Crossposted at Race42012.com
Okay, nobody freak out. I am not…let me repeat…NOT jumping off the Palin bandwagon - not even close. Sarah is my candidate in 2012, period. That said, I think there is a serious problem with our overall field of potential primary candidates: they’re ALL governors
Don’t get me wrong, I like Governors, they make great nominees – but I’m starting to get unnerved by the potential of a primary contested solely by domestic policy experts. Palin, Romney, Huckabee, Pawlenty, Jindal, Crist - ALL lack foreign policy credentials, and it’s going to be harder to give those issues their due if no-one in the field is really well-schooled in that department. In my humble opinion, there absolutely MUST be at least one candidate in the race who can make sure that all of the candidates – including my beloved Sarah – get their feet held to the fire regarding terrorism, defense, international relations, and national security. Some have suggested that David Patraeus could make a wild-card run, but I personally think that’s a pipe dream. Instead, we need to find somebody willing to become a second-tier, single-issue candidate who is in the race in order to channel the debate (much in the way that Tancredo and Hunter kept Immigration relevant in the 2008 primaries…love ‘em or hate ‘em, it worked).
I had previously thought about suggesting firebrand think-tank head Frank Gaffney for this role, but even I knew that was a bit of a stretch. However, after attending yesterday’s session of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), I realized that I had been neglecting one of the conservative movement’s most forceful and eloquent voices on foreign policy issues – Former U.N. Ambassador John “The ‘Stache” Bolton.
As far as I’m concerned, Ambassador Bolton is the complete package politically – he’s ridiculously smart, has a memorable personality, seems to have a lot of fire in his belly, and (most importantly) is one of the more dynamic speakers I’ve seen. He positively brought the house down at CPAC this morning, and I remember that he did the same last year. Anyone would be hard-pressed to handle him in a foreign policy debate, and his dynamism might even give him a chance of pulling off a Huckabee-esque breakout – especially considering that he would have a virtual lock on security-focused voters. The only real problem is that he can be a bit of a bomb-thrower, but that can be an asset in a primary campaign, and it’s definitely a good thing if he were to find himself in contention for the VP slot after the primaries (I would pay good money to see a Biden-Bolton smackdown).
The biggest question is what’s in it for Ambassador Bolton if he doesn’t win (which would be a pretty good bet). Well, he could put himself in the catbird seat for Secretary of State or National Security Advisor if the GOP nominee defeated Obama - or he could use his momentum to launch his own policy organization, dramatically raise his profile in the media, and cement his position as the right’s dominant voice on foreign policy. As I see it, he really can’t lose.
So, do you think that we are going to need a “security candidate” in the 2012 race, and if so, what to you think of the idea of drafting The ‘Stache?