Will Republicans Learn From The Romney/Kerry Problem?
Disclaimer: I’m going to brag a little bit.
I predicted that Romney was the John Kerry of the Republican party in October 2011…
Do know I think Romney will take it and ultimately lose because he’s the John Kerry of the Republican party…only less politically successful…but it’s an interesting trend nonetheless.
And, in a separate post in January of this year, I outlined the similarities…
And how about between 2004 and 2012? Although this time it’s not a comparison between the GOPers, but between Mitt Romney and John Kerry.
- Massachusetts politician
- Super wealthy
- Base isn’t excited about him
- Is seen as a flip-flopper
- Voted for or implemented key policy of opponent. For Kerry it was the Iraq war. For Romney it’s mandated health care.
- Running as the “Anybody But” candidate
Why am I bringing this up? Just want to brag? Of course…not.
No, but here’s the thing…Republicans in 2012 fell into the same trap that Democrats did in 2004. They nominated a guy who was stiff, cold and didn’t stand for much. And Dems did that TWICE. First with Gore in 2000 and then on to Kerry. But then they got wise. Yes, they could have nominated establishment Hillary in 2008…but they didn’t. They went with the wild card. And they have now won big twice.
So…here’s another prediction I’m willing to make. The Republicans are going to make the same mistake in 2016. The name on everybody’s lips right now is Jeb Bush…and barring any craziness…I’m almost certain he will run. He has a much more progressive outlook on immigration reform so he can court the Hispanic vote and he passed a series of health care and tort reforms in Florida that will make the conservative base swoon. Nobody else is in a position like him. But he’s going to lose.
No, he’s no Al Gore or John Kerry. He’s not bloodless. But he’s not exactly charismatic either. Here’s his 2012 RNC speech.
Basically, he won’t be bringing anything new to the table. Republicans need somebody who they can be passionate about. And I’m betting that in 4 years time our economy will be in a much better place and Obama will have passed a number of moderate policy initiatives that neutralize anything that Jeb would want to do to appear more moderate.
So who is the guy? Marco Rubio. He’ll be 45 in 2016 and he has the energy and passion to get the Republicans fired up again. His speech at RNC 2012 was fantastic and it certainly mirrored the response Obama got in 2004. He would have an obvious appeal to the growing Latino base and he has Tea Party bonafides…without coming off as stringent or cloying.
Now, I suppose Jeb Bush could get nominated and pick Rubio as his Veep. Jeb is already on the record as saying Rubio is ready. But that would feel like Biden getting the nomination and having Obama riding shotgun. Just doesn’t excite the collective imagination.
Republicans, you have been warned.