And They’re Off! 4 GOPers Make Bid for 2016 Over Mitt’s Still-Warm Body

I’m not really sure why the pundits are wasting time deciding whether Nate Silver is a wizard or a washed out baseball junky. There’s another fairly clear sign that insiders believe Obama will win this election: the number of 2016 GOP contenders who are shifting into campaign mode.

Chris Christie can be forgiven for boosting up Obama’s image as President the last week of the campaign. After all it makes him look Presidential. More importantly, it’ll ensure NJ gets lots of quick federal attention. (Though it did remind me that Christie used his coming out party at Mitt’s RNC to talk about Chris Christie.)

Jeb! was a bit more circumspect, spending a Mitt campaign appearance bitching that Obama blames his brother for … things his brother did.

“His entire strategy is to blame others — starting with my brother, of course,” Bush said during a campaign rally for Mitt Romney in Coral Gables, Fla. “Basically, he blames every possible thing rather than having the humility to be able to reach out and to find common ground.”

But the most amusing bid for the 2016 front-runner position comes from Paul Ryan’s unnamed backers (though Governor Kasich is quoted by name) inventing reasons why Ryan wouldn’t fulfill the other position he’s running for (Congressman)–including that his newfound popularity would fracture the Republican caucus or that Democrats would make him cast difficult votes. So, these anonymous advisors say, Ryan should instead write a book or become a Professor or lobby or think tank.

Anything for an opportunity to make public use of PowerPoint.

That is why some of Ryan’s biggest boosters are considering whether it wouldn’t be better for Ryan to resign from the House. He could write a book — “saving America” is a theme often bandied about — or teach at a university.

After all, on the campaign trail, Ryan is as much lecturer as campaigner. Aides routinely set up giant video screens so Ryan can use visual aids to walk audiences through the minutiae of budget politics. Graphs and charts are as common as yard signs and American flags at some events, with Ryan settling into his role as explainer in chief.

Yet curiously, those aides mention a 2016 Presidential bid at least 4 [Update–oops! 5] times in the article.

…future President Ryan?

…biding his time until a presidential run of his own.

a leading White House contender in 2016…

…forcing him to take sides on measures that could come back to haunt him during a presidential bid.

Ryan’s allies aren’t ruling out a bid for the top spot for their friend.

5 mentions of the next Presidential cycle, about a guy who’s on the ticket for this cycle.

And finally there’s this “accidental” email sent by Newt’s people:

“The truth is, the next election has already been decided. Obama is going to win. It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president,” advertiser Porter Stansberry wrote in the email to Gingrich supporters. “What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.”

You gotta get an early start, I guess, if you’ll be 73 when you run again.

It’s all rather ghoulish, this campaigning to take over Mitt’s position as the party’s standard bearer before the race has even been called.

I don’t feel all that bad for Mitt, though. After all, he has participated in the weird custom of posthumously baptizing people, basically converting people after they’re dead. Republicans, apparently, follow the opposite strategy, burying you while you’re still technically alive.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

13 replies
  1. Philip Munger says:

    ,blockquote>So, these anonymous advisors say, Ryan should instead write a book or become a Professor or lobby or think tank.

    He should definitely quit, make a speech about fish drifting downstream, have someone write a book by him, have a reality show, get that marathon time down below 90 minutes… oh, wait, that didn’t work.

    If Ryan resigns from the House, he will be stuck with the “quitter” label.

  2. Rayne says:

    “Burying you while you’re still technically alive.”

    You mean they treated him like something smelly in the cat box?

    *laughing*

    I think it behooves folks to remember that Christie’s term ends in two years–he’s going to have to run while the clean up is still under way, and he’s still in need of federal help. This ought to be fun to watch; will GOP candidates use him as a punching bag or will they figure out he might be a veep candidate?

  3. OrionATL says:

    “…After all, [mitt] has participated in the weird custom of posthumously baptizing people, basically converting people after they’re dead. Republicans, apparently, follow the opposite strategy, burying you while you’re still technically alive…”**

    that is one sharp political epitaph!

    “though dead, ye may rise again, just not as our presidential candidate. arise then, wilbur golum, and climb the hill of penitence to claim your place in paradise, but not as our presidential candidate.”

    not that i like, follow, or understand this realm – the realm of hands-on, hard-knuckles politics. the realm of tilted polls, specious, lying ads, foolish, bought-and-paid-for,pundits, dumb-as-a-stump reporters, and stone-ignorant voters,

    but to my lyin’ eyes, the first sign that romney was toast, or post, was the sudden departure of co-chair and former republican governor minnesotan tim pawlenty (about whose family i seem to recall sara gave us an interesting mini-lecture one time long ago).

    **could not posthumous baptizing be thought of a form of voter fraud?

  4. Petrocelli says:

    “I don’t feel all that bad for Mitt, though. After all, he has participated in the weird custom of posthumously baptizing people, basically converting people after they’re dead. Republicans, apparently, follow the opposite strategy, burying you while you’re still technically alive.” – the incomparable Marcy Wheeler

    Truly brilliant writing !

  5. angry bitter drunk says:

    This is a good companion piece to Nate Silver mocking the pundits for not being able to figure out who will win because both campaigns are saying they’ll win. From this we learn that even when the pundits get a clear message — as with Ryan’s surrogates chattering about ’16 — they can’t put 2 and 2 together.

    I still wonder though whether Marcy or Silver are taking the voting machines into account…

  6. Phil Perspective says:

    @P J Evans: Has anyone polled Ryan’s House district? Before redistricting, it was a district Obama won in ’08. While the WI GOP improved things for the Zombie-eyed Granny-starver, they didn’t make it that much better. And Ryan has a serious challenger for once.

  7. 4jkb4ia says:

    None of this means that they think for certain that Romney is going to lose. It means that no one knows who is going to win so they are not really caring about currying favor with Romney right now/doing contingency planning.

    @allan: Hillsdale College! It is the next state over. Claremont McKenna is another possibility, or Ave Maria (IIRC), wherever Bork is the law school dean.

    No more need be said to defend Nate than what he said himself–you don’t need fancy analysis to say that Obama is leading in Ohio by 2/3 points, and the Romney campaign has nothing to replace it with. Any of the advisors to these 4 people can see that for themselves.

Comments are closed.