WASHINGTON, November 21, 2013 —The GOP needs to regain the White House in 2016, and despite all of the scandals and lies and ridiculousness that has “plagued” the Obama Administration. it still may be a hard sell. Tea Party Republicans in the Senate have made names for themselves, Rand Paul has the backing of many libertarians, Ted Cruz is seen by many as someone willing to stand up in Washington. But the problem with those candidates is that they are viewed by many in the Democratic voter base as “radical.” With so many Americans relying on government assistance, and so many Americans blaming the Tea Party for everything, it would be difficult for the GOP to sell a swing from a closet socialist masquerading as a democrat, to a closet libertarian masquerading as a Republican.
Much like in Braveheart when Richard the Longshanks has to figure out the right person to treat with the savage William Wallace, the GOP must send the right person to get back into office in a political landscape increasingly divided between Conservative and Progressive.
“Whom do we send…?”
They have to send someone who would appeal to both sides. Someone who has national credibility, and who has the ability to raise money inside and outside the party. He has to attract young people, and he has to have a relatively clean past. Probably has to be from the North, and why not he has to have a personality and magnetism. Make him a Catholic, and you draw away some of the Catholic Democrats. Put that all together, and what would we name that particular cocktail?
The Establishment GOP cannot afford to lose the next Presidential Election, they are seen as business as usual, and often incompetent by their Conservative voting base. They need a win. That does not mean that they think he will be the best President, or that he is the best choice to lead the country, but that Chris Christie is the best hope for a Republican to get elected in this country.
Chris Christie has tremendous appeal to the left. That is why in a deep blue state he enjoys an approval rating of some 62% as of the end of October. Why does he have this appeal? He worked closely with President Obama during the Hurricane Sandy clean up, he put partisan politics aside in an effort to do what he believed was right for his state, and as a result he enjoys wide popularity among the Democrats. He has stated publicly that he is against the sale and ownership of semi-automatic weapons. Christie also opposes “fracking” within New Jersey, making him appeal to environmentalists. But he also was critical of President Obama in terms of education reform, which is enough to show center Republicans that he and President Obama are not lockstep.
So far, there are hints Christie is ready to run.
Getting elected President in 2016 would be very difficult if it appeared that a particular candidate was against gay marriage. Recently, Gov. Christie withdrew his challenge to same sex marriage in New Jersey, which is probably the result of a campaign manager telling him if he wants to be President he cannot stand in the way of gay rights. The same way that someone whispered into Gov. O’Malley’s ear that if he looked strict on guns it would put him on the Presidential radar for the DNC. This may be flimsy evidence to some, but it is a good indication that the Governor is attempting to increase is national standing, and despite the fact that homosexuals make up a small percentage of the population in the United States, a May 2013 Gallup Poll finds that over 50% of Americans support same-sex marriages. Those are numbers that Governor Christie cannot ignore.
Why not someone else? Why not Paul of Kentucky, or Cruz of Texas, or anyone else from the Tea Party?
Because the Republicans need someone they can sell, and they cannot sell Paul or Cruz. This next election will not be about fixing the country, it will not be about grand idealism, it will be about trying to sell people on Republican Lite, before they can sell people on Tea Party Lager
The GOP does not think America is ready for the kind of conservatism that Paul or Cruz bring to the table, they do not think that after such a Progressive President that such a Conservative candidate could beat a Hillary Clinton, a Joe Biden, or a Martin O’Malley. These names are too far to the Right to be viable options when it comes to GOP Establishment thinking. It would be a shock to the American system, to the American voter, to go from a President who drastically expanded the federal government to a President who believed that government was not the answer. The GOP Establishment believes, most likely, that they need to gradually turn the heat up to boil the frog, rather than drop it in at a rolling boil.
Why else would the Establishment GOP be touting Gov. Christie so loud and so early?
Well, probably to head guys like Cruz and Paul off at the pass. The GOP is still plagued with infighting and is suffering an identity crisis, as well as pulling further and further away from their conservative base, them so loudly and resoundingly championing Christie and supporting him in the New Jersey Gubernatorial race is them glaring at the Tea Party and telling them “it’s not your turn, now sit down and be quiet…”
Now whether or not that will work is another issue entirely…
As the Tea Party sees it, and as many Americans see it, it is time for a drastic change. Such a long time under a Progressive, “arguably” socialist, President has fueled bitter opposition to politicians who will seek to expand the federal government and refuse to hold up the Constitution. Men like Paul and Cruz believe that a truly conservative candidate is the only thing that can bring America out of the tailspin towards socialism that President Obama has put us in.
The problem that the Establishment GOP has with these guys is that they don’t play well with others. The Tea Party wants to slash and burn the federal government down to a nice manageable size, bring us back to adherence to the Constitution, and lower taxes. How can that be a “bad” thing?
Well it’s a “bad” thing because the rest of their ideas are hard sells. Both Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are ardent Pro-Life supporters, they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and they believe in slashing entitlement programs. To many center Republicans, and to just about every Democrat, that dog won’t hunt. With state after state coming out in support of same-sex marriage, getting a President elected who opposes such views would be difficult indeed. That is one reason he GOP phoned in support for Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia, and instead pumped money into Christie’s campaign in New Jersey. The Establishment GOP wants to keep the big government party going, they want to keep business as usual, and they want to regain the White House.
If a Tea Party candidate is able to make gains in the national spotlight, and God forbid make it all the way to the White House, the GOP Establishment will see the landscape of their power change under their feet, as the power of the federal government is eroded by a national grassroots effort to combat the destructive policies which 8 years of Progressive socialism has brought us.
So unless the Tea Party and the Establishment GOP can come to some kind of terms, like a Christie/Paul ticket, things are going to get ugly. Both camps will attempt to push their candidate to the foreground in a war which will only further fracture an already divided party, perhaps making a Democratic victory all the easier.
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