Friday, May 04, 2007

The Enemy of My Enemy

If I were to follow the adage that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", and apply that methodology to selecting a Republican nominee for President, I think the result would be interesting, and would not necessarily match up with my current preferences. In particular, if my metric were "the greatest apparent enemy of my enemies is the best choice for President", the result becomes clear.

First, of course, I would have to define "my enemies". Currently, the Democratic hopefuls are too busy tearing eachother apart to care one whit about who they'll be facing in November 2008. Thus, they are not (yet) my enemy (although I'm not so naive as to think that their agents are not currently out and about digging up dirt and possibly spreading some groundwork gossip at this very moment). The enemy is more dispersed right now -- the liberal blogosphere, for one, and more importantly, the liberal media (but I repeat myself).

So, dear readers, ask yourself -- who among the Republican contenders faces the greatest hostility from both the lefty blogosphere and the MSM at this very moment? I offer no supporting documentation, but my gut tells me right now that, according to my specified metric, my candidate of choice should be Mitt Romney.

Anecdotal evidence: the upsurge of "Look At Those Crazy Mormons" pseudo-hit-pieces, accusations of flip-flopping, etc. The opposition seems genuinely concerned about Mitt in a way that neither McCain nor Giuliani evokes among them. As for McCain, his "media darling" status may be fading fast, but he's still got a little bit of that patina that has yet to rub off. And Giuliani has the one-two punch of social liberalism and post-911 "Street Cred" that nobody's bothered to really lay into him just yet, despite his frequent front-running status.

So far, Fred Thompson has laid low enough to avoid the media criticism, the recent kerfluffle about dirt-digging with regard to his wife notwithstanding (and that is suspected to be the work of Republican opposition, anyhow). And I don't think the buzz on Newt Gingrich has reached a sufficient point yet (or ever, I believe) that he is considered enough of a serious threat to really bring out the enemy's fangs. Either of these candidates, if they projected an air of front-runner potential (as I believe Fred will, very soon), could easily and quite soundly trounce Mitt in my described metric.

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Anonymous Marty said...

But those liberals are so clever. I think that you should probably go with your "True Ben" instincts and pick as your enemy Rudy Giuliani. The reason for this is that the left actually hates Rudy more than any other candidate. He, after all, showed them up. He is one of them in some regards (abortion, other social issues), but he cleaned up New York and was tough after 9/11. The former showed in a bad light the liberal policies of every NY Mayor since Lindsay.

And Rudy showed them up in another, potentially more dangerous way. He showed that it is possible to attract Democratic voters by being heterodox (regarding crime, economics). He opened the door for Democratic candidates to buck their own orthodoxy. Maybe consider pro-life (shudder) candidates like they did in the backwoods of Pennsylvania.

But at the same time, the liberals fear Giuliani because he is not weak-kneed on the national security issue of our time, where their weakness and credibility is their continuing (and growing) problem. The left knows that Rudy is a strong candidate, so they will save him for last.

The left knows two things: First, they cannot attack Giuliani on 9/11 (They have no credibility there, and he's a hero on that issue) or his anti-crime performance in NYC (It's not a national issue. People in the rest of the country don't care about New York, actually hate it, and think that what Rudy did was mainly common sense.) But they also have no way to attack him on his liberal social policies. And why should they care that he is with him on that? Every Democratic candidate will be orthodox on that -- unless Rudy's lesson is learned by the Dems! So they are almost powerless to really attack him. Their attacks might only strengthen him.

So let him continue as the lead prospect among the Republicans. If he gets the nod, the left can rely on the second thing they know: Rudy will not win. He will not be backed by the religious base of the Republican party, even at the expense of losing the Presidency to a Democrat. And he will not attract enough Democrats nationally to overcome the losses among Republicans.

3:50 PM  

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