Friday, September 4, 2015

A Season for Candidates from the Private Sector

What happened to Scott Walker? from the Washington Post
"Walker’s backers see a campaign discombobulated by Trump’s booming popularity and by his provocative language on immigration, China and other issues. They see in Walker a candidate who — in contrast to the discipline he showed in state races — continues to commit unforced errors, either out of lack of preparation or in an attempt to grab for part of the flamboyant businessman’s following."
You know, it is conventional wisdom within the political class that the strongest candidates for the presidency almost always come from governors' offices, not Congress and CERTAINLY not the private sector.  The last private sector candidate to run an even remotely plausible presidential campaign was the GOP's Wendell Willkie in 1940 and FDR beat him handily.  This Republican primary season seems to be turning all that conventional wisdom on its head!  All the governors and former governors are dying in both national and early state polls.  These include Jindall, Christie, Walker, Huckabee, Kasich (who is at least moving upwards in the polls), and Perry.  Another lawmaker, Rand Paul is as dead as the rest of them.  And who is doing well or rising in the polls? The Trumpster, of course.  Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina -- ALL from the private sector!!  Many beltway pundits have stated, implied (or hoped) that if Trump dropped out that his supporters would gravitate towards one of the more reasonable, moderate (read establishment) candidates.  My take on the polling right now is that these folks are deluding themselves.  If you add Trump's Carson's, and Fiorina's numbers together, you have close to a majority of GOP likely primary voters -- and my sense is that these people have HAD IT with Republican lawmakers, governors, etc.  Look back to 2012:  With his eye on the presidency going way back, Mitt Romney had spent decades building a resume of sizable (but traditional) accomplishments -- only to see that, when his time finally came in 2012, he had to run from or be silent about most of those accomplishments (remember Romneycare?)  What we are seeing this season is the next logical step in the fracturing of a deeply alienated Republican Party.  For near half of the Republican electorate, is it possible that holding elective office now is a straight-from-the-gate disqualifier for real consideration?!  We shall see.

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