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Friday Line: Ten Republicans To Watch

Republicans continue to search for the right spokesman (or spokeswoman) to effectively counter President Obama's message machine.

Friday Line

As we wrote earlier this week, the lack of an obvious counter to Obama allows controversial (and divisive) figures like former vice president Dick Cheney and conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh to fill the void -- often to the detriment of the party's future goals.

Nonetheless, a variety of influential Republicans are jockeying to steer the the party in their preferred direction in advance of the 2010 and 2012 elections. Below we've ranked the ten individuals currently exerting the most power over the party's message and direction.

Agree or disagree with our picks? Have a line of your own? The comments section awaits.

To the Line!

10. Jon Huntsman/Bobby Jindal: These two governors -- Huntsman of Utah and Jindal of Louisiana -- are on different paths on the Line. Huntsman is moving up thanks to his move to claim the moderate middle and his innovative policy proposals -- particularly on health care. Jindal is falling out of the limelight of late after scalding reviews of his Republican response to the president's address to Congress. Jindal's political inner circle isn't likely too upset about the spotlight moving off of him -- recognizing that its impossible to do any governance with every action being analyzed for 2012 implications. (Previous rankings: Huntsman N/A, Jindal 7)

9. Michael Steele: The Republican National Committee chairman struggled mightily in his first month in office -- the result of a series of self-inflicted public relations wounds. The last week (or so) has been better for Steele as he has rolled out a series of senior staff hires (including the widely-liked Gentry Collins as political director) and put together a respectable -- if not spectacular -- first month of fundraising. Expect Steele to work far more behind the scenes for the next few months, knowing that another high-profile slip-up could cost him his job. (Previous ranking: 3)

8. Eric Cantor: If there was any doubt that the Virginia Republican is gaining some national traction, a series of robocalls and television ads funded by Democrats that use Cantor as a punching bag should correct that impression. Why isn't Cantor higher on the Line? He's a member of the House minority and, as such, has extremely limited power to drive the ideas debate for his party. (Previous ranking: 8)

7. Tim Pawlenty: T-Paw, the governor of Minnesota, continues to stay out of the national limelight but watch for him to ramp up his national profile in the early summer. Pawlenty also has to make a decision about whether or not to seek a third term in 2010 after winning in 2006 with just 47 percent. A loss would likely close out his presidential prospects, a fact that leads us to believe Pawlenty will retire to focus on building a national organization rather than risk his political future on a single statewide race. (Previous ranking: 6)

6. Rush Limbaugh: Limbaugh's keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Convention last month re-inserted him at the heart of the national political debate as Democrats seized on (and wouldn't let go of) his comment that he wanted President Obama to "fail." The attention Limbaugh has drawn over the first three months of the Obama Administration has raised his profile significantly (a Pew poll showed him as the second most recognizable leader of the GOP behind only Sen. John McCain). That raised visibility is great for Limbaugh but far less beneficial for the GOP. (Previous ranking: 10)

5. Sarah Palin: The Alaska governor drops from the top spot in the latest Line after the press debacle that followed what should have been a great story for her: that she was coming to Washington to headline a House-Senate fundraising dinner. The episode suggested a disconnect between her growing political operation in Washington and her official office in Anchorage that needs to be fixed and fixed quickly. (Previous ranking: 1)

4. Mark Sanford: The back and forth between national Democrats, who funded an ad attacking the South Carolina governor for rejecting some of the stimulus money, has nothing but upside for Sanford. It elevates him in the eyes of Republican primary voters and reaffirms Sanford as the unapologetic voice of true fiscal conservatives. Of Sanford, one senior Republican source said: "He's becoming an establishment [Texas Rep.] Ron Paul who may end up being exactly right on the economy." (Previous ranking: 9)

3. Newt Gingrich: Without an obvious party leader, a number of smart strategists believe Republicans will have to coalesce around a series of ideas on which the eventual presidential nominee will run in 2012. There is no better "ideas guy" in the GOP than the former Speaker of the House. Gingrich is largely staying out of the public eye but is advising a number of candidates and campaigns on issues and how to best talk about them. (Previous ranking: 9)

2. Haley Barbour: The governor of Mississippi is the biggest -- and most influential -- behind the scenes player in the party. Barbour will not only deliver the Republican response tomorrow to President Obama's weekly address but also is poised to chair the Republican Governors Association in 2010 when 36 governors races present an opportunity for the GOP to begin their long climb back to majority status. (Previous ranking: 4)

1. Mitt Romney: No one is doing more -- publicly and privately -- to claim control of the Republican party than Romney. Witness the nearly $600,000 he has raised through his Free and Strong America PAC so far in 2009 and his regular television turns including an appearance on "Larry King Live" last night in which Romney insisted that Obama is "not experienced in the matters that we're dealing with right now." The more ascendant the economy is as an issue, the more people within the GOP will turn to Romney as their most credible national voice. (Previous ranking: 2)

By Chris Cillizza  |  March 20, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Next: White House Cheat Sheet: Geithner, Take Two


Serious problem here in that 99% of those posting on subject of choice for leadership of Republican party clearly reveal that they are irrelevant to this issue because they are leftist Democrats who hate everything the Republican party or anyone in it stand for.

When is last time Washington Post [or MSNBC, etc.] actually supported a conservative or Republican for national office?

Even left-leading NY Times "calumnist" and Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman, not to mention Nobel laureate Stiglitz, etc., have now stated publicly that Obama's & his Treasury secretary Geithner's plan for supposedly dealing with the huge pile of securitized "liar loans" etc. [creatures of Clinton-era law] on banks' books by selling them off to political pets who will be provided the money to buy them at discount by the government is a formula for more trouble. Obama & Co. just announced they didn't know anything about Democrat Congress explicitly approving the AIG bonuses paid with public money until months after this passed and until after these were paid to the people who made the mess. Even VP Biden says his President, Obama, has spending and deficits out of control. Give that team a term or two, the truth will come out, and the Democrats won't be able to get anyone elected President.

My nomination for the Most Valuable Player on the GOP Team would be Obama, with several other leading Democrats up for Best Supporting Players. Sen. Dodd is running hard for runner-up MVP.

I think i'd be sorely tempted to leave any leading candidates from the Senate in place given the current numbers. Gingrich is shaping up as one top Idea Guy.

Who remembers who was National GOP or Democratic Chair when most of the time. dOnly way to run form there would be to regain solid control of both houses of Congress.

Posted by: peterschamberlain | March 25, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Fedup must be a Democrat or one of those
who want more free money that the Gov . wisely refused from the stimulus wonder he doesn't like Jindel.I bet he LOVES Mary
The Governor is knocking himself out,bringing jobs & keeping business in LA.
He also was fantastic during the last hurricane.
He may not be the orator that Obama is ,
but considering what we ended up with,
that is not such a bad deal.

Posted by: blakely1 | March 24, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at the thought that Gov. Jindal and Gov. Palin are still in the top ten.

On a different blog site, I made aware of the fact that Gov. Jindal was against volcano monitoring funds from this stimulus package,though now it appears Mt Redoubt is about to blow in Alaska, and Palin was against the stimulus package as well, though it has billions of dollars for special needs children, something she found time to correct the President when he made a gaffe on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

Both of them are as short sighted as two people could be, though Palin can see Russia from her porch.

Posted by: q_jordon | March 24, 2009 5:03 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at the thought that Gov. Jindal and Gov. Palin are still in the top ten.

On a different blog site, I made aware of the fact that Gov. Jindal was against volcano monitoring funds from this stimulus package,though now it appears Mt Redoubt is about to blow in Alaska, and Palin was against the stimulus package as well, though it has billions of dollars for special needs children, something she found time to correct the President when he made a gaffe on Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

Both of them are as short sighted as two people could be, though Palin can see Russia from her porch.

Posted by: q_jordon | March 24, 2009 5:03 AM | Report abuse

I'm kind of surprised that Mike Huckabee didn't make the list. I think he would do better than some mentioned here. I don't like his religious bigotry, but on most other things I think I would vote for him over almost any Dumbocrat.

Posted by: rebart1 | March 24, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

80% of the new jobs in U.S. have been created in texas over the last year,so i say gov. rick perry should be on the list. he has been a vocal critic of the stimulis package as well. texas has run a surplus on its budget,while other states have been begging washington for $.he has taken a tough stand on illegal immigration criticizing even the bush administration,his response to huricanes rita @ dolly were the stuff chief executives are supposed to do! perry 2012!

Posted by: patriciawatts531 | March 23, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

Jindal, Louisiana Governor, may be perfect for this list. Although these are all pretty lame with a couple of exceptions Jindal has been an complete failure as governor. He has spent the entire time he should be working as LA's governor running up expenses as he races around the country. The man is so ambitious he doesn't realize how he has repulsed the people of his own state. We don't have a governor.

Posted by: fedup11 | March 23, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

I love this group. No honor among this list. No one on this list represents the general public just the party and the party should look at the last two elections and see the people will no longer be fooled.

Posted by: SWAMPYPD | March 23, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

My gracious sakes alive! It is most apparent that the prime difference between conservatives and liberals, is that the liberals truly enjoy their deep seated hatred for the rest of the country.

Just look at the nonsensical comments in this forum.

Posted by: BobBumleg | March 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I was beggining to think Romney was going to just run way out in front before 2012 after Jindals poor performance last month but here comes Sanford. If he plays the whole Ron Paul angle right it could make for an interesting run.

Posted by: ohjamboree | March 23, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I would have liked to have seen our governor Mitch Daniels on the list. Perhaps, it's because he has taken himself off the list of potential presidential hopefuls. I dunno. He's been one of Indiana's best governors in my lifetime.

As an independent, I really am not interested in the more rigid partisan types, be it Republican or Democrat, I want someone who is more interested in fixing this country than kissing up to the party faithful.

Hopefully, Rush and Sarah Palin and their ilk will fade into the background. They only serve to divide us.

Posted by: joanne11 | March 23, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

In looking over this list of top ten Republicans, I am persuaded that the G.O.P. should disband and dissolve now to prevent the further sullying of its former good name. It is amazing how completely a national political party can morph from a rational, even progressive, element in the national political arena to a regressive, pro-fundamentalist religion hostage. To align oneself with fundamentalist religion of any stripe is to take a firm stand against science and humanitarianism. In other words, it is to do battle with rationality and compassion. The mentality of the literal Bible reading fundamentalists in Texas or Louisiana (or wherever)is essentailly the same as that of the cave-dwelling psychopaths in Waziristan. They all occupy caves of one sort or another.

Posted by: Wydsyth | March 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are party voters so it really wouldn't matter to them one way or another who was the nominee. If they would do their home work with an open mind their party would be made up of a bunch of tongue flappers. That might at least lean them toward being an independent voter. Which in my case means the candidate with the best line for the advancement of the country. That doesn't include fake religion and war. Or so called patriots with foreign interest.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | March 23, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't kind_of_zouk on the list? I thought he'd be at least in the top five.

Posted by: nodebris | March 23, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Haley Barbour: The governor of Mississippi is the biggest -- and most influential -- behind the scenes player in the party. Barbour - as governor of Mississippi -
can any of you reporters note all the accomplishments he has achieved as Governor.

What is his grade, as governor?
Or Sanford's grade?

Influential to what?

Can you or any of the media, ask a question for accomplishments and accountablitly for the promises made?
Can you do that ---?

Posted by: sasha2008 | March 23, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Incidentally, Gallup has Obama in the mid 60's

Posted by: DDAWD | March 23, 2009 4:27 AM | Report abuse

More hilarity:

Of course, spending hypocrisy is nothing new for Hoekstra and Diaz-Balart. During the stimulus fight, both railed against the plan before taking credit for the local projects it would bring to their districts:

– Hoekstra attacked the stimulus as a wasteful “spending spree“. Three days later, he touted the plan’s subsidies for new home-buyers, exclaiming, “Stimulus incentive is very generous!“.

– Diaz-Balart declared those who supported the stimulus would be “embarrassed” because “it’s not going to help the economy.” Two days later, he signed a letter asking for immediate access to the stimulus cash for Florida, calling the stimulus funding “critical” and “vital”. “Now more than ever, we must invest in our state’s future,” the letter concluded.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen is completely in the bag for Rs. You can't trust a stat they put out. They are always waaaaay out of synch with every other poll.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

ATTENTION: Rahm Emanuel, WH Chief of Staff; David Axelrod, senior advisor (please forward)

It is a known scientific fact that radiation emanating from electromagnetic fields (or electromagnetic-emitting devices) can cause headaches, mood and behavioral changes, even adverse physical effects such as the induction of injury or illness.

Is it possible that high-tech communications (or security protection) devices or weaponry in the vicinity of POTUS and/or other high officials of government are causing physiological effects that could be affecting their sense of well-being -- perhaps even endangering their health?

Given the advanced state of White House telecommunications and security technology, President Obama and his key staff should commission an independent scientific field study to assess the presence and potential health hazards of both prolonged and pulsed-beam microwave radiation in and around the environment of high government officials.

OR (if links are corrupted or disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Obama's TelePrompTer is reported down. Biden is being sworn in as temporary head of state until it can be fixed.

Empty head or empty suit. Like it matters.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I got my BHO approval numbers from Daily Kos. Rasmussen is extremely agenda driven and hardly a legit source.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 22, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I got my numbers from Rasmussen. Baghdad joe gets his from the same source as al gore gets his warming numbers, geithner gets his defecit numbers, peloony gets her immigration numbers, acorn gets it's census numbers, unions get thier profit numbers, aig gets it's bonus numbers, you get the idea- fantasyland.

Todays messiah numbers- 56/45. Worse than bush 100 days in. Watch out jimmy- worst ever title in jeopardy.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

"King" wrote: "Baghdad bob. I mean broadway joe can't see the nose on his own face. Obama's ratings are already sunk into the 50s with nagatives in the 40s."

King, I hate to confuse you with facts, but here goes:

As of today, BHO's approval rating is at 67%. He won 53% of the vote so his "approval" has gone up 14% since January 20. Notwithstanding the haters' and bloviators' picking at BHO, the Nation is with him in his fight to correct the abuses and corruption of the last decade. You and Rush ("I hope Obama fails") Limbaugh are not with him but that's, as they say, a personal problem.

To fully understand the corporate/military system that 44 is up against, read Howard Zinn's "People's History of the United States." As Matt Damon said in "Good Will Hunting," it will "knock our socks off."

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 22, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

It has revealed that when Obama added up his budget numbers he got(in trillions). 3 plus 3 equals 4. Lib math in action.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Everytime a dem "solution" comes out I get a big laugh. The newest is the public investment group. How appropriate for the fat beasts feeding at the public trough to have that acronym -PIG

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

It isn’t just DougJ. I simply can not take any more of this narcissistic self-referential babble about the nature of conservatism:
Conservatism is “formless” like water: it takes the shape of its conditions, but always remains the same. This is why Russell Kirk calls conservatism the “negation of ideology” in The Politics of Prudence. It is precisely the formlessness of conservatism which gives it its vitality. Left alone, the spirit of conservatism is essentially what T.S. Eliot calls the “stillness between two waves of the sea” in “Little Gidding” of his Four Quartets. Conservatism is both like water and the stillness between the waves—the waves are not the water acting, but being acted upon; stillness is the default state of conservatism:'

I am so sick and tired of these “esoteric” discussions about the flawless, formless, and timeless beauty of conservatism. It is utter nonsense. We got unchecked “conservatism” the past eight years, and instead of water, it felt more like urine, as they pissed all over us. Conservatism brought us an expanded surveillance state, intervention into a man’s marriage, unchecked budgets, war of aggression, torture, a rejection and mockery of both science and the rule of law, the unchecked executive branch, and on and on and on. The conservative standard bearers are now Sarah Palin and Eric Cantor and Rush Limbaugh and Joe the Plumber.

After getting hammered in two national elections, the rehabilitation of conservatism takes the form of these flowery paeans about the timeless wisdom of an ideology that is the “negation of ideology.” What a load of gibberish.

At what point will these clowns realize that they sound like the Soviet apologists in the late 80’s and 90’s who wanted to tell us that communism didn’t fail, it just wasn’t properly implemented?"

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

'visiting day at the rubber room'

yes, on this blog where you post 300 times every day. what a wasted life.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

We all knew zouky loves spending, waste, fraud, corruption and rewarding incompetance, or he wouldn't have been so totally in lov with George W. Bush.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

It seems the moonbats are all in for kooky economics. We have to destroy the economy to save it.

We all knew libs love spending, waste, fraud, corruption and rewarding incompetance, but never on this scale.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

visiting day at the rubber room. Drivl is out of it's cage.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Put on a funny nose and clown shoes, you can be a republican too:

their own districts funded by the measures.

"Washington needs to stop spending money that it doesn't have," Michigan Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra said in attacking the $410 billion omnibus-spending bill, which funds the government through September. But once it passed, he touted its benefits for his district, which stretches along Lake Michigan.

"Safe and navigable harbors are economic engines that drive the communities that surround them," Mr. Hoekstra declared, announcing $3 million for harbor improvements."

Can you say hypocrite? Hilarious.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

And here's another superstar, Michael Steele:

"LITTLETON, Colo. - Republicans better stop whining and start thinking of new electoral strategies to return to prominence, the new head of the Republican National Committee said Friday.

"I’m tired of seeing the same old, same old," RNC Chairman Michael Steele told about 750 Republicans at a party dinner in suburban Denver. "I’m tired of hearing the same old arguments. I’m tired of hearing the complaining."

Steele, who took the helm of the GOP at the beginning of the year, said Republicans must stop complaining about ruling Democrats if they are to recover with voters.

"If you want to complain and moan and groan about everything going on," Steele said, "there’s the door."

Steele was frank about why Republicans did so badly in elections nationwide last fall.

"We started drinking from that wonderful Potomac River" when in charge of Congress and the White House, Steele joked. "We got that Potomac fever, and we lost our minds."

The results were punishing losses nationwide last year."

Hey zouk, the head of your party just showed you the door. As he said Y'all have been drinking Potomac River water along with your koolaid, and you've all lost your minds.

I couldn't have put it better myself. Nation to republicans -- stop whining and try to recover your sanity, if you ever had any.

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Here's your Sarah Palin, a perfect symbol for the GOP -- an ethically challenged deadbeat:

"The Anchorage Daily News reports that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) owes more than half a million dollars “to an Anchorage law firm that has defended her against ethics complaints, and she may create a legal fund to pay the bill.”

Posted by: drindl | March 22, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Baghdad bob. I mean broadway joe can't see the nose on his own face. Obama's ratings are already sunk into the 50s with nagatives in the 40s. While he jets around making appearances and acting all Hollywood, peloony is charging toward socialism and massive blundering incompetence and failure. Everyone knows he is over his head except it seems Baghdad joe.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 22, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Add to Loser list: Kathleen Parker

Another bigoted anti-BHO hate blast from Parker today in the Post. What's new.

Last time we checked in, she was defending a racist NY Post cartoon that depicted our 44th President as a rabid chimp. Before that WashPo printed her idiotic "Gone With the Wind"-sounding ode to her black nanny that would have made Strom Thurmond flinch.

Do the editors of the Post understand that editorial "balance" does not mean thoughtful, good faith opeds must be "balanced" by mean-spirited bigoted ones from the likes of Parker?

Polls show 70% of Americans believe BHO is doing a fine job -- in 40 days -- cleaning up the messes built up over a decade. Sorry that doesn't fit the "I hope Obama fails" Limbaugh/Parker agenda.

WashPo, we deserve better.

PRIVATE NOTE to "King": your mom wants you to make up your bed before you come upstairs from the basement.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 22, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Ridiculous that a partisan Democrat supporter, cheerleader, and lapdog like Cillizza should "report" on Republicans. He should go back to what he does best and kiss Obama's behind.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | March 22, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse


Do something -- tell your story to the American Civil Liberties Union (link below).

And read in the "comments" section the ongoing account of a journalist in search of his First Amendment rights.

Then demand that ACLU renew its free speech fight by filing a class-action suit against unconstitutional, rogue government surveillance operations.



The commentary I attempted to post a couple of minutes ago to the "44" blog elicited a "held for blog owner" message -- even though only foul language causes posts here to be rejected.

I believe this is blatant, flagrant prior restraint/censorship of political speech on the web by rogue government surveillance "fusion center" operatives.

This week, I first learned of a Bush-Cheney "doctrine" of "ideological exclusion" -- apparently used to bar political "activists" from abroad from visiting the United States.

Now I am wondering if authoritarians within the bureaucracy are using this doctrine to censor political speech in this country.

Please visit the "Free Speech: Internet Filters" thread of and join the fight to RESTORE FREE SPEECH IN AMERICA. The link is posted above. Or try: RE: "Free Speech," "internet filters" thread.

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 21, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

word is getting out. President Paris Hilton would rather make appearances than actually do any real work. His meme is becoming: over his head. Easily predicted by any thinking person-aka non libs.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 21, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

oh Iran, please, pretty please like us. We will do anything and I barry, will give discounted speeches. I am very thin skinned and can't stand being disliked. I will close down the military if that will help.


Barry hussain.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 21, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Comrade Rush is waiting for your grovel, Comrade Tedisco, there you go, that's a good little syncophant...

"There really is no dismissing Rush Limbaugh, is there? Earlier today, in the special election for Kirsten Gillibrand's old House seat, Republican candidate Jim Tedisco declared that "Rush Limbaugh is meaningless to me."

Now, Tedisco's campaign has released a statement clarifying what he meant:

"Jim's comments were in response to a question about what voters are asking him about on the campaign trail. So far, the concerns he has been hearing from voters on the campaign trail have been local in nature, such as his support for lower property taxes, fiscal responsibility, and his opponent's appalling support for the AIG bonus loophole. That was his point and any effort to characterize it otherwise is a distortion of the facts."
Late Update: The DCCC's statement ridiculing Tedisco is available after the jump.

Tedisco to Rush Limbaugh: I'm sorry!

Add career Albany politician Jim Tedisco to the list of spineless Republicans who can't stand up to their leader - Rush Limbaugh. Just hours after it was reported that Tedisco said, "Rush Limbaugh is meaningless to me," Tedisco quickly apologized to the de facto Republican leader. Tedisco follows in a long line of Washington Republicans who are too afraid to stand up to Rush Limbaugh.

"It's just like Jim Tedisco, a career Albany politician, to talk tough and then whimper an apology to Rush Limbaugh even though Limbaugh wants President Obama to fail during America's economic crisis," said Jennifer Crider, Communications Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Tedisco once again showed his true colors: he won't stand up to Republican leader Rush Limbaugh, he certainly won't stand up for Upstate families worried about keeping their j

Posted by: drindl | March 21, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

for comparison let's take a look at the leading libs:
frank, dodd, peloony, schumer, wrangle, murtha, Reid, Obama, and last but not stupidest- the dunderhead vp.

Barnum and bailey must be wintering. Not an iq over 50 in the bunch.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 21, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

These folks are riding the wave of the Rovian Dark Arts, fueled by a mob mentality media. .....................

Posted by: glclark4750 | March 21, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Re: Cantor. Empty suit, as proven in his responses to Lawrence O'Donnell on Morning Joe this week. I'm sure he loves the attention,and he dresses nicely, but there's no there there.

Posted by: Rivery | March 21, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Axelrod and company must sit up nights thanking their maker for this list of Republicans. They have been blessed with a competing party that is almost totally lacking in talent and good character (but is full of characters). Congratulations to the Democrats - in advance.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 21, 2009 7:18 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is such a disaster area that only three GOPers deserve any mention.

One is Huntsman, who is darting toward the middle even though he is from a very conservative state.

Two is Gov. Jodi Rell of Connecticut. The state is a mess right now but she hasn't taken much of the blame (yet), and if she runs and wins reelection in 2010, I'd say it's a decent bet she runs for Senate in 2012, especially if Lieberman retires or the Democratic Party refuses to nominate him (he's done a decent job to make amends, and would retire before losing another primary or run as another independent). A Rell/Rep. Chris Murphy or Rell/Attorney General Richard Blumenthal Senate race in 2012 would be one for the ages.

Three is Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood. He is actually championing ideas that may save the country. It was underreported this week, but in saying he would work with the HUD Dept. he said the government would no longer tolerate any projects that increase suburban sprawl in the country. This is a huge deal, a big departure from 60 years of government policy, and with the transportation bill this summer this Republican will be front and center in the decision to shape this country for the next few decades.

Posted by: CTMan | March 21, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Most of the individuals selected, as possible leading spokespersons of the GOP, by Chris have very little appeal, if any, beyond the right wing base of the Republican party, perhaps 20-25% of people in this country. Romney, of those on the list, probably has the greatest appeal to moderate Republicans and some independents.

The Republican party though is so overwhelmingly dominated by conservatives, they are unlikely to choose anyone who could defeat Obama in 2012. Obama should win then in a landslide.

Republicans are also unlikely to regain control of either house of Congress until 2016 at the earliest, unless there is very high inflation, accompanied by continued high unemployment, both quite possible within a few years. Most people could care less about huge budget deficits, whether they are one trillion or two trillion a year for the next decade. Reagan and Bush II won their second terms by more decisive margins, despite the gargantuan deficits of their first terms.

Democrats could be arrogant and enact unpopular bills taxing employer paid health benefits, reducing Medicare spending and/or allowing utility bills to substantially increase, through cap and trade policies, which cumulatively could be financially ruinous for millions of retired people. However, this would probably be of little, if any political benefit to the GOP, as they would likely overwhelmingly support such bills, except perhaps the cap and trade programs.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | March 20, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Newt Gingrich was indeed an idea gut. His bright idea was to tell all his Republican friends that he could get them control of Congress if they just backed him in refusing to work with the democrats in congress in 1992 through 1994. In that he was right, but for the next twelve years the Republicans continued to refuse to cooperate with anyone, except to do all of the things that torpedoed the economy. As long as the Newt keeps his status as eminence gride, he fets to be an elder statesman, but when he makes the mistake of rising to the top front of the republican party, he does ad much damage, if not more, than Rush does, because the dems can remind the country of just how poorly newt performed before his tendencies to corruption cost him his Congressional leadership.

Newt and Rush in 2012!! (Sarah will be ancient history and just an old lady by then)

Posted by: ceflynline | March 20, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Please, by all means, put Sarah Palin front and center, give it as much exposure as a rain gauge. After all it did so much for McCain .. every time Sarah opens its mouth it alienates another few million Americans with its disdain for education and its incredible moral ugliness.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 20, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

I say dig up Ronald Reagan, patron saint of idiot republicans.

Posted by: branfo4 | March 20, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse


Mitt Romney

Newt Gingrich

Piyoosh Jeendal


Oh my ribs

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 20, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

maybe barry could compete in the economic special olympics.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes, here at The Fix, on a slow Friday evening at the dawn of spring, I get the feeling that I walked into the "Disinfo Cafe" on members-only night.

So just to mix it up a bit, here's this weekend offering:



While the manufactured economic crisis effectuates the fleecing of the middle class by the clever plotting of the power elite, and manufactured controversies distract the masses from the root causes of this global transfer of wealth...

...freedom also is being stolen from the people; but the mainstream media "watchdogs" are too busy chasing the manufactured tale of the day to notice who's making off out the back door with the coin of liberty.





* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons (D.E.W.) assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction" that have used the IRS as an ideological tool of "social cleansing."

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 20, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

This list needs more Ron Paul.

Posted by: Axana | March 20, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

"Does anyone know how many times Zouk's family dropped him on his head?"

Posted by: PatrickNYC1

Patrick: If one has no brain to begin with, what's the harm? Zouk just represents the bitter, vacant 20 percent who still seem to think that everything they should be run their way. Ultimately, zouk deserves our pity.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 20, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how many times Zouk's family dropped him on his head?

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 20, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

King of zouk: You are just pathetic. Please quit whoring yourself on behalf of Cheney. Really, man -- you are just embarrassing yourself. Cheney is an evil, disgraceful pig -- who did irreprable damage to that office. That you are too blinded and stupid to realize that is your own idiocy, not ours.
And to thebabenemo: Props to you for your great reponse to this mindless right-wing idealogue zouk -- too bad zouk is too dense to comprehend it.
As to the top 10 list: Only Huntsman, IMHO, has any real appeal to moderates, independents and even Democrats.
The rest of beholden to the same, boring right-wing lobby that has torn this country apart.
And Newt Gingrich? Are we kidding here? What a joke. One of the most morally bankrupt hypocrites there is. Let him even try to run against Obama -- for all the 44th presidents missteps so far, he would clobber Gingrich in '12.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 20, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

King of zouk: You are just pathetic. Please quit whoring yourself on behalf of Cheney. Really, man -- you are just embarrassing yourself. Cheney is an evil, disgraceful pig -- who did irreprable damage to that office. That you are too blinded and stupid to realize that is your own idiocy, not ours.
And to thebabenemo: Props to you for your great reponse to this mindless right-wing idealogue zouk -- too bad zouk is too dense to comprehend it.
As to the top 10 list: Only Huntsman, IMHO, has any real appeal to moderates, independents and even Democrats.
The rest of beholden to the same, boring right-wing lobby that has torn this country apart.
And Newt Gingrich? Are we kidding here? What a joke. One of the most morally bankrupt hypocrites there is. Let him even try to run against Obama -- for all the 44th presidents missteps so far, he would clobber Gingrich in '12.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 20, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

careful king....

besides, you haven't given him much of a chance for 60 days either.
i certainly hope you are not a father with small children.

Hey you know what....I gave Baby Bush and Dick Cheney a chance for 7 years to
get Osama bin laden and Dr. Zawahiri.
Seven long years I gave them a chance.
hmmmmm....nothing compared to 60 days, uh?
And no one died yet.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Today the CBO revealed some additional truth. Who knew? Not the community organizer. Someone else can pay.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I must be stupid enough to be among the dwindling few to think brownie.......I mean obama is doing a swell job. Except I'm not. Are you?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele believes he is on the same playing field as Obama. Truly. And he won't stay locked up for very long. He can't help himself.

Posted by: mysammy | March 20, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

thank God no one mentioned Jeb Bush

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Romney is clearly number one.. Not since Reagan lost to Ford only to see Ford lose to Carter have the Republicans been so sorry the primary turned out like it did... But at the time everyone thought the war in Iraq would be the big issue.. when it wasn't McCain stood no chance. Obama is a great speaker but he is NOT A BUSINESS MAN!!! And the way Obama is deligating responsiblity to Pelosi and Congress (only to see them mess up)gives Mitt a great chance to explain to people a BETTER way handle this problem. Behind him I see only really Gingrich as someone who can go the talk show route and give people another option on what we should be doing. The rest are either to boring or in the case of Rush to far to the right or for Palin to Dan Quayled (ridiculed)to be the voice of the Republican party...

Posted by: sovine08 | March 20, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

They ALL stink right thru the screen of my computer...

Posted by: kase | March 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey I have a good candidate!


And King of Zouk...why don't YOU take the job...certainly you are stupid enough...

Posted by: kase | March 20, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Who will be the first dem to declare the emperor has no clothes. Too late. Maxine waters woke up.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I think if Obama gets anymore spirited he will have his marie antoinette revelation. To see him yukking it up with leno, insulting grannies and handicaps, letting peloony run wild, while the country goes down the drain, is disgusting.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

twshen5 writes
"Pawlenty I have liked though his stance on evolution worries me."

Pawlenty makes himself likeable. But he's not much of a governor. For six years he's been using temporary money to 'balance' the state budget, cutting services to the bone. His no new 'taxes' pledge ended with the curious implementation of a per-pack 'Health Impact Fee' on each pack of cigarettes - that goes into the general fund. The guy is an idealogue utterly incapable of making difficult decisions or fostering consensus through leadership. The problems the state faces today are the same problems we faced 6 years ago. Gov Pawlenty's terms will be remembered as 8 years of lost opportunities.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 20, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"But when the time comes, the voters will be ready to vote for mickey and donald over the buffoons running things (into the ground) now."

Coming from the guy that guaranteed a President Giulianni, this should boost Obama supporters' spirits.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 20, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Jon Huntsman/Bobby Jindal:
Utah-Huntsman-no thanks. anything associated with the state gags me.
Louisiana-Jindal - not experienced enough
Michael Steele: too busy on his knees at Rush's side
Eric Cantor: dancing to Aerosmith while families get foreclosed upon.
Tim Pawlenty - Tim "gee being an elected official wasn't all it was cracked up to be, so forget it" Pawlenty.
Rush Limbaugh---((cough cough)) you all know how I feel about him.
Sarah Palin: shot Bullwinkle and I cannot forgive that.
Mark Sanford - (((((yawn)))
Newt Gingrich: No way Jose. Cannot hack "the world according to Newt".
Haley Barbour: is that Halle Berry??? No one cares about Governors' conferences.....get real.
Mitt Romney: I am Mormon, hear me roar!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

now know you simply cannot mess with Rahm.
Or I will have to kill you.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

for sure bsimon and will...

i have listened to the Governator on interviews and he speaks so basic and truthful. In fact, I think he is my favorite Republican. ((yes, I have a fave)
And he's married to Maria.
This couple has the entire bone structure of America between both of them.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

This list could make me lose my lunch. Let me see, as number 2 you have our governor Haley "Mr. Tobacco" Barbour who wanted to cut state Medicaid funding rather than raise the state tax on cigarettes (one of he lowest in the country). He appointed a U.S. Senator using procedures violating the state constitution (three state supreme court justices who supported him were kicked out in last November's elections). He has some strange ideas about Federal stimulus money, cannot seem to recognize the word temporary, and would rather have funds spent in some other state where they will not help residents of Mississippi. I don't know if he has ever worked at a real job (I do not count "lobbyist" as a real job) and seems out of touch with people who work for a living. I have no doubt that he would favor the super rich, if that is the way the Republicans want to keep heading. I doubt that he would lead the party out of the wilderness.

Posted by: FredinVicksburg | March 20, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I will admit the list is not too inspiring. But when the time comes, the voters will be ready to vote for mickey and donald over the buffoons running things (into the ground) now.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

chris, love the blog as well as ur work on msnbc.

Have not seen much of Hutsman but liked what he had to say when he was at the WH. Pawlenty I have liked though his stance on evolution (see MTP around GOP con) worries me. Barbour, is smart and has an avuncular charm but is he presidential?

Cantor has never impressed him. I find him a terrible communicator and for all the talk about his brain-power, I have not heard it. As lawrence demonstrated the other day, he is not particularly impressive when pressed. Sanford, I just can't see as having a wide appeal. Unless the stimulus completely fails, can't see it.

Palin worries me the most b/c of her strong appeal. I don't doubt her intelligence or her capacity to learn. I just fear her certitude, lack of imagination, and her apparent comfort with a world lacking shades of gray. Though ranked 5 this week, nothing seems to stick. I doubt the "press debacle," the mild fury over her rejection of roughly 30% of stimulus, as well as the CNP profile will really matter if she decides to run.

Posted by: twshen5 | March 20, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

So among the rising stars of the GOP are a radio host who gets rich being angry, a lizard who's been out of office for a decade, a rich Mormon with nothing better to do than aim for 2012 three months into 2009, and Sarah Palin. Can you say "permanent minority party?"

If they're smart they'll listen to Huntsman, somebody who wants to broaden the party rather than cling to an increasingly small base. But what are the odds that will happen?

Posted by: thecorinthian | March 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am,
Stuck in the GOP with you.....

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Scary group ...where is Dracula and Mr. Burns?

Posted by: crrobin | March 20, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

All eleven of them are total nincompoops. Standard for the GOP (grumpy old people).

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | March 20, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

BN writes
"none of them... I'll take the Governator."

Huntsman might be a palatable alternative to the Aussie.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 20, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

TheBabeNemo is probably the most insightful - other than the Governator of Cali, these guys are all wandering in the wilderness.


Or die.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 20, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

What a list of losers - all but #3 are already consigned to the dustbin of history.

Oh, by the way, how do your Socialist Cronies at AIG like their new bonus payments, Republicants?

Your era is OVER.

Posted by: WillSeattle | March 20, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

As a life time democrat the only one that worries me is Huntsman. Being a moderate he would attract Independents. The others are manna from heaven.

By 2012 Palin will need more outfits. Rush is hated by most, besides the core GOP. Romney is a Mormon, sorry but people who learn more about them, dislike him more. Steele is too funny, the more he speaks the more people say, HUH? And Jindal's response, his first on a national stage, was beyond a joke.

The others are not even known to any but us hard core political junkies. It's only two months into Obama's term. When things start to turn around people will like what he and his wife have done and he'll be back for a second term.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | March 20, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

No matter how competent Romney may be, in the current climate being a former CEO is not a plus on economic issues.

Posted by: cassin1 | March 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

hey king....missed you yesterday..

how the heck did Dick Cheney get transparent in his undisclosed, secure, location?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

none of them.

I'll take the Governator.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - Wont even try and pretend that I find Obama competent or honest, but go right ahead and compare him to Bush! Actually, compare Gonzales with Holder and Durbin with Cheney and Dodd with the family dog. Both Administrations are prime examples of self serving swine, corrupt gasbags that exist as puppets of big business and bankers and the wealthy. Whenever Bush looked to be in trouble, he trotted out the idiot terrorist lights. Apparently Obama is going to use gun control to the same purpose. In both cases, it is nothing more than a cynical attempt to change the subject. Please spare us all the partisan cheerleading, it has warn a bit think the past few days.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | March 20, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

For the last time, King of Kook, you cannot reap the benefits of the stimulus package while you live in your mom's basement.



Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 20, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Only Rush and Phalin register with anyone outside the Beltway. (On a recent long car trip, I found it impossible to get away from Rush and his hate blasts on the AM dial. And his commentary is FAR more extreme that what the MSM lets on.) Maybe Jindal a little bit but only because, after his televised speech, he is regarded as a clown akin to Barney Fife or the Wedding Crasher. Between the coasts, nobody has even heard of these other people. As long as Rush/Phalin set the GOP agenda, it's in trouble.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | March 20, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

If Romney is the most credible Republican on the economy, or the biggest rising star in the party, the Republicans are in more trouble than I thought. Romney was an unsuccessful and unpopular governor of Massachusetts. He was an unsuccessful and dull candidate for President; without his personal fortune, he'd have failed completely. And now he's the great hope of the Republican Party?

Posted by: Blarg | March 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The Fix writes (wrongly):
"Pawlenty also has to make a decision about whether or not to seek a third term in 2010 after winning in 2006 with just 51 percent."

BZZZTTT!!!! This is a common mistake. Governor Pawlenty has never won a majority of the vote - our Independence party candidates continue to cause election victories by plurality. The 2006 results were:

Pawlenty: 46.7%
Hatch: 45.7%
Hutchinson: 6.4%

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

who would have thought we would miss the Bush level of competance so quickly. Who imagined Bush could be outspent two to one inside a month. Consider that obamanomics added up the deficit and was off by over two trillion. I miss the transparency of Chaney.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | March 20, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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