Christie comes through his shenannies clean as a whistle and reborn, or it’s Jeb.
    If I’m Mitt, I’m looking for my white horse to saddle up.

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    This woman and her fixers have the audacity to think that we the people will come crawling to her begging her be president.

    And you have proof of this, yes?

  68. 68
    efgoldman says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Fuck her. We didn’t need her in 2008, we sure as hell don’t need her now.

    And if she gets the nomination, who you gonna’ vote for? Nader?

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    In his own mind, maybe.
    In any reality, no.

  70. 70
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @efgoldman: Nader? Bleh.

  71. 71
    Robert Sneddon says:

    @Amir Khalid: The 2008 primary campaign was a perfect demonstration of the DLC’s conviction that she would make a perfect patsy candidate with Bill as co-President to keep her on the right track once she was inevitably esconced in his old Oval Office chair. She may have learned better since then, and if she runs as her own candidate rather than being a “do this, say that” puppet and keeps blundering idiots like Mark Penn well away from her campaign then maybe she can get elected. Dumping the DLC and its money machine means building her own billion-dollar piggy-bank though and that’s not going to be easy. Assuming she gets Obama’s fund-raising machine handed to her as a gift seems to be common currency in the ranks of the Hillary-boosters. I’m not so sure.

  72. 72
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @efgoldman: by the way,I don’t think she’s going to get that far. Bill Clinton is a hard dog to keep on the porch. ;)

  73. 73
    Jeffro says:

    So out of these – Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, and Jeb Bush – who can do the following:
    – speak authentic Tea Party-ese, frequently and fluently, to the base
    – reassure the establishment/money wing of the party that he can conduct himself well when in front of national media/audiences
    – either not have much baggage in the first place, or be able to successfully drop said baggage and get rolling?
    Ask those questions about each candidate (Ted Cruz – yes, no, yes) and it’s a weak field.

    Perhaps more importantly, with the exception of Jindal, it’s once again a white male field. (I think there will be a lot of noise from the MSM and establishment GOP to drag the few prominent Republican women the GOP has – like Ayotte and Haley – into the race, especially with Hillary running. Not actually change anything in regards to all their anti-women views, mind you, but still, Republican window dressing and all that.)

    And perhaps most important of all: none of them will be more than a hair’s worth of difference policy-wise from each other. The only exception to this might be a couple who are pro-immigration-reform or lean that way (Bush, Walker?, Ryan?) and their primary opponents will most likely club them over the head with that.

  74. 74
    Anybodybuther2016 says:

    @Robert Sneddon: she’s not going to get the same amount of financial support as PBO. People don’t like her. How many times did she have to dip into her own bank account to support her campaign?

  75. 75
    Woodrowfan says:

    I went to college with Pence. he was a self-righteous prick even then–dumb as a box of Palins, but thinks he’s smart. He really is a nasty piece of work.

  76. 76
    MikeBoyScout says:

    some of the smartest and most experienced Republican operatives

    They should tour as a comedy act.

  77. 77
    Anoniminous says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Without polling data, knowing who is running and in what electoral environment the only thing one can predict is the more the voter turn out resembles 2010 the better for the GOP, the more it resembles 2012 the better for us. GOTV operations are absolutely crucial to get “to” the latter.

    ETA: I have a hard time seeing the Iowa seat flip.

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anoniminous: Supposedly it is tipping R. I’m not familiar with Braley but that state seems a little nutty sometimes, so who knows anymore?
    There are some races where it does not matter if Jesus H. Christ (D) ran, the percentages would still favor the R.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    @Anybodybuther2016:

    Seriously, this woman wants to be the second coming of the “Iron Lady” aka Margaret Thatcher. She wants to be crowned hence all the bullshit teasing about will she run or not. This woman and her fixers have the audacity to think that we the people will come crawling to her begging her be president. Fuck her. We didn’t need her in 2008, we sure as hell don’t need her now.

    this
    this

    a thousand times this.

    why does it have to be a coronation with her?

    just fucking run and win

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