Memorandum to the GOP: When running an election campaign it is often valuable to select a nominee who represents the rank and file of the Party. This is how other Parties do it. Perhaps you might get on board.
Well let’s start with who not to select.
There was George H.W. Bush, who, while a nice, honorable public servant, won primarily because of the record Reagan established. He lost because the rest of us thought that when he mouthed the words “Read my lips, go to Texas,” he meant “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
There was Bob Dole, a very honorable man too, but not exactly full of policies ideas. Or convictions. He’s the guy who thrilled us with the ringing cry: “I’ve never read the Republican platform.”
Then there was the other George Bush, W.
He also is a nice man; a man full of character, but he led the largest expansion of government power since Jimmy Carter and took us into a war that he stubbornly refused to win until he was all out of options. And while there remain good reasons to fight in Iraq, he also refused to tell the rest of the Party what they were. .
W squeaked out the election in 2000, with a Supreme Court ruling necessary to finally seal the deal. Then in 2004, he fought tooth and nail in a close election contest that in some respects the Party still pays for.
That brings us to McCain, who was decidedly not a nice guy. He was really grumpy. He was grumpy to everyone except his opponent. He was very grumpy to his VP choice, Sarah Palin. And did I tell you that he was really nice to his opponent? Because he was. Maybe that’s because many of his policy ideas fit better in the Democrat Party, than they did in the GOP.
Of course he went down to Barack Obama in 2008.
Which bring us to the next “next-guy-in-line,” Mitt Romney.
Mitt too represented the far left of the GOP. But at least he returned us to the tradition of making sure our guy was considered a “nice” guy.