GOP Presidential Race 2012

The American Mind with Bill Bennett

Featured image The Claremont Institute’s American Mind series with host Charles Kesler kicks off in earnest with an interview of Bill Bennett. The American Mind seeks to deliver the insights, ideas, and perspectives of our brightest conservative thinkers, writers and political philosophers, in a monthly series of intimate conversations hosted by Professor Kesler, editor of The Claremont Review of Books. We previewed the interview last week with its first segment. The interview »

The American Mind with Bill Bennett

Featured image The Claremont Institute’s American Mind series with host Charles Kesler kicks off in earnest this week with an interview of Bill Bennett. The American Mind seeks to deliver the insights, ideas, and perspectives of our brightest conservative thinkers, writers and political philosophers, in a monthly series of intimate conversations hosted by Charles Kesler, editor of The Claremont Review of Books. The Bennett interview was recorded during the GOP presidential primaries, »

Bush League

Featured image I’ve always liked Jeb Bush.  He was a great governor of Florida, and would likely make a very good president.  He might still have been a contender some day if he hadn’t put his foot in his mouth in the precise fashion he did over the weekend, embracing the stupid liberal talking point that Ronaldus Magnus couldn’t win the Republican nomination today.  Not only that, he complains, Poppy Bush couldn’t »

One less thing to worry about

Featured image Jeb Bush is a sensible guy with an outstanding record as Governor of Florida. And I have no problem with him çlaiming that the current political climate is excessively partisan, particularly since he places much of the blame for this on President Obama. As Bush says, “[Obama's] first year could have been a year of enormous accomplishment had he focused on things where there was more common ground,” but instead »

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and the conservative imagination, Part Two

Featured image In Part One of this series I argued that, in no small measure, Mitt Romney owes his status as his Party’s nominee-to-be to good fortune. His good fortune included the unwillingness of half a dozen or more high-profile and potentially formidable Republicans to enter the race and the inability of Rick Perry, who answered to that description and did enter, to present himself as a credible candidate. In addition, I »

Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and the conservative imagination, Part One

Featured image Last week, with victories in five primaries and Newt Gingrich’s departure from the race, Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination. This means that the Republican standard bearer will be, arguably, the second least consistently conservative of the eight candidates who regularly participated in the presidential debates last year (the others were Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman, and Michele Bachmann). How did this happen? »

Could Newt pull off a Delaware upset?

Featured image Politico breathlessly asks the question and suggests that the answer might be yes: Newt Gingrich has got a new hope: the tiny but dangerous state of Delaware. With Mitt Romney and the national press corps now focused on the general election, Gingrich is hoping to become the Christine O’Donnell of the 2012 race — rallying the state’s conservatives to pull off an upset victory over the more moderate candidate who »

Thoughts On the End of the GOP Presidential Primary Race

Featured image With Rick Santorum’s announcement that he is suspending his campaign, the 2012 Republican presidential nomination process effectively comes to an end. That Mitt Romney came out on top is certainly no upset; as we noted as early as two years ago, and again here and elsewhere, the party has a strong tradition of nominating the next-in-line candidate, and this year, Romney had the best claim to that role. That there »

A Good Night For Romney

Featured image Mitt Romney’s winning margin in Illinois turned out to be a solid twelve points, and he reportedly won at least 41 of the 54 delegates at stake. It strikes me that Romney is coolly and methodically going about the business of winning the GOP nomination. Some are calling on his rivals to stand aside, but I don’t see any reason for them to do so. Rick Santorum sees value in »

How Conservative Is Rick Santorum’s Record?

Featured image Rick Santorum is regarded by many of his supporters as the “real” conservative in the GOP presidential race, and most Democrats pay him the unintended compliment of considering him an arch-conservative. Undoubtedly, Santorum is a conservative of a certain type, but how far to the right was his voting record during the three terms he spent in the United States Senate? To answer this question, I went to the American »

If You Are A Republican, No Need to Panic

Featured image The news this morning is all about Rick Santorum winning the primaries in Mississippi and Alabama, but who won the most delegates yesterday? Mitt Romney did. He added six delegates to his lead, which now stands as follows: Romney: 495 Santorum: 252 Gingrich: 131 Paul: 48 So Romney has won well over half the delegates selected so far. Many observers have lost sight of the fact that the Republican Party »

A Romney-Santorum Ticket?

Featured image I hope not, because I think Santorum would be a drag on Romney, but last night’s results make this a more likely outcome—unless you like this morning’s flyer that Santorum could combine with Gingrich to put a Santorum-Gingrich ticket over the top before the Tampa convention.  Even a Jeb Bush-Sarah Palin ticket (which I like on the merits, but seriously . . .) would do better than Santorum-Gingrich.  But this »

Election News and Blues

Featured image Or should the headline be reversed—blues and news?  Bill Kristol told me yesterday an alarming fact about how dispirited the Republican base is with the whole primary scene (Metro Mitt versus Rural Rick, as Henry Olsen puts it): when Fox News Special Report, their premier news show, leads the top of the show with the Republican nominating contest, viewership plunges.  When they lead with anything else—Iran, the latest Obama perfidy, »

What Might Have Been

Featured image Despite our best efforts, and our considerable heft advantage, neither Jonah Goldberg or I could persuade Governor Mitch Daniels to make a late entry for the GOP nomination.  Maybe next time? »

The Morning After

Featured image Mitt Romney had a good day yesterday, winning primaries or caucuses in six states. Currently, the delegate count stands as follows: Romney — 415 Santorum — 176 Gingrich — 105 Paul — 47 Huntsman — 2 So Romney has won 56% of all of the delegates that have been chosen so far. Normally that would be considered a strong performance, but Mitt struggles to get respect from the commentariat. The »

One less thing for Romney to worry about

Featured image Mitt Romney may be on track for the GOP nomination at the end of a road that is longer than anticipated. After last night’s showing, I think he should probably have a few more worries about his strength as a national GOP candidate. I certainly do. However, our old colleague Paul Mirengoff writes that Romney can take one worry off his plate: I’m baffled by pundits who believe (or at »

Santorum, Obama and CNN Team Up

Featured image CNN is currently headlining: “Ticker: Romney’s Big Stumble.” Wow. What was the big stumble? CNN explains: Mitt Romney’s campaign scrambled to clean up another unforced error by their candidate… Another! Got that? …Wednesday after he came out against a controversial amendment pushed by Senate Republicans that would allow employers to opt out of health care coverage they disagree with on moral grounds. Romney’s statement, which came in an afternoon interview »