Sunday, February 12, 2012
A brokered convention: Jeb Bush vs. Sarah Palin
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 2/13/12
Santorum’s contraception boom – “We’re all Catholics now,” said Mike Huckabee – won’t hold up. Because we’re not. This race could well go to a brokered convention. If Jeb Bush is proposed, so Sarah Palin should be proposed minutes later. She is now and always has been the singular Jacksonian voice in the original Tea Party phenomenon; the only one who can bring it to the mainstream. Her absence from the primary race has left a vacuum and no substitute has been found. Every other possible or potential leadership hopeful has risen and receded in this long Republican primary season.
But as The Hill’s Josh Lederman reports from the CPAC conference, the former Alaska governor received far-and-away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at this convention of about 10,000 conservative activists. She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday.
“The cheers for Palin were so loud that they drowned out her remarks again and again,” he writes. “Conference organizers had to set up three overflow rooms to accommodate the throngs of supporters eager to hear her words.”
The Bush secret agenda has been a subliminal theme for months with NJ Governor Chris Christie as the favored proxy and pitch man. At CPAC it broke through to the surface: Al Cardenas, head of the American Conservative Union, says that Republican turmoil might lead to a brokered convention in which Jeb Bush would emerge as a “possible alternative” party nominee. It made Drudge this weekend.
Conservatism is at the shore of a new awakening but is afraid to cross the river. It goes back to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Texas primary race. From Quigley’s “Pundit’s Blog” January 21, 2010: “The Austin Statesman reports that former President George H.W. Bush will endorse U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary for governor in her race against Rick Perry. Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Margaret Spellings and Karen Hughes [W.’s agent] also support Hutchison . . . But Sarah Palin supports Rick Perry and will appear with him at a rally on Super Bowl Sunday. Does one Sarah Palin equal a Bush, a Rove, a Spellings and a Hughes? In Texas, I believe it does.”
Perry won in a landslide. But why would the Bush establishment pull out all the stops to support Hutchison, who was sure to lose? Because they saw a new conservative movement building with Perry and Palin and were determined early on to stamp it out. They still are.
Bush/Christie or Christie/ Bush as “establishment” representation is bound to bring muffled chuckles (“Hey Abbott!!!”) and Obama would win in a landslide. But Bush/Christie vs. Sarah Palin/Rick Perry positions coming head to head at the Republican Convention would pit the storied worlds of Dexter and Paulie Walnuts; the most notoriously corrupt, burned out, busted up, used up, dangerous, underwater and broke eastern states, against the new, independent, states-oriented, freedom-seeking Constitutional conservatives like Palin of the western states, Texas and Alaska. Now that would be interesting.