Chris Matthews loves him some political presidential predicting. We are more than two years away from the 2012 presidential election, facing a huge number of issues and challenges to the country immediately, but Tweety declares that we are close to the 'fish or cut bait' time for all Republicans to decide whether or not to challenge Obama for the presidency.
Hooookay. I guess he'd rather we didn't remember that back in 2007 (mind you, only a year from the election), Matthews had decided for all of us that Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton would be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president. How'd that work out for you, Chris?
So it is with a rather large grain of salt that we look at the bobbleheads' choices at the top of the Republican slate, tellingly segregated into the non-secular and Christian Conservative brands. On the non-secular side, we have Mitt Romney (huh?), Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour and Jeb Bush. On the Christian Conservative side, there's Mike Huckabee and the one who sucks the oxygen away from all the others: Sarah Palin.
The general consensus appears to be that if Palin does decide to run, then it's clear that she'll win the nomination. I'm really not sure why these bobbleheads are so convinced of that. Sure, she's good fodder for the 24 hour cable news channels right now, but it's because she doesn't have to be accountable to anything. Despite what Howard Fineman would have you believe, a Twitter account is hardly the benchmark of a good candidate. How well will she fare when she has to give concrete answers to issues and explain exactly what policies she will pursue beyond the jingoistic vagaries she now offers up. "Restoring honor" to America may be good at a tea party rally, but will not sell to a majority of Americans who want to know how you'll bring back jobs. Personally, I think Palin will make all the moves to appear to run for President just to build momentum to keep her at the top of the influential list and keep the money flowing into her coffers. But I can't believe that Palin has any interest in the actual mundane realities of holding office. It's far easier and more lucrative to opine from the sidelines. Watch as she makes motions to run--saying God is calling her to the office, making appearances in Iowa, scaring away some potential rivals with the cult-like adoration of the tea partiers--and then bows out, blaming the "lamestream media" or some other entity, who dare to ask questions or hold her accountable to you know, presidential requirements.
The other potential candidate that tickles Tweety's fancy is Jeb Bush, belying again his inability to consider politics in context. GWB wasn't even out of office yet and historians had already placed his presidency in bottom five of worst presidencies this country has ever seen, and GHWB fared only slightly better, offering up a single undistinguished term. And yet, from this pedigree we're supposed to believe that Americans would embrace a Bush dynasty in office, even though the other media narrative they've been propagating is that Americans are in an anti-incumbent mood and are gravitating to political outsiders? Cognitive dissonance much, Chris?
Bottom line for anyone who actually cares about being accountable for being correct instead of pulling opinions from their posterior, it's much too early to know much less predict the 2012 primary outcome. There are so many possible factors that could or will change.
But that won't stop Tweety & Pals.