Why I Think Mitt Romney Will Be The Republican Presidential Nominee Next Year
- Republicans tend to nominate the obvious, establishment choice— often the person who unofficially came in second last time. That’s Romney. (This contrasts with Democrats, who tend to favor the upstart challenger, i.e. Obama instead of Clinton.)
- There’s no clear front-runner. When that happens, both major parties tend to default to a well-known, middle-of-the-road candidate who they don’t love, but don’t really hate either (McCain in 2008, Kerry in 2004).
- The competition is weak. Palin is a national punchline who nobody pays attention to except Democrats who make fun of her, and also a terrible candidate who won’t deal well with debates and attack ads during the primary campaign. Gingrich is too unlikeable. Pawlenty is too unknown. Nobody really stands out.
- That’s a lie: Huckabee is the one other person I think has a shot. He also did well last time, he’s more charismatic than Romney, and I think he has the best shot against Obama (although I still think Obama will win). But I don’t think he’s popular enough to become the obvious choice, and if there’s no obvious choice, I still think Romney will be the default.
If I had to guess his running mate: whichever of the lesser-known Republican candidates emerges as the lead conservative, especially in areas where conservatives might not love Romney. Someone youngish, newish, and seemingly a telegenic conservative, like what Dan Quayle was supposed to be before he became a joke. Paul Ryan?
I just stumbled across this post from February 2011 and am reblogging it to gloat about how smart I am.
I knew that I predicted Romney in 2010 and stood by that prediction all the way through, but I honestly did not remember that I predicted Paul Ryan as his running mate in February 2011.
Related: all the pundits that made incorrect predictions about these things have jobs and I don’t.