The Week in 2012

HOWARD MEGDAL: Ah, so much to discuss. I guess I’ll stick with Rick Perry for a bit.

Look, I thought it was fairly ludicrous that the New York Times Magazine had a cover story about Jon Huntsman, who cannot win the nomination, but not Perry, who clearly can. But seeming to call for the lynching of Ben Bernanke managed to do something rare: it alienated independents and the monied interests of his party all in one shot.

The implied lynching part isn’t going to help him make the case that he’s electable- the primary advantage he has over Michele Bachmann. And the Wall Street backers who have been sitting on their hands aren’t going to like his vociferous response to a possible QE3 from the Fed- they would like to see the economy improve between now and 2013, whatever it might do for the president’s re-election prospects.

The point is, this will be his roll out now. And in what was otherwise a solid first week, this was the best possible gift to those who would still like to come beat Mitt Romney. No surprise the Paul Ryan discussion quickly followed. And given Ryan’s distinct lack of real prospects, expect the Sarah Palin talk to revive shortly.

CHRIS PUMMER: Maybe someone can get Mike Huckabee on the phone. What? He doesn’t what? Jeb Bush then. He said no, too? There’s a message from Bob Dornan. No, he’s not dead yet.

Despite some candidates taking turns making a few pulses race, there’s still a stiff sort of quality to this field of Republican contenders. Consider the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last weekend.

Romney, the frontrunner, didn’t bother to play. Perry wasn’t in the game, either, having just jumped into the race. No vacuum was filled as folks still seem to be clamoring for someone else, with nobody electable being mentioned for this role. This isn’t because Tim Pawlenty took the emergency exit. And Michele Bachmann, the candidate participating who allegedly has the best chance of winning the GOP nomination, eked out a win against Ron Paul, who nobody expects to win except for the eight percent who will vote for him in the primary anyway.

We’re all losers for having witnessed this.

Sarah Palin didn’t finish with any official vote total. That’s because at an absolute maximum, less than one percent voted for her. Of the 218 “scattered votes” that went to various write-in candidates, we’ll never know just how many Palin had. My guess is she had to split those with John Bolton and Dan Quayle. Rumor has it that Pat Buchanan even set up shop in a trash can behind Thad McCotter’s tent. Fortunately, not many people went to the McCotter tent, so poor Pat suffered a minimal amount of trash thrown on him.

Herman Cain said his fifth-place showing helped boost his fundraising this week. Not all of the money for his plane ticket to the next GOP debate will come out of his pocket. Most of of, but not all of it.

When I saw Jon Huntsman got 69 votes, I thought it was really stupid of the poll organizers to give out ballots to the media. And that a better goof would have been for those beltway reporters to get together and write in Arlen Specter with those ballots instead.

About 16 years in a coma didn’t stop nearly 400 people who woke up just in time to vote for Newt Gingrich, the only name they recognized after losing consciousness in early 1995. They perhaps could be convinced to vote for Specter.

There are no jokes left for Rick Santorum, with his serious intention to pursue this candidacy being a laugher from the beginning.

Richard Nixon was in a way fortunate to be pushed aside in 1964 so Barry Goldwater could take his rump party to the polls in November and get kicked around. Then Tricky Dick came back with a vengeance.

Perhaps a reanimated Nixon is waiting for 2016?


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