The Fix’s Chris Cillizza evidently doesn’t have a lot to do with his time, since he is trying to figure out who are the “stars” is what’s left of the Republican Party. So let’s look at his list from the criterion that has worked since 1988: who are the Ivy Leaguers in the group?
The 2008 Presidential campaign has been underway since 2004, but only now has the list of candiates begun to congeal. So how to winnow things down? We’ve griped about the fact that Ronald Reagan was the last President that wasn’t a product of an Ivy League school, either as an undergraduate, a graduate, or both. So it makes sense that candidates that are have a significant advantage. Let’s see who these might be.
The Republicans start off at a disadvantage; of the major candidates, only Mitt Romney fits the bill (as one would expect a Governor of Massachusetts to.) Although we have grave reservations about nominating him, doing otherwise will put the party at a handicap. That includes a “ring knocker” like John McCain.
The Democrats are in a better position with Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Kerry. (So much for the “Breck Girl!”)
As you can see, the only Ivy Leaguer left on either position of either ticket is about to become President of the United States. The only one. And the party with the most candidates to start with from the Ivy League won.
So let’s look at Chris’ list. I agree with him to exclude Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. Both are great people IMHO, but neither is an Ivy Leaguer and both are Evangelical, which give them serious cooties with the Republican party’s elite. This party elite can’t get you into the White House but it can keep you out of it short of the disaster that brought Ronald Reagan victory in 1980.
Having taken care of that, let me divide Chris’ field into the two camps.
People Who Aren’t Ivy Leaguers and Won’t Make It
- Steve Poizner: Not an Ivy Leaguer. Since he went to the University of Texas, I won’t support him either.
- Haley Barbour: Even though he’s the only politician whose reputation was enhanced by Katrina, he’s still not an Ivy Leaguer. It’s obvious too.
- Mark Sanford: Furman and UVa. Forget about it.
- Bob McDonnell: He’s a great guy (he’s the only one of the group I’ve actually met,) but no Ivy Leaguer. If the MSM finds out he went to Regent (his sister Maureen was advancement director there,) they will trash him, and the DC suburbs will abandon him faster than they did John McCain.
- John Thune: I didn’t know he was an Evangelical until I did the research for this piece. Went to Biola some. But the University of South Dakota doesn’t cut it in the land where Ivy League elitist snobs get a pass.
People Who Are Ivy Leaguers and Have a Future in the U.S.
- Jon Huntsman Jr.: Went to Penn, so there’s a possibility. He is LDS, but more about that vis à vis Mitt Romney.
- Eric Cantor: He did receive a degree in real estate development at Columbia, so there’s a possibility, although real estate development will make him a bête noire with the left.
- Mitch Daniels: Princeton and Georgetown. Don’t underestimate a Hoosier.
- Mitt Romney: An Ivy Leaguer, of course. Huckabee managed to flush him because he’s LDS, but the LGBT community has gone a long way to solving that problem for him by the way they’ve trashed Mormons and their physical plant in the wake of Proposition 8. If I were Mitt, I’d be putting videos of gay men protesting in front of Mormon wards and temples on YouTube. Lots of them.
- Bobby Jindal: A very “hot commodity” indeed. Brown and Oxford? Quite a combo! Non-white to boot! From Louisiana–and Barack Obama thinks that Chicago is tough?
But stuff like this, boys and girls, is why the party’s over. Perhaps for the country.