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The Friday Line: Ranking Republican Leaders



Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Vice President Dick Cheney. Photos by Craig Lassig/AP, Ricky Carioti, The Washington Post and Susan Walsh/AP

The tectonic plates of Republican politics are shifting steadily these days.

Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., the leading moderate voice within the GOP, took himself out of the mix when he agreed to become ambassador to China in the Obama Administration.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, meanwhile, put himself into the national conversation with his announcement earlier this week that he would not seek a third term as governor and left the door to a potential presidential bid in 2012 wide open.

And, former Vice President Dick Cheney's recent public relations offensive against the Obama Administration's handling of national security issues has cemented him in the role of leading critic of the current president.

This Line is about all about change with five new entrants. Read below to see who made the cut and who missed it. And, remember, that this Line should not be taken as a proxy for the 2012 presidential field; this is an attempt to rate which figures in the party will have the most control of its direction between now and 2010.

As always, the number one ranked person on the Line is the most influential voice within the GOP. Agree or disagree with our picks? The comments section awaits.

Dropping off the Line: Jon Huntsman, Mark Sanford, Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor
Coming onto the Line: Mitch McConnell, Dick Cheney, Bob McDonnell, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee.

To the Line!

10. Mitch McConnell: The Senate Republican leader is far from the most charismatic politician in his party but he is proving to be one of the most effective from a message standpoint. The hubbub over what to do with Gitmo prisoners can be traced back to the spadework McConnell did in a series of speeches on the Senate floor over the past few months. Now, he's moved on to health care. Can he turn the same trick twice? (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Sarah Palin/Mike Huckabee: Palin and Huckabee are, without question, the two most prominent voices for social conservatives -- a critical piece of the Republican base. But, which is more likely to emerge as the voice of that wing of the party? No one seems to know the answer. Neither Palin nor Huckabee are ranked higher on the list because both lack the sort of political organization or fundraising ties that would allow them to exert influence up and down the ballot in 2010. (Previous rankings: Palin 2, Huckabee N/A)

8. Bobby Jindal: The Louisiana governor hasn't been a hugely active presence in the national debate of late but he remains the star-in-waiting in the minds of most of the Republican smart set. It's hard for us to imagine that Jindal is a real candidate in 2012 (the logistical hurdles are too high) but as one of the few non-white faces in a position of leadership within the party, he will continue to play a prominent role. no matter what he does in three years time. (Previous ranking: 7)

7. Tim Pawlenty: Pawlenty's decision not to run for a third term allows him the freedom and the time he will need to raise his national profile and roll out a series of big ideas designed to position himself as the populist voice in the 2012 field. (Pawlenty makes the Line rather than Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, another prominent populist, because of Daniels' repeated pledges to never run for another office.) Pawlenty is already getting after it -- doing a series of media interviews with national outlets and headlining a College Republican convention in D.C. tonight. And, we hear Pawlenty will be at an informal happy hour with lots of uncommitted GOP operatives tonight as well. (Previous ranking: N/A)

6. Michael Steele: Anyone who reads the Fix knows that we have been skeptical about Steele's ability to right himself after an extremely rocky start as chairman of the Republican National Committee. But, he deserves credit for quietly putting down an attempt to label the Democratic party the "Democrat Socialist Party" in a special meeting of the RNC last month. And, Steele's performance on "Meet the Press" opposite Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine (Va.) was free of any of the verbal gaffes that hamstrung Steele earlier this year. Dare we say that he is on the comeback trail? (Previous ranking: 8)

5. Dick Cheney: Cheney's willingness -- heck, joy -- in speaking out in opposition to the national security policies put in place by President Obama makes him a major force within the GOP whether the establishment of the party wants him to be or not. Cheney's speech at the American Enterprise Institute last month was a tour de force summation of the Republican position on national security and will, almost certainly, be used as a jumping-off point for other GOPers in the coming year. The problem with Cheney, from the perspective of the party establishment, is that he is so flawed as a messenger that the potential appeal of the message is lost. In an ideal world, Republicans would find a less controversial, more popular figure to carry the national security fight to Obama. For now, they're stuck with Cheney. (Previous ranking: N/A)

4. Bob McDonnell: The GOP nominee for governor in Virginia will serve as a test case for Republicans' messaging efforts on the economy. McDonnell, the former Virginia attorney general, is seeking to capture the high ground from Democrats on jobs -- casting himself as the candidate best able to help spur a struggling economy. While Democrats scoff at such an idea, a new independent poll shows McDonnell with sky-high favorable ratings that suggest he is doing something right. (Previous ranking: N/A)

3. Haley Barbour: Barbour's back to back trips to New Hampshire and Iowa later this month eliminate the idea that he isn't considering a presidential bid in 2012. That said, the betting is that Barbour, as sharp a strategist as the party has, will grasp that running as a former lobbyist against a president elected on a platform of reform is a non-starter. If Barbour ultimately reaches that decision, he will be a potent force for good within the party as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2010. With redistricting coming up in 2011, increasing the number of GOP-controlled governor's mansion is a huge priority for the party, a priority that Barbour will oversee. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. Newt Gingrich: Yes, Gingrich stepped in it when he twittered that Judge Sonia Sotomayor was a "racist". But, his decision to apologize suggests that Gingrich grasps that simply throwing rhetorical bombs won't put him where he wants to be: in the mix as a presidential candidate in 2012. Gingrich is extremely involved in the ideas debate going on behind the scenes within the Republican party, and will step into the spotlight Monday night when he headlines the House-Senate fundraising dinner in Washington. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. Mitt Romney: Romney's speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this week got lost amid a jumble of news but it was a marker-laying address by the former Massachusetts governor -- a broad disputation of the foreign policy approach of President Obama. Romney is also trying to lead the party on domestic policy; his proposal for the government-owned shares of General Motors to be disbursed to taxpayers being the latest example. Romney's first six months of the Obama Administration have been better handled than any other national Republican leader. Period. (Previous ranking: 1)

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 5, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  The Line  
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Comments

Republicans don't have "leaders;" they have hood ornaments! Of course, they will tell you, 'tis much better to be the windshield than the bug!

Posted by: MouthSore | June 8, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

How about John Cornyn? I think he has a major piece in the Republican party. As the recruiter for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the type of candidates he recruits not only determines how well the party does, but it also has a major impact on policy positions. Cornyn is a major force within the GOP. It has been made no big secret that Cornyn really wants a spot on the US Supreme Court. With that really unlikely to ever occur, Cornyn will have to occupy his time in the US Senate trying to push the conservative agenda he supports in the best way for the GOP.

Posted by: reason5 | June 8, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Palin on Fox News tonight.

Posted by: JakeD | June 8, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

As long as you admit you were wrong about "no new idea" I'm fine with that. See you tomorrow.

==

Christ, Jake, is this sort of petty squabbling the kind of thing that keeps you going? Pretending to miss the point, using autistic literalism to pretend to make a point?

Simply pathetic. No, tragic.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 8, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Haha, I remember that. It was something like him continuing to run for President would be helping Obama help the terrorists win.

==

That's GOT to beat Dukakis in the tank. What a mor*on

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 8, 2009 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I put the Clinton duo at the top.. my fantasy is that they will change over to the G.O.P..

==

Me, I fantasize about Asian guys

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 8, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

I put the Clinton duo at the top.. my fantasy is that they will change over to the G.O.P..

Bill/Hillary are you listening? You could have your own pary.. already has it's own staffing, money and congressional members..

Posted by: newbeeboy | June 7, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Don't know, all I remember of Romney in the primaries was when he dropped out, a petulant and whining concession"

Haha, I remember that. It was something like him continuing to run for President would be helping Obama help the terrorists win.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 7, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Don't know, all I remember of Romney in the primaries was when he dropped out, a petulant and whining concession with one final dig at Obama, with tears in his voice. I thought it was nauseating, but then the whole Palin thing came along and I forgot all about Romney.

I know that he slavishly adopted every position that the Base wanted, that's all I care about. No doubt the Base is convinced that health care coverage for everyone is the embodiment of Socialism.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 7, 2009 12:50 AM | Report abuse

"ddawd: In 2008 Romney deferred to the conservatives on every issue. He became anti-gay again, he became anti-abortion rights, and if he runs again he'll become anti-universal health care."

Yeah, probably. I wasn't saying what he will do. I was just saying what he should do. Did he take a position on the issue last year?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

I know that the Republicans' inability to find new lines is pretty common, but I'm constantly surprised that they're still holding on to the "Obama is inexperienced!" thing. It didn't work in 2008, and from here on out, he's going to be the MORE experienced candidate when he faces the voters.

==

That doesn't stop the trolls from repeating it; they;ve never cared if what they say is true or not, they'll just repeat it anyway as though the next election will be decided by lying in blogs. Birth certificate, HUSSEIN, Socialist, Messiah, you-just-wait.

Balls. Obama for all his inexperience first defeated the greatest Democratic political machine, then the greatest Republican one. Obama is a disciplined man and a steady hand.

But he needs to realize that the crimes of the past eight years need to be prosecuted

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

So how are Romney and Palin "influential" right now? Limbaugh and Cheney I can see, the GOP defers slavishly to both of them, even Steele grovels to Limbaugh, and they don't dare even hint that they have a problem with Cheney digging their hole deeper every time he opens his mouth.

But Palin and Romney? Romney's not even governor anymore and Palin is emblematic of everything that went wrong for the GOP in the last election. Her popularity even in her own state is dropping and McCain doesn't even talk to her anymore.

Am I missing something?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Please stop this childish equivocation, Jake. If I needed to specify that any new idea brought to the table should be a GOOD idea instead of just a stunt, maybe you're too dumb to post about politics.

The great majority of communication is based on implicit understandings, not explicit statements. A good part of your trolling is predicated on not grasping this. It's infantile. Quit it.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

As long as you admit you were wrong about "no new idea" I'm fine with that. See you tomorrow.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

New, yes, good no. Google "mantle of Galileo."

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

At least it's bringing "a new idea to the table". That's all I was disproving.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a registered voter, I have no use for a stock certificate. I want GM to recover, to go back to making decent cars, to stop filling the roads with gas-guzzling behemoths, and to buy back their stock. Romney's idea of handing out certificates strikes me as the same kind of cheap impulsive stunt that made McCain drop like a stone.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

ddawd: In 2008 Romney deferred to the conservatives on every issue. He became anti-gay again, he became anti-abortion rights, and if he runs again he'll become anti-universal health care.

The GOP is years away from practical governance. They'll be playing to the cheap seats for several election cycles to come

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a stunt to me

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

"If Mitt Romney caves under criticism he has no business running for office. And since the criticisms are legitimate, maybe he shouldn't run for that reason alone. Besides, the only reason has has for running is that he wants the job. He brings no new ideas to the table, just the same businessman-good-environmentalist-bad BS we've been hearing since 1979"

If the Republicans are interested in stealing the mantle of universal health care away from the Democrats, Romney is just the guy to do it as he oversaw its implementation as the Governor of Massachusetts. I think this would be a smart thing to do. Yeah, it might require some retraining of the base, but there's no reason for me to believe that the Republicans' base's aversion to universal health care is anything more than a parroting of their pundits. This isn't abortion or gay marriage. I can't imagine someone who shows some credibility on the issue won't draw at least some bipartisan support. Don't get me wrong, I'm almost certainly going to vote for Obama in 2012, but guys like me aren't who Romney should be targeting.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Question everything and everybody, its how intellectual growth takes place.

==

Careful vbh, don't use the I-word or you'll cost the poor guy a lot of votes

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Sending GM stock certificates to each registered voter in America sounds like a "new" idea to me.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

If Mitt Romney caves under criticism he has no business running for office. And since the criticisms are legitimate, maybe he shouldn't run for that reason alone. Besides, the only reason has has for running is that he wants the job. He brings no new ideas to the table, just the same businessman-good-environmentalist-bad BS we've been hearing since 1979

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 6, 2009 7:17 PM | Report abuse

I did not approve of McCain or Huckabee tearing into MITT either.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

"Newt is about as flawed as a messenger you can get. He hurts our image, I really wish he would just go away. Mitt is the Man. But I am intrigue by Haley Barbour."

There was a column on www.fivethirtyeight.com that gave adjusted approval ratings for the 50 governors. It took their approval ratings and then then gave extra points for being a Republican in a Democratic state or vice versa and took away points if his party ID matched his state ID. It also gave him more points for governing a larger state (it's harder to get a good rating in a big state than a small state)

This adjusted ranking might not tell you who would have the policies you like best, but it does help indicate who can get a large coalition of followers.

Crist was the best Republican and #2 overall. Jindal is 11th. Barbour is 38th (not a stellar approval rating, Republican in a Republican state, governing in a small state). Palin is 36 for the same reasons.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

""anyone who is really interested in truth will admit that palin has more experience than obama in actually running a state. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know that the Republicans' inability to find new lines is pretty common, but I'm constantly surprised that they're still holding on to the "Obama is inexperienced!" thing. It didn't work in 2008, and from here on out, he's going to be the MORE experienced candidate when he faces the voters."

The funny thing is that this was totally unnecessary. First of all, experience wasn't what made Obama attractive. Attacking him on this point wasn't exactly going to knock him over. If Palin was lacked about her inexperience, then all she had to do was say that she's inexperienced, just like Obama. There was no reason for her people to start saying she was MORE experienced than Obama. That was just untenable and led to her saying that her proximity to Russia gave her foreign policy experience. That just made her go from untenable to comic. The McCain campaign was just so poorly mismanaged especially in the selection and handling of Palin.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Exactly what world are living in JakeD, just last year McCain, Huckabee and just about everybody tore into Mitt. Hate to break the news to you but Reagan heaped plenty of critism on Ford during their 76 contest for the GOP. Question everything and everybody, its how intellectual growth takes place.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 6, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Ann Coulter said "If you are against shooting abortionists, then don't shoot an abortionist."

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Bill said "I'm happy that a doctor was assassinated"? Not even Ann Coulter went that far.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"Excerpt from WashPo's Colbert King's brilliant take on how O'Reilly, Hannity, adn Rush are inciting (successfully in Dr. Tiller's case) violence and mayhem, and why they need to held accountable."

Yeah, its kind of depressing that people will say things like this, but what can you do? That's the cost of living in a free society. You don't shut down speech simply for finding it offensive. These people have no love of country or society, but if that's what they want to say and someone is willing to provide them a forum, then that's how it is. Yeah, Bill O'Reilly is happy that a doctor was assassinated, but that's not something that comes as a surprise, right?

Posted by: DDAWD | June 6, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

There's a huge difference between not being a Newt follower and being a Newt attacker.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: Newt is a bright man with a lot of ideas but unfornately he has a horrible personality that hurts the conservative message more than helps, plus I'm not a follower, call them like I see them, you will not ever catch me drinking the kool aid. When GOP party leaders are being hyprocrites, I will call them on it. Its whats separates us from the liberals. They blindly follow orders from DNC and check their brains in at the door.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 6, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

These are REPUBLICANS, people. They're ALL #2. Cillizza's crush on Mitt continues, I see. The GOP strain of anti-intellectualism has produced "leaders" who are a true rogues gallery of gaffe-ers, flip-floppers, and disgraced losers. Jindal, Steele, and Palin might be coming back from bad showings. Pawlenty isn't running again (at least partially because his popularity has dropped). You're really think a "Grand Old Party" could come up with a better cadre of leaders than this motley group.

Posted by: Budikavlan | June 6, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes:

Newt is not as flawed as, say, Bill Clinton. Don't sell your own team short. Remember Reagan's 11th Commandment!

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"anyone who is really interested in truth will admit that palin has more experience than obama in actually running a state. "
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know that the Republicans' inability to find new lines is pretty common, but I'm constantly surprised that they're still holding on to the "Obama is inexperienced!" thing. It didn't work in 2008, and from here on out, he's going to be the MORE experienced candidate when he faces the voters.

In other words: it's absolutely adorable that Palin has more experience running a state. But we're talking about running a COUNTRY, here, and Obama is the only candidate with ANY experience doing that.

"You must be joking. All he did was repeat the usual drool and drivel."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Drool and drivel that he then undercut by saying that were he POTUS, he'd "apologize" and "Admit wrongdoing", too.

Posted by: colby1983 | June 6, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

LOL!!! Not only does "incitement to riot" require specific intent but also "a clear and present and IMMEDIATE danger". Even if they said "go shoot an abortionist" (they didn't) it didn't happen immediately thereafter. You libs are funny.

Posted by: JakeD | June 6, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Excerpt from WashPo's Colbert King's brilliant take on how O'Reilly, Hannity, adn Rush are inciting (successfully in Dr. Tiller's case) violence and mayhem, and why they need to held accountable.
_______

"That thought seems completely lost on the Fox News network, which launches a daily rhetorical assault on Obama, starting with the "Fox and Friends" morning show. The anti-Obama beat goes on through the day, and reaches a fevered pitch at night with Sean Hannity.

Witness excerpts from Wednesday night's exchange between Hannity and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh:

Limbaugh: "I do not hide from it. I do want and I still want Obama to fail."

Hannity: "But it's interesting here. . . . A lot of things you are saying -- [Obama] is apologizing for America's arrogance. He has taken over car companies. They want to dictate CEO pay. All of these things have been unfolding. Socialism is the Obama vision for America." "

That thought seems completely lost on the Fox News network, which launches a daily rhetorical assault on Obama, starting with the "Fox and Friends" morning show. The anti-Obama beat goes on through the day, and reaches a fevered pitch at night with Sean Hannity.

Witness excerpts from Wednesday night's exchange between Hannity and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh:

Limbaugh: "I do not hide from it. I do want and I still want Obama to fail."

Hannity: "But it's interesting here. . . . A lot of things you are saying -- [Obama] is apologizing for America's arrogance. He has taken over car companies. They want to dictate CEO pay. All of these things have been unfolding. Socialism is the Obama vision for America."

Full article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/05/AR2009060503023.html

Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 6, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Newt is about as flawed as a messenger you can get. He hurts our image, I really wish he would just go away. Mitt is the Man. But I am intrigue by Haley Barbour.

Posted by: vbhoomes | June 6, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This is all just meaningless noise right now. What really matters is who will step up to the plate in the summer/ fall of 2011 to RUN. Until then, only fundraising matters.

Posted by: andrewp111 | June 6, 2009 6:07 AM | Report abuse

"In Pace Requiescat" G.O.P.

Posted by: Conga1 | June 6, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

The only Republicans having significant influence within their party are Romney, Limbuagh, Palin and Cheney. The others have very little influence. With such "leaders," as disappointing as Obama is proving to be to some progressives and independents on many issues, the GOP will likely stay in the political wilderness for at least a decade.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | June 6, 2009 12:37 AM | Report abuse

PhillyFanatic: nobody's coming back to the GOP, the GOP doesn't want them back. They're past the "recovery" phase and well into the "doomsday cult" phase, getting more and more "pure" in their ideology. Before it's over they'll be murdering their own children or something. They're kicking out everyone who doesn't foam at the mouth. Pretty soon they'll start splitting up into splinter parties; the Tim LaHaye-reading Rapture crowd, the nuclear Armageddon Israel-first crowd, the gun-crazy libertarians, the murder-the-gays crowd, and of course the thinking-money free-market lunatics.

They don't want to win elections, they want to march into the sea to show their faith.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Oh goody a fresh crop of Messiah / Socialist / you-just-wait trolls. Is it a full moon tonight or something?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

The Lord bless you all in Christ Jesus

Posted by: CarlfromTexas

==

lunatic

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@drindl - With regards to your 3:03 comment. Because the #1 is obvious on the other side. Besides, there's plenty of other lines. And the Dem line isn't that interesting right now. #1 BO. #2 JB. #3-#4 NP & HR. #5 HRC. #6 - #10. Doesn't matter.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | June 5, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Good to see that the WAPOST can even mention Republicans without having to ask the DNC, Rahm and the other MSM lefty outlets such as Keith Olbermann for permission. There are other leaders in the varied states such as Kasich, Pence, King of Iowa, DeMint, Coburn,Bachmann and others who are speaking out against the Democrat faux Messiah and their socialist pacifism. It would be heartening to see Indies, Reagan Dems, some Blue Dogs and the wandering Constitutionalists, Libertarians come back to the GOP and have a united front against this drive to nationalize America and dis America's allies ala Israel, Britain, W.Germany and France.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | June 5, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I believe that Huckabee is the most influential person in the Republican party, because he is the one who most faithfully and unashamedly speaks of Jesus Christ.
The Lord bless you all in Christ Jesus

Posted by: CarlfromTexas | June 5, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

"...then Bozo the Clown will be able to win against the Dems."
____________
But Phalin's not even Bozo the Clown. BHO 2012. Sotomayor 2009. Phalin, not a chance.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 5, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

"anyone who is really interested in truth will admit that palin has more experience than obama in actually running a state."

I must admit that I CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH !

Posted by: PaxChaosium | June 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republican's fate matters less on themselves than on what happens to the "great one." If unemployment is in double digits next year, and the "recovery" brings nothing but higher taxes and more pain, then Bozo the Clown will be able to win against the Dems. Look what's happening in Great Britain? Eventually, the voters wake up and come to their senses - even in Europe.

Posted by: kenpasadena | June 5, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Only Phalin counts.

Like her or not, Mrs. Todd Phalin is the only viable candidate among the bunch. If she runs, she will "turn on" the Base, those bigoted, narrow-minded yahoos who dominate GOP primaries (as well as highway beer joints and gunshows). As they did last round, the MSM will give Phalin a free ride and pretend she's some sort of Alaskan Mary Tyler Moore.
____________

The real truth is a LOT different. Journalist Charley James of laprogressive.com showed a side of Phalin different from the sanitized MSM version. Why? Because unlike the Broder-style bloviators, he went Alaska and, well, talked to...Alaskans.

From September 2008, legendary gonzo journalist Charley James's now-famous Phalin expose':

http://www.laprogressive.com/2008/09/05/alaskans-speak-in-a-frightened-whisper-palin-is-%E2%80%9Cracist-sexist-vindictive-and-mean%E2%80%9D/

Posted by: broadwayjoe | June 5, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

anyone who is really interested in truth will admit that palin has more experience than obama in actually running a state.
untill the election,barack hissein was nothing more than a chicago thug community organizer,and now with the loss of thousands of jobs being lost as a result of his bullying and unconstitutional takeover of automakers,to benifit the unions who own him,i am convinced he is the worst thing that could have happened to this country.
mike huckabee,as far as i know isnt interested in running,rudy might be,and either of them would boost this country,and economy,more than most can imagine.

Posted by: silusdogood | June 5, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

anyone who is really interested in truth will admit that palin has more experience than obama in actually running a state.
untill the election,barack hissein was nothing more than a chicago thug community organizer,and now with the loss of thousands of jobs being lost as a result of his bullying and unconstitutional takeover of automakers,to benifit the unions who own him,i am convinced he is the worst thing that could have happened to this country.
mike huckabee,as far as i know isnt interested in running,rudy might be,and either of them would boost this country,and economy,more than most can imagine.

Posted by: silusdogood | June 5, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Move Newt and Haley down. Move Bob and Bobby up.

Posted by: DDAWD | June 5, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

You're welcome.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 5:49 PM | Report abuse

As long as you admit that "The failure of the two automakers is Obama's doing" is yet another in a long line of strawman arguments, my work here is done.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jake. I didn't know that. It's only been in the news for weeks, good thing we have you here to twist that handkerchief for us.

I also heard that Obama fired a CEO! Wow, interfering with the marketplace! Isn't that going to cause calamity to rain down?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

The failure of GM and Chrysler is NOT Obama's doing, but the taking-over is.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Ah, gotcha. The failure of the two automakers is Obama's doing.

Thanks for clarifying.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8, they could include a devastating health care plan and government redesign of an auto industry that leaves only Ford standing in 2012.

I am cognizant of the fact that the President tried to place some revenue enhancements in his budget to partially offset the cost of a health care plan.

You (who favor Draconian tax rates of the Cold War that led to the Recession of 1958) should recognize that Democrats immediately watered down every revenue enhancement, in order to make any such plan seem "free of pain". Will this President stand up to his own Party? I doubt it. We shall find out.

Posted by: HiQualityTroll | June 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1 writes
"Why do these guys save all their 'big ideas' for when they're out of office?"

Perhaps you should be counting your lucky stars that T-Paw didn't unleash any of his (other) 'big ideas' as governor. As I remember, Minneapolis has more than one bridge ...

Posted by: mnteng | June 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Romney's "business background" could only be considered an "advantage" in very different times from now. Populist rage at the "business community" is higher than at any time I can recall. And if this changes it could only mean that Obama's economic plan has worked and people are going back to work, and feeling unreservedly good about Democrats as the economic stewards to trust.

This is not a cirumstance favoring Romney or any other "CEO president."

Where you get Romney as "smooth" .. well, you *do* self-refer as a troll ...

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
I always love these rankings. Next week, or sometime soon, could you do a Democrats ranking (obviously Obama is 1, but I'd be interested to see the rest).

Thanks

Posted by: scottluginbill | June 5, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"social experiments of the Obama years?"

What the devil would those be?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

HiQualityTroll:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, that is a new track record. As it stands now, Jean Girard is sitting on the pole, which is a statement of fact, and is in no way a comment on the driver's sexual orientation."

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

HiQualityTroll here.

Romney and Jindal are smart and well educated enough to carry coherent messages.
So is Barbour, but as you say, his role will be behind the scenes. There is an "off-the-wall" quality to Newt that we find adorable, but too many find to be divisive. Cantor should have remained on your list, if only as an influencer. Jeff Flake could still emerge. Crist could become a threesome with McCain and Graham and gain influence in the Senate quickly. I do not mean for you to infer from that sentence a sexual innuendo (chrisfox8 and drindl). Discourse need not always be cheapened by sexual allusions.

There is time to hone "message". Expect Romney and Jindal to do so. The critical
message might be about reining in the social experiments of the Obama years. It might be that a Republican president is necessary to balance the extremes of the Democratic Congress. It might be about energy resources. Or it might be about something not on the horizon now.

Romney has advantages over the others aside from his education and business background.
He is rich and smooth. Perhaps he will jettison "buttoned-down every hair in place" for a more personable image, but he has time for that, too.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Posted by: HiQualityTroll | June 5, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

For president, Gingrich is a non-starter. As much as the Republican party owe him for the takeover of Congress in 1994, they also threw him out as Speaker of the House on ethics charges. He's angling for a Cabinet job, at best.

And the best Republican of the last 100 years was Dwight Eisenhower, who correctly warned against the military-industrial complex and got the Interstate highway system built. Reagan may score higher historically for his impact on history and ability to inspire, but his place in the Presidential lineup may slip a bit now that we know Reaganomics was the root of our current economic problems.

And I still think Mitch Daniels will reconsider and run for president in 2016. He's the best the Republicans have at the moment.

Posted by: Gallenod | June 5, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Jake takes his squeals for attention to newspaper blogs all over the country, too.

If I ever get so desperate for attention I hope someone cares enough about me to shoot me and put me out of my misery. I'm serious.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

So?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Still less posts than some others here:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=drindl&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Results 1 - 10 of about 72,100 for jaked +registered independent. (0.39 seconds)

==

idiot

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

heh heh heh yeah the kind of purification that leaves too few voters to even get on the ballot at all

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

One person's "devaluation" is another person's "purification".

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

For what record? The only record associated with Jake is the vinyl kind, skipping and playing the same groove over and over.

Google "jaked registered independent" and just look how many times he's issued that same proclamation!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Chris.

This is the first time I posted on your blog, but I have always enjoyed your commentary when you appear on MSNBC.

Anyway, I want to contest your decision to remove Governor Sanford from the Line. My belief is that he wants the benefit of having held out against the stimulus without the risk of depriving South Carolina of funds that its voters seem to want.

Sanford, who is probably considering 2012, is positioning himself to be a national candidate. If in successfully refusing the stimulus the state of South Carolina were to miss out on some good investments, he might look like a fool. However, if he had to go back on his position or waver in any way like Governor Perry in Texas, he would lose his credibility.

This way he gets the best of both worlds. He can claim to have been utterly and unequivocally opposed to the stimulus package while S.C. suffers no risk of losing out on the investments. I think these events have assured him a very strong position for the 2012 nomination. I think he has won himself a personal political victory.

Posted by: LeroyPancakes | June 5, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Palin remains an extremely powerful brand in Republican politics despite her (and her team's) unwitting attempts to devalue that brand."

uhhh...

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

For the record, I have never said that it was OK for slaveholders to rape (or even own) slaves.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

As a reminder (May 8, 2009 "The Line"):

"Palin is the prime mover in Republican politics. An example: when Cantor unveiled the National Council for a New America, the first question asked by every reporter was whether Palin was involved and, if not, why not. (She, eventually, said she would be involved.) Palin remains an extremely powerful brand in Republican politics despite her (and her team's) unwitting attempts to devalue that brand."

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I thought you said it was ok for slaveholders to rape their slaves, jakey?

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Amen!

==

lunatic

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"People believe in her; people are putting their money where they believe it will do the most good to drag Washington back from this crazy veer into the worst of European domestic policy."

God, if only we had European domestic policy! All of us would have good health care! I was just reading yesterday an interview with several pharmacists who said people were cutting back on life-saving meds because they can't afford them. And it's all because we have morons in this country like jakey and laura.

Do give all your money to sarah, laura. And then watch while she gets crushed by obama.

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse

People believe in her

==

heh heh heh

what sort of person believes in "Gov." Palin?

I mean how dim do you have to be to believe in this snake-handling fundie?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party evolved from Anti-Federalist factions that opposed the fiscal policies of Alexander Hamilton in the early 1790s. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison organized these factions into what was then known as the Democratic-Republican Party. The party back then favored states' rights and strict adherence to the Constitution; it opposed a national bank and wealthy, moneyed interests.

[Eventually] the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the Democratic Party.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)#History

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

LauraVW:

Amen!

Someone got to Chris and convinced him to drop her off The Line.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Teddy Roosevelt had just left office 100 years ago. For those of you fooled by Democrats like "drindl" remember she's a a member of the party started by SLAVEOWNER (and slave rapist) Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

You must not have the latest numbers from SarahPAC in. The way things are going Sarah is going to have to pay for the campaigns of the entire GOP and she's not even running yet. People believe in her; people are putting their money where they believe it will do the most good to drag Washington back from this crazy veer into the worst of European domestic policy.

Posted by: LauraVW | June 5, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Minneapolis mayor RT Ryback (and possible Gubernatorial aspirant) on Gov Pawlenty's likely plans to run for President in 2012:

"On a Fox Business Network show this morning, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was discussing the unemployment rate when host Alexis Glick asked about Minnesota politics:

ALEXIS: Mayor Rybak, I just have to ask you the last question -- are you going to run for governor?

RYBAK: (Stumbles slightly) Well I ... We'll figure that out tomorrow, but I want to say ...

ALEXIS: (Interrupts/laughs) You'll figure it out tomorrow? The governor of your state is saying that he's going to run ... he's going to run for the White House.

RYBAK: Well I, he's going to get his butt kicked by Barack Obama but that's another thing."

http://www.minnpost.com/politicalagenda/2009/06/05/9333/rt_on_fox_tv_pawlenty_has_no_chance_against_obama

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"FWIW (from a registered Independent perspective): Reagan and Palin have been the best two Republicans in 100 years."

Yes, palin is certainly superior to Teddy Roosevelt.

For those of you fooled by jaked's 'indepedence' he's a member of the American Independent party -- you know, the one started by George Wallace.

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

palin's talkng, bsimon, but it appears no one is listening. check out the chart on how much welfare alaskans get... hilarious.

"Sarah Palin gave a speech about economics on Wednesday, but it only popped into my RSS reader last night:

"Some in Washington would approach our economic woes in ways that absolutely defy Economics 101, and they fly in the face of principles, providing opportunity for industrious Americans to succeed or to fail on their own accord," she said. "Those principles it makes you wonder what the heck some in Washington are trying to accomplish here."

http://correspondents.theatlantic.com/conor_clarke/2009/06/sarah_palins_economics_lesson.php

"Wow. Whatever else might be said about Sarah Palin, I hope we can all agree that there's absolutely no reason to take her seriously as a fiscal conservative. In particular, that line about "industrious Americans" succeeded and failing of their own accord made we want to take a look at the federal dollars Alaska receives per resident relative to its federal tax burden. So I went and made this chart"

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

That's great, there aren't enough of those "registered independents" to fill an auditorium.

Palin might not even take her own state

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

bpai_99:

"... remember, that this Line should not be taken as a proxy for the 2012 presidential field; this is an attempt to rate which figures in the party will have the most control of its direction between now and 2010."

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

FWIW (from a registered Independent perspective): Reagan and Palin have been the best two Republicans in 100 years.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Give us a break on Gingrinch as a serious candidate - at best, he'll be the Rudy Guiliani of 2012. The media will anoint him as a front-runner until people actually start voting, then he'll be done.

Posted by: bpai_99 | June 5, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP has any hopes of getting back into national office before 2048 they'd want us to forget we ever HEARD about "Gov." Palin.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"So. Gov. Palin slips from No. 2 ... How did that change from last time when she was No. 2??? ... there was no interview in the intervening time period."

Doing nothing means falling behind.

The Fix opened with "The tectonic plates of Republican politics are shifting steadily these days."

That means that politicians who aren't actively involved are fading out of the picture. All the people ahead of Palin on the list are proactively involved in the political debate - some more publicly than others. What Gov Palin's drop from 2 to 7 implies is that whatever she's doing, its not keeping her on the radar of hot political commodities. Quite frankly, that is probably a smart move, if its a deliberate one, on her part.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza:

If you down-graded Gov. Palin just because you've decided to exclude her from your Political "Hall of Fame" next week, I am going to be very, very disappointed. At the very least, she deserves "Fastest Rise" ; )

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Jesus look at Romney in that picture. Wow. Looks like he's been drinking but he's never even tasted coffee in his life.

Took me a while to remember who he reminds me of .. Fred Gwynne in his Herman Munster makeup.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

While Cheney may be enjoying his latest stretch in the media spotlight, he did something earlier this week that he should be confronted with again and again: he blamed 9-11 on Richard Clarke--despite all of his the pre-9-11 memos warning of an imminent attack. Cheney's dodge isn't credible. He should explain whether or not he was aware of those memos, and if he was, why he didn't move on them. He could also apologize to Clarke for smearing him, but no one's holding their breath on that one.

Posted by: MildredMachiavelli | June 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

jakey, jrm2 was joking, you doofus.

Posted by: jasperanselm | June 5, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty can always point out that he saved the state money by not fixing the I35 bridge, and saved them more money when a dozen cars went into the river and the occupants didn't live to collect pensions.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Uh it's because there was no interview that her star is fading, IDIOT. Her fifteen minutes are over, she has nothing to offer, and now her looks are starting to slide too. By 2012 she's going to look as matronly as Hillary Clinton. Then what does she run on? Her "thin resume?"

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Why is the line always republicans?"


Because the dems have a leader.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 5, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Pawlenty's decision not to run for a third term allows him the freedom and the time he will need to raise his national profile and roll out a series of big ideas designed to position himself as the populist voice in the 2012 field."


Why do these guys save all their 'big ideas' for when they're out of office? Pawlenty's been governor for 6 years, the budget is in worse shape than when he arrived, and now we're supposed to look to him for 'big ideas'? I hope that's intended as a joke. Though I also note than in his chat, The Fix mentioned the rather thin bench for rising GOPers...

Posted by: bsimon1 | June 5, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

No, JRM2, there was no interview in the intervening time period.

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"How did that change from last time when she was No. 2???"
====
She gave an interview?

Posted by: JRM2 | June 5, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

The older Romney gets the more "caved in" he looks.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

@drindl: the comical part is that a lot of these guys actually think Palin has a shot

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

well i agree with jaked for once. palin should run!

and then, when we all stop laughing, obama can win again.

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Problem with Gingrich as the "ideas" guy is that they're all the same stale and discredited ideas these guys have been throwing around since 1979. "Government IS the problem," and "let the marketplace decide" and "strong defense" and of course that old heavy hitter, "who do we hate this week?"

No ideas there, and no openness to new ones. They're conservatives, after all, code for anal retentives. They don't want new ideas.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"Gingrich is extremely involved in the ideas debate going on "

oh stop, you're killing me. 'ideas debate' LOL.

" Cheney's speech at the American Enterprise Institute last month was a tour de force summation of the Republican position on national securit"

You aren't seriou8s, are you? You don't acually beleive this crap you are writing do you? C'mon, be serious.

Michael Steele -- oh please.

'Mitch McConnell: The Senate Republican leader is far from the most charismatic politician in his party "

a positive gifrt for understatement.

throw huckabee and palin in a ring together. both are mean, but my money's on the pit bull.

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I doubt that you could get 18 votes here for Romney to run for President ...

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Hahahahahah not a credible one in the bunch. Romney the cardboard cutout, Palin the halfwit, Gingrich and Steele .. put them all together and you have maybe 90-100 electoral votes. And that's running on their own steam, not even counting how badly tarnished the GOP brand is now.

Piyush Jindal? You must be joking.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | June 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

FWIW (unscientific as it was) the tally from the peanut gallery in Gov. Palin's thread day before yesterday:

1) Palin should run for re-election (14);

2) Palin should NOT run for re-election (8);

[and, not asked, but answered anyway]

3) Palin should run for President, regardless of her Alaskan bid (18)

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

So. Gov. Palin slips from No. 2 on the list because she "lack[s] the sort of political organization or fundraising ties that would allow [her] to exert influence up and down the ballot in 2010"?! How did that change from last time when she was No. 2???

Posted by: JakeD | June 5, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

" Romney's speech at the Heritage Foundation earlier this week got lost amid a jumble of news but it was a marker-laying address by the former Massachusetts governor -- a broad disputation of the foreign policy approach of President Obama"

You must be joking. All he did was repeat the usual drool and drivel.

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Why is the line always republicans?

Posted by: drindl | June 5, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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