Matthew Dowd says it will be Perry vs Obama

Matthew Dowd writes in National Journal that he thinks Perry can get the Republican nomination:

I am not saying that Perry should be selected as the GOP's White House candidate in 2012; I am saying that he has a great shot at being nominated.

Republicans are going to do well -- perhaps very well -- in the midterm elections because voters are frustrated and angry, as evidenced by the passion of the tea party movement. But a number of the tea party favorites are going to lose in November, and Republicans will not be able to get anything done in Washington because, at best, they will have slim majorities in Congress. President Obama will block any attempts to roll back his initiatives.

So voter anger, especially among Republicans, won't go away. It will be like a boiling teapot, and the midterms aren't going to be enough to let the steam out. The pot will continue to boil away, and the steam will look for another place to vent. That opening will be the presidential nominating process.

An interesting, recommended read. I mostly disagree.

Two years is a really long time in politics. Dowd's voter anger continues to boil scenario is possible, but definitely under 50%. 2012 won't be the same political environment as 2010. For one thing, it'll be more partisan, as presidential election years are. Plus, ObamaCare will have lost some of its motivating impact on Republicans.

Secondly, Dowd goes on to argue that all the current Republican possibilities are marred by not speaking passionately about being anti-Washington...except for Sarah Palin. I'm not terribly convinced by this. The campaign hasn't begun yet, so it's a little early to judge whether the message resonates. Sure, there is definitely some message testing going on, especially by Pawlenty and Romney, but no one is out there truly having a sustained dialogue with voters. And, of course, if the political environment changes, then the winning message will probably be a bit different.

Dowd goes on to argue that Perry has a compelling bio, the message, and the practice from running in Texas. True enough, so far as it goes, but beyond some weaknesses Dowd overlooks, more importantly any candidate has to really want to be president. It's a long slog through cold states involving hours spent staring at a wall, phone in hand, asking for money. Perry hasn't particularly shown that he wants to be president enough to do that.

I suppose Perry's public denials wouldn't be that much of an issue. Obama pretty much set the standard by repeatedly saying that he was absolutely not going to run for president at the same time he was planning a presidential bid (see, eg, Game Change. Only in politics do we not call this lying.) On the other hand, it's probably not likely that Perry would get as much of a pass from the press, who won't be nearly as sympathetic to him as they were to primary candidate Obama.

Dowd's column is provoking, but I really don't see it. Not only would I be surprised if Perry ran, I wouldn't rank him as one of the favorites even if I were convinced he was burning to do it.

Posted by Evan @ 10/09/10 07:13 PM


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Only in politics do we not call this lying.

what a great line!

Posted by yara @ 10/09/10 11:17 PM

** An interesting, recommended read. I mostly disagree. **

I'm with you.

Posted by kevin @ 10/10/10 02:09 PM

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