It looks like Ron Paul is running for President again. Why not? There is no way he can actually get elected, so round #2 is another campaign of ideas hoping to repeat and strengthen the success of round #1.
But if your goal is actually to get elected, and you happen to be a Republican, 2012 might be a bad year for presidential campaigning. Ron Paul notes this point, and it is one I have been thinking about for a while: where are the Republicans? This time last election cycle we had several major names who had already thrown their hats in. I think Republicans are wary because even if they get the nomination, I think it is highly unlikely that anyone beats Obama in 2012. Here’s my 2 main reasons:
1) The economy is doing better. This point cannot be overstated. If the economy does better, Tea Partiers are less excited; there are fewer angry people with time on their hands (not that Tea Partiers are all just a bunch of angry people with time on their hands [but not entirely unlike that either]). If we are on the upswing, people won’t want to mess with that.
2) Obama’s polls don’t reflect his electability. I would say that there are a good 20% of Democrats, probably more like 30%, that are disgusted with Obama. They might “disapprove” in polls, but when it comes around time to vote they sure aren’t going to vote for anyone further right. The truth is that Obama remains a centrist in many ways, and continues to have broad appeal.
Also, keep an eye on Texas this election cycle. It has always been solidly red, but it’s getting less. If a Democrat can win Texas while hanging onto California, the two electoral juggernauts, there’s no way they lose. Why am I talking about this? Texas picked up 4 electoral votes in the last census, and 89% of the population increase was minority growth, mostly in the hispanic community, which voted 63 to 35 for Obama in 2008. Now, Mccain won the state by 11 percentage points in 2008, so there is still a long way to go. Also, there is the question of getting them out to vote. However, if it becomes competitive, if a Republican presidential nominee has to spend time campaigning there, that will be interesting. More interesting: if Republicans nominate a northern, business-savy, slick-haired Mormon, or someone else equally un-Texan, we could have a Democratic realignment.
BTW, I’m giving up on Ayn Rand having become thoroughly disenchanted after about 7 hours of listening to her life and ideas. More to come on that later.
BTW, I got a temp job at Habitat for Humanity until the end of June. Woohoo! But that might mean less blogging.