Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
December 10, 2010
POLITICS: An Early 2012 Prediction

If you'll permit me, I'm going to go on record with a very early prediction about 2012. Sarah Palin has an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this morning endorsing Paul Ryan's Roadmap as a good plan for rescuing the nation's fiscal solvency. It's far from the first time that former Gov. Palin has spoken warmly of Congressman Ryan and his ideas.

I have no idea as of yet who is running in 2012 and who isn't, let alone who will be the GOP nominee, and other than being committed to finding a candidate who (1) has executive experience and (2) isn't Romney (not that I'm likely to back Huckabee, either), I haven't settled on a candidate and haven't ruled out any of the remaining contenders.

But I will predict this now: if Sarah Palin is the nominee, she will pick Paul Ryan as her running mate. Ryan has a few things in common with Palin - he's relatively young, telegenic, and a workout fanatic - but my guess is that Palin recognizes that the biggest knock on her is that she's not regarded as a policy-details person, and Ryan of course is precisely that, a sharp communicator with a mastery of the details. While the conventional wisdom goes in one of two directions - either that a running mate would be someone with specific ethnic/regional/religious appeals different from the nominee or that a nominee coming from a governorship would pick a national security heavyweight - my guess is that Palin would look to Ryan as a guy she could see taking the de facto prime minister role of running the legislative and budget agenda, freeing her up to handle the big-picture issues and the Commander-in-Chief role.

UPDATE: Ace, for one, is impressed by Palin's endorsement of the Roadmap.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:59 AM | Politics 2012 | Comments (19) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Wouldn't the ticket run better if it were reversed?

Posted by: Snag at December 10, 2010 10:23 AM

No.

First, running Palin for VP again is a non-starter. Either she's able to set her own agenda and sell people on her qualifications as a stand-alone candidate, or she isn't on the ticket.

Second, you want a #1 with executive experience. Ryan's a great legislator but he's never been in charge of anything.

Posted by: Crank at December 10, 2010 10:25 AM

I don't think Palin runs. I believe she is enjoying the kingmaker role far too much to wade back into public office. Ryan, Pence, Pawlenty all work for me; Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich do not. Palin has the wind at her back in the primaries, but she draws so much rage from Dems I'd hate to see what the the general would look like.

Posted by: Dave at December 10, 2010 10:27 AM

I'd certainly agree that if you think the birthers are crazy, wait until you see Palin's opponents.

I like Pence, but he too has no executive experience, and I'm hearing that he's planning to run for governor of Indiana instead. I'm much more adamant about executive experience after seeing Obama try to govern without it.

I can live with Pawlenty, but at present he's basically my last choice among people I can live with.

Posted by: Crank at December 10, 2010 10:31 AM

Whatever issues I might have had with W, and they were plenty, you can't argue about a lack of experience. He was a two term governor who left his second term to run for, and then become (sort of) the President.

Obama, for example, was a senator, who in the middle of his term, ran for, and then became the President. Community organizing jokes aside, running Wasilla is probably easier than doing ANYTHING in Chicago. But leave that alone.

Palin was the mayor of Wasilla, which honestly means little, then won as Governor of Alaska, and that is a big deal. Really, no jokes. Then after a year and a half, she quit. Not to become a senator, or a president, or community organizer. No, to write (well, have written my guess, book writing is hard) and hawk a book, and to make bucks in appearances. And she proved to be so popular as an Alaskan, that her hand picked candidate as US Senator, who won a primary, actually lost to a write in vote. LOST TO A WRITE IN VOTE. Do you have any idea how improbable, how really impossible that is?

I was raised to believe that the President of the United States was NOT supposed to be one of us, he/she was/is supposed to be damn smart, smarter than the average bear. Because, education as President does count. The amount of reading/or absorption required on a daily basis is massive. Not necessarily an intellectual. Woodrow Wilson was that, and he was a disaster.

Palin is trying to be a Reagan type personality, but Reagan, while not necessarily Oppenheimer or Einstein smart, was people smart, and actually had an innate intelligence, and an ability to NOT quit. That is so important as President, I can't even describe it. I think anyone who seriously believes that Sarah Palin would make a viable President is showing an enormous disrespect for the office.

Posted by: Daryl at December 10, 2010 11:59 AM

Daryl, if she had merely up and quit, that would be a huge mark against Palin. But she was driven out of the governorship by the crazies who field umpteen ethics complaints against her without winning any of them. And, since Alaska law had no provision for picking up the tab in her personal defense, she and her family were stuck with a legal bill that was immense. Add the time and money spent by Alaska to meet the FOI requests of the crazies and both the Palin family and the state were getting zonked. It was in the best interests of both for her to step aside.

Even Palin's stint as mayor of Wasilla required more actual executive experience than anything the perpetually running for office Obama has done.

Regarding her intellect...how do you grade the raising of a family, forming and running a business, exposing and defeating the questionable characters in the establishment of Alaskan politics before she came on the scene? Is it worth more than what Obama learned in his role as a community organizer, as a student at Columbia, as a part time lecturer on the (apparently so easily ignored) Constitution?

As for respect for the office, Palin would be a major step up from the man currently sitting in the Oval Office. The man who was never properly vetted byt the lame stream media and who continues to be a cipher.

Posted by: joated at December 10, 2010 1:28 PM

Joated, I raised a family and run my own business. I have an Ivy League education, and have to run the gauntlet of NYC laws and regulations, which in the real estate business, is like no other in the US. And I'm sure as hell not prepared to be the President. Mayor of Wasilla, BTW, is a part time job, so please don't state how that is something big time. The mayor of my village has to do a lot more, and it's a part time job (the population and budget dwarfs Wasilla).

There have been governors of Alaska before her, and there bill be such after. It's only her that faced this kind of inquiry. Did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, she's been accused for good reasons. Your reasons were the same lame ones that Richard Nixon gave.

Palin's statements have shown that she has either no knowledge or contempt for the Constitution. The very document that is the President's loadstone. the one thing they actually swear to uphold, protect and defend. Those words are supposed to have meaning. So just how is that a step up?

Posted by: daryl at December 10, 2010 2:03 PM

As somebody who is involved in Wisconsin politics and has talked with Paul Ryan personally quite a few times, I think you're overrating whether Ryan would even accept a position as her VP. There's a good chance he runs for Senate in 2012, and he won't want to lose that to go down in flames on a Palin ticket.

Palin is overcompensating because she is seen by people inside the Republican Party as just not that knowledgeable on the issues. Paul Ryan is the biggest wonk and probably the smartest guy in the Republican caucus, so she's trying to attach herself to him.

Personally, I hope Palin does not run, for a variety of reasons. And I think there's a decent chance that she doesn't. The only people who are definitely running for President in 2012, at this point, are Romney, Pawlenty, Thune and Johnson. The others are still on the fence.

Posted by: Jeff W at December 10, 2010 3:00 PM

Really, Crank? Really? Not only did Palin not write that op-ed, I'd bet my bottom dollar that she didn't even read the whole thing.

If someone offers you kool-aid from a large tub, don't drink it.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 10, 2010 3:21 PM

I suppose you believe Obama writes all his own speeches, books, etc.

Of course politician op-eds are not usually authored by the politician, at least not the first draft. But you're the one drinking kool-aid if you insist on taking the extreme view that the op-ed somehow emanates from some source not under Palin's watchful control (it's not as if she has a staff of hundreds under her command).

Posted by: Crank at December 10, 2010 3:24 PM

Crank, it's not that she doesn't believe the position in the op-ed her name was put on, it's that she doesn't understand it. She wants to attach herself to smart, wonky politicians, because it's easier than becoming a smart, wonky politician herself.

I'd be much impressed by seeing her articulate herself, on camera, some good economic policies. Her term as Governor shows that she wasn't much of a fiscal conservative.

Posted by: Jeff W at December 10, 2010 3:43 PM

Good post, Crank, especially the "isn't Romney" comment.

Palin is a considerably brighter and more thoughtful person than most give her credit for, and God knows she wouldn't have made half the mess of the nation Obama already has, even were she as weak as her detractors like to claim. Her main difficulty is a lack of gravitas, and as we use the term today that simply means the *appearance* of seriousness. Look to Obama for the perfect example of gravitas demonstrated by a narcissistic dilettante.

As for alternative running mates, I like Rick Santorum, and have serious doubts about that other prominent wonk, Cantor.

Posted by: Dai Alanye at December 11, 2010 10:57 AM

Is that a joke about a Palin/Santorum ticket? I can't fathom a more toxic ticket. We could have 12% unemployment and a $3 Trillion deficit and Obama would still clear 60% of the vote.

Posted by: Jeff W at December 11, 2010 4:49 PM

Crank,

If Palin were administered a test as to the substance of the Ryan Plan, we would see a repeat of her answer to the Gibson question about the Bush Doctrine. She has not the first clue about what's in it. I can't believe how naive you people are.

Posted by: Magrooder at December 11, 2010 10:20 PM

Magrooder, it's not being naive, it's having different priorities. I happen to think that it's more important for our political leaders to show intelligence and flexibility (I try and see what the really good ones did--like Washington and Lincoln) and not what the right wing seems to go for: idealistic purity.

Reagan and Goldwater are turning over in their graves as we speak.

Posted by: Daryl at December 12, 2010 6:15 PM

Did the President show much gravitas last Friday? ("Um, I have to go. The First Lady is waiting. Um, here's Bill. He'll talk to you.") All jokes aside, the way that happened, and with the way Clinton dazzled, that was so embarrassing for the President. I truly felt bad for the guy.

I think Palin is a bit smarter than people give her credit for; but, she'd get crushed in a general election. Crank, I don't understand why you so quickly dismiss the option of her running as VP again. If she ever wants to be President, being a VP for 4 or 8 years may be the only thing that will make people think she is qualified. That or a few terms as Senator.

I'd like to see Daniels run. He's my pick. But I'm a Hoosier.

Posted by: per14 at December 13, 2010 11:14 AM

Whatever Palin's plans, she should stop appearing with Kate Gosselin if she wants to be President.

Posted by: MVH at December 14, 2010 9:12 PM

WHy should she MVH? I mean the right wing makes fun of Obama for meeting with people like Warren Buffet to discuss the economy. Clearly a family values Presidential candidate would rather meet with an expert in cranking out (sorry Crank, pun only slightly intended) children, and shamelessly exploiting them. I'm waiting for the Octomom photo op.

Posted by: Daryl at December 14, 2010 11:05 PM

Palin would lose big. Way too many people flat out hate her, and another big chunk think she's dumb. Rightly or wrongly, she's not going to be able to overcome that, no matter how much 20% of the voters love her.

Mitch Daniels and/or Chris Christie are the GOP's best bets.

Posted by: Mike at December 17, 2010 11:40 PM
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