Update: If you didn’t watch it – find Condeleeza Rice’s speech online. And Gov. Martinez landed some serious blows as well.
No radio shows Wednesday and Thursday this week. To my surprise I find myself interested in watching the GOP convention. This has never happened in my adult life. Before 08 I could not be bothered with the GOP. Even 4 years ago I only watched Palin’s speech. For the record, I didn’t watch the Denver debacle either. I am almost certain I won’t be viewing the Democrats wingding next week. The TV Guide blurb is enough for me: Dems attempt 3 day remake of Triumph Of The Will. They fail.
Why an interest in the GOP convention this time? Hard to say. I can’t quite gut check it – but they seem more interesting than usual. The old white guy party had a surprising list of speakers last night. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being an old white guy, I am fast approaching that outcome.) There were plenty of old white guys trundling up to the podium to be sure. There was also an Indian-American female governor, a black female mayor from Utah (!), some youngish folks surnamed Valenzuela, Cruz, and Fortuño. If one turned off the sound at times it almost looked like a Berkeley freshman diversity indoctrination orientation. (Say that 6 times fast.)
Now not to contradict my own ranting about the poison of racial identity politics – but rather to reinforce what I have been saying for 2 years: Agree or not with their politics, the most interesting people are happening on the GOP side. Nearly all off them emerged out of the big GOP win in 2010.
I can’t think of one compelling political figure born of the 2008 Democratic wave, other than Obama – who, it turns out, isn’t very interesting at all. Early in Obama’s term I predicted that within 6 months the most popular, sought after Democrats would be Bill and Hillary Clinton. My timeline wasn’t off by much. I’ll take a small risk and predict now that next week President Clinton’s speech in prime time with get a higher Nielson than President Obama’s.
It’s not entirely evident yet, and I still don’t know who will win, but the Democrats are exhausted. This will become clear soon whether Obama wins or not. The back bench is the old guard, which is to say the Clintons. The hope for the future is 2 figures from the past, which is to say the Clintons.
Look at the possible contenders for 2016: Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley. I can’t take anyone else seriously. Warren is possible if she wins but I see no reason to believe she could mount a national campaign. And she’d never sell with Clinton Democrats who will be ascendant again by then.
Clinton and Cuomo are serious people with political chops. Both are capable of running and winning. Clinton may well be done for good, and who can blame her? Biden is a delusional punchline. O’Malley will become a punchline, and is probably delusional. So that leaves Cuomo. If Clinton leaves the stage, Cuomo is it for 2016. Actually, if he can keep it in his pants, Gavin Newsome may be the most intriguing up and comer on the progressive side. I bet most here don’t even know who he is.
Now – if Obama wins – look at the GOP side: Ryan, Rubio, Martinez (providing she wins a 2nd term.), Christie, Ayotte, Daniels, Walker, Haley, Brown…even Love if she kicks some ass in the House. The governor of Puerto Rico might be the real deal as well, though accent probably makes him a nonstarter. That’s a farm team….AND racially diverse in a way that Dems try to legislate. I’M NOT SAYING I AGREE WITH ANY OF THESE POLITICIANS. I’m saying they are interesting. Worth watching.
Paul Ryan speaks tonight. If he sells the speech I feel safe in saying he is far more likely to be our political template for the next 10 years than Martin O’Malley. Even if Romney Ryan lose.
So I’m watching the GOP convention – DVRed 20 minutes behind schedule – the Santorums are still roaming free in the GOP after all. Fast Forward is always at the ready.