Monday, November 17, 2008

The Base vs. the Extremists

Distinguishing between the two is going to be a tough choice for Republicans over the next few years. Are the Base all Ann Coulter reading, Rush Limbaugh listening to ideologues who are hell bent on crushing Liberals and Moderates? Or are those who want to see the politics of perpetual belligerence continued and expanded a minority that can be safely ignored?

The key figure in this debate is Sarah Palin. Regardless of how unqualified and incurious she looked to the rest of us, Limbaugh Conservatives clearly love her. The question is are the Limbaugh Conservatives enough to win elections with? I don't know.

I'm not sure American's Republican Governors are sure either; check out this endorsement recorded in Byron York's recent article on the meeting.
“I think Gov. Palin is an extremely talented person, and she’s going to be one of the key voices of the party, for Republicans, for a long time to come,” Pawlenty (Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota) answered. “All I can say is that John McCain made very clear that one of his key criteria for selecting a VP running mate was that that person was ready to be president on day one. So in his judgment, she met that criteria, and he felt strongly about that, and so we’ll have to defer to his judgment and that process.”

It wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement, and none of the others at the table — Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former eBay CEO and top McCain aide Meg Whitman, and former OMB chief Rob Portman — said specifically that they would have been comfortable with Palin as president.

But everyone here knows how she energized a Republican base that had otherwise been lukewarm to John McCain.
I don't know, but I'm starting to suspect that Sarah Palin is going to stay on stage as long as she can; and if that parlays into a run in 2012, well, I'm sure she'd be happy with that.

Whether or not a Palin candidacy would be good for the Republican Party or no, well, I tend to lean towards no.

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