Blank/Issa 2012?

I have absolutely no clue who the 2012 GOP nominee is going to be.  There are probably five of six candidates who are all serious contenders for the top of the ticket who’s fates are as dependent on who drops out first as much as they are on their campaigning.  Considering the combination of the facts that primaries typically favor the more ideologically extreme candidates and the fact that the GOP tried a moderate in 2008 and lost, it is more likely that we will see a Gingritch, Huckabee, or Palin at the top of the ticket as opposed to a Romney or Pawlenty. Even of one of the latter manages to pull it out, it will only be because they swung far to the right to satiate the wings of the party.  This means that for the GOP ticket to stand any chance, they will need to choose a VP candidate who can help them look more moderate to balance the ticket.

Now, whoever this is will need two things; they will need a record (no matter how short) of being both competent and relatively non partisan but conservative none the less.  Currently, there are very few Republicans who fit this bill, particularly considering the fact that there will most likely be very little governing in the 111th congress, and no congressional republican has had a chance to appear as a serious deal maker since the democrats came to power in 2006.  Darrell Issa is in a perfect position to craft himself into such a niche candidate over the next 18 months and I think he is starting the realize this.  Several weeks ago, Issa looked like he was getting ready to go Bachman when he accused the Obama administration of being the most corrupt ever.  He almost immediately backed off this and today released a surprisingly non partisan list of investigations that he is planing on having.  Instead he will be investigating rather technocratic issues such as Fannie and Freddie’s roles in the foreclosure crisis and recalls at the FDA.  While these are all high profile, as long appearing as a 1994 style attack dog, it is likely he could be seen as the only high profile grownup in the GOP.  Furthermore, the oversight committee gives him almost total control of the news cycle,  letting allowing for him to stay in the spotlight for the next 18 months while he attempts to paint himself as a Truman.

While 2012 is a long way off, Issa seems to be a clear favorite in my mind to be on the bottom of the ticket, and lets face it, no matter what you think of him, he has to be an upgrade over the 2008 GOP VP nominee…

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