There are many things in life I dont pretend to understand. Accretion discs. Dynamic scoring. Adam Sandler.
But Ive always had a pretty good handle on politics. For one thing, its not that complicated. And for another, when I get confused, theres always Nate Silver to straighten me out.
So, in that spirit, we will begin our 2015 column season by explaining why none of the many Republican presidential candidates could possibly be nominated in 2016. One of them will be, of course, which youd think would ruin the concept of the column. But, fortunately, it doesnt.
I mean, I said repeatedly that Mitt Romney couldnt possibly be nominated in 2012 because the guy who invented Romneycare would obviously not be chosen to run against the guy who invented Obamacare. And yet I knew he would be nominated because, who else Bachmann, Newt, Santorum, Cain, Oops? And so Romney got the job and, as everyone except Romney knew would happen, he lost.
And looking back, it was clear he should never have been nominated …
… so clear that respected people are actually talking about him running for a third time. Why couldnt Romney run this time? Are you kidding? Its not just because Chris Mathews predicts in mid-tingle that Romney would win the nomination. Its 47 percent of everything else.
Lets go to the real candidates. One of them will win, I guess, even though none of them would seem to have a chance.
1. Jeb Bush. Of all the candidates, this is the most confusing one to me. Would Republicans really nominate pro-Common Core, pro-immigration Jeb Bush? Who is his constituency the younger and smarter brothers of America? The idea of another Bush-Clinton race is so outlandish, so interstellarish, that when Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination (see: Romney, 2012), Americans will look back at yet another Bush candidacy as the time when someone actually Googled William Henry Harrison.
2. Marco Rubio. Hes a young, smart, attractive, inexperienced first-term senator. And hes written a book. (Sound like anyone you know? I cant wait to hear about the time he spent in Indonesia.) Hes also from Florida, where Jeb Bush will have tapped every donor this side of South Beach. Rubio will run eventually. He might even win. Eventually.
3. Mike Huckabee. In 2008, he shockingly won in Iowa, winning the evangelical vote that Rick Santorum won in 2012, proving that winning in Iowa doesnt mean all that much anymore. Huckabee couldnt raise money in 2008. I dont see where he could raise any in 2016, even if he wins Iowa again. Hes a great retail campaigner in an era when retail campaigns have gone wholesale. I spent a day with him in New Hampshire in 2008 and one of his supporters gave me his card which had imbedded in it a piece of a pink Elvis convertible. Or so he told me. Whats not to like?
Littwin: Someone else, please, in 2016