The Corner

Palin’s Prospects

Paul Mirengoff argues that it is “quite plausible” to consider Palin the front-runner for the GOP nomination should she run. He lays out his list of assumptions; the one I most doubt is the second, and the third and fourth depend on its being true. “The second assumption is that the Tea Party movement will back Palin and that she will capture most of the Tea Party vote.” The “movement” may be too decentralized for it to back one candidate. Maybe she will get a plurality of tea partiers, but I can see several other figures having some appeal to them. Mike Huckabee, for example, who has pretty good anti-establishment cred and has been campaigning for years now on getting rid of the income tax. (If the tea partiers want their views to permeate the Republican party over the long run, splitting their support to multiple candidates — all of whom will find it in their interests to court tea partiers — is probably the best strategy.) And who’s to say that Jim DeMint stays out of the race?

It would be a real mistake, I think, to see O’Donnell’s victory as somehow presaging one by Palin. As Mirengoff concedes, Palin, if she runs for president, won’t be running against Mike Castle. Primary voters may also behave differently when the stakes are higher. Taking a gamble on a Senate candidate who might not be able to win is different from taking a gamble on a presidential candidate. That doesn’t mean Palin can’t win. But the conventional wisdom — that the race is wide open — just may be correct.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More