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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Another Silly Season

There are many “silly seasons” in politics, when either the absence of real news or the devious interests of “sources” create “stories” that aren’t quite legitimate. We’re definitely in a silly season right now when it comes to the 2012 presidential race. It’s still theoretically possible for late entries to get in, and widespread unhappiness with the Republican field has created a ripe environment for completely baseless speculation about this or that possibility.
Fortunately, Dave Weigel of Slate has done a quick rundown of what he calls the “Why the Hell Not?” candidates, including an indication of their possible motives in promoting talk of a run (often a book that needs publicity). His list includes the famous Rep. Paul Ryan, the not-so-famous Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), retread Rudy Giuliani, and Govs. Rick Perry of TX and Rick Scott of FL. Dave clearly doesn’t think any of them are actually going to run, which may underestimate Giuliani’s ego and the vast encouragement currently being given to Perry to jump in.
But maybe we’ll get lucky and none of them will run. Then we won’t have to re-explain why the Republican Party will not in a zillion years nominate a pro-choice pol like Rudy, no matter what else he allegedly brings to the table, and we won’t have to learn to take seriously Rick Perry’s arguments that just getting rid of inconvenient government programs and regulations has made Texas an economic paradise. As a native southerner, I also fear that a Perry candidacy–which would be predicated on the idea that someone from the South has a big natural advantage–would make me long for Haley Barbour as a representative of the region. Better Foghorn Leghorn than “Adios MoFo!”

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