The Ghosts Of Failed Candidates Past

by Patrick Appel

Larison compares Palin's 2012 run to Giuliani's doomed 2008 campaign:

You will immediately object that Giuliani and Palin are completely different, and in most respects that’s true. Regardless, in one of the most important respects they are very much alike: pundits and journalists took Giuliani seriously as a candidate for the Republican nomination when there was absolutely no reason to do so, and now more than a few of them are doing the same thing with Palin. If Giuliani’s candidacy wasn’t viable because of his social liberalism and his, er, colorful personal life, Palin’s won’t be viable because she will be seen as unprepared, out of her depth and inexperienced, which are all of the things that Republicans have said about Obama for years and will want to use to attack him again in 2012.

I'm basically where Jonathan Bernstein is on the Palin question, but much could change between now and 2012. It's easy to see how this next cycle could provide an opening for a dark horse candidate. The GOP is likely to do very well with governorships in 2010. And if we continue to stumble unevenly towards recovery, this new crop of politicians can take credit for the upturn without being tainted by the downturn. The only question is whether a politician who won in 2010 would have enough time to stage a presidential run.