The Corner

My 2008 Pick

I don’t have a candidate, Jonah.

Two or three years ago, when Jeb Bush ‘08 was a hot idea in D.C. Republican circles, I thought the idea was crazy. Now that it’s not a hot idea, I think better of it. The dynasty issue would be a problem–one mitigated but not eliminated by Hillary–but everyone else has a problem of his own that’s just as bad if not worse. So I’d be for Jeb Bush, if I thought there was a chance of his running. But presidential candidates don’t get truly drafted.

Under the circumstances, I think the process of elimination you’re advocating for the Corner might make sense for conservatives generally. Conservatives can’t consolidate behind one candidate, but rather will have to encourage all of the potentially satisfactory candidates to come toward us. So we need to identify who we can’t support, hope there’s a crowd on the left side of the primary, and then winnow down the field of supportables.

It does strike me that there is room for a candidate who is socially conservative, fiscally conservative, and a hawk. Those are the mainstream positions of the Republican party, but there’s no strong candidate yet who represents all of them.

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


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