It Is Happening Again

In less than twenty-four hours, I have learned that SarahPAC has raised over $866,000 and spent over $742,000 flying its celebrity politician about the country.  The ability to raise numbers approaching a million dollars a quarter, and less commented on but probably more significant, the massive outreach to conservative grassroots, has lent weight and given a spotlight to what I already through were former Governor Palin’s Presidential ambitions.

Almost immediately, as if to counter the possibility that Sarah Palin would become the annointed, inevitable Repubilcan Republican nominee, Newt Gingrich (!) announced that he was more serious than ever about running for President during the upcoming cycle.   This isn’t actually all much of a statement when read at face value, seeing as Gingrich has never actually declared his candidacy for President in any cycle.  But the impact is not in the literal truth but rather the fact that he raised the flag at all.  So while not quite tossing his hat in the ring, Gingrich through surrogates offered comparisons of himself to Bill Clinton as a candidate.

And then this morning, I can read that the Obama camp is already preparing their campaign template to run against Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney or pretty much anyone else the GOP nominates — by running against George W. Bush.  The idea is, I guess, that any GOP candidate is “going backwards” while Obama is “going forwards” and therefore the representative of “change” despite being the incumbent.

When you play chess, if your first or second moves are not what you wanted, you still have time to change your strategy and set up a different kind of play.  That’s the import that should be read into these “events,” which of course are not really events at all but simply factoids and throwaway comments scooped up by a voracious and hypercompetitive news industry hungry for any kind of a political story at all.  Chances are still favorable that the eventual GOP nominee will be someone who right now has a relatively low profile and some ideas that can catch fire.  (A guy can always hope, right?)

Today’s point is — the 2012 Presidential election is now underway.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. The idea is, I guess, that any GOP candidate is "going backwards" while Obama is "going forwards" and therefore the representative of "change" despite being the incumbent.Well, since the Republican message seems to boil down to "Miss me yet?", I can't really blame them, unimaginative as it is. Politically, we live in stale times.

  2. The 2012 election began the moment Obama was sworn in. He hasn't done anything but campaign since.I know that sounds a bit cynical, but it reflects the reality. Obama's incompetent as a leader, terrible away from the teleprompter, and so his handlers (the real guys in charge) have steered him into doing the things he does best: play golf and give someone else's campaign speeches via teleprompter.

  3. A classic mistake in military strategy, if you will allow me the analogy, is that generals always fight the current war as if it were the previous war. The fact is, every war is different. The Maginot line would have been great for WWI, but was completely useless for WWII.Comparing every GOP candidate to George W. Bush is a tactical mistake, unless it's done purely as electoral propaganda.

  4. Just please for the love of ~insert something here~, can we nominate anyone but Sarah Palin. I want to like her. I want to support her. I want her to be the Go-to-Girl.I want her not to sound like a raging moron everytime she opens her mouth.

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