January 13th, 2015
I don’t like to pull the “I-followed-these-guys-around-the-primaries-and-I-have-a-good-bead-on-thm” card, but I did spend a lot of time following Mitt Romney around in both 2008 and 2012 and I came away pretty convinced that he was going to run again in 2016.
And it looks like we’re getting closer to this dream becoming a reality. How close? You can tell by Jen Rubin’s Benedict-Arnold freakout from yesterday in which Romney’s most reliable scribe is suddenly all Hey, there–don’t do this! Mitt Romney is a terrible candidate!
As the Comic Book Guy once said, “Oh, that is rich.”
(And by-the-by, what is this “rivalry” between Los Angeles and San Francisco that Rubin talks about? Is that a thing? If so, I’ve never heard of it. A rivalry between L.A. and New York? Sure. But Los Angeles and San Francisco? Two totally different cities with different geographies, different economies, and different identities. Maybe I’m missing something. I suspect that Rubin was just reaching for a way to signal, as inoffensively as possible, that she’s switched tanks. Jeb The Tank! Jeb The Tank!)
A word of caution: Let’s not get too excited here until Romney officially announces. Visions that feel too good to be true usually are.
Exit Question: If you’re Scott Walker or Marco Rubio, would it be smarter to announce ASAP–like, maybe even tomorrow–or to wait until just before Romney makes it official? Obviously, Walker is in a better position to spin up a campaign quickly. And there are definite advantages to waiting. It still is really early. But if you’re going to make a real play to win the nomination as a conservative-fusion candidate, which is the lane Walker and Rubio would be likely to run in, then you may need to start getting to work on the invisible primary stuff right now. That is, if you’ve already made up your mind to run.
Update: I didn’t want to look like I was piling on, but enough people have emailed me about it that I might as well put it down: Rubin’s #1 warning for Mitt 2016 boosters is the following:
Using talking points like “Ronald Reagan ran three times” treats Republicans like dolts. Fellas, Reagan lost in 1976, then won in 1980 and 1984.
Except, of course, that when people talk about Reagan running three times, they mean 1968, 1976, and 1980. Not 1976, 1980, and 1984. Jeb The Tank!
L.A.-San Fran is a real thing; has been for quite a while. Though really, it’s one-sided. SF hates, loathes, despises L.A. When I lived there, we called the hell to our south “Smell A”. But L.A. doesn’t really give a sheet, other than to admire SF and enjoy visiting.
Best summation I heard came from Joan Didion in the late ’70s. She said that in L.A., the people are producers–not that they are in the movie industry, per se, but they get up every morning and go to work. In San Francisco, she said, the major occupation of the residents is congratulating themselves on living in San Francisco.
LA-SF rivalry? It is real. Dodgers and Giants hate each other. It is one of the most storied rivalries in all of sports.
Do not believe.
Normally I avoid your Romney posts, and having to read Jennifer Rubin should have triggered a double-boycott, but must back up “J.E.” here. The Washington Post blogger was vaguely right as to the dynamic’s existence and completely wrong about its nature (which the prior comment describes accurately). People in the Bay Area and northern N. California — i.e. non-San Joaquin Valley which everyone craps on — have a natural capacity for snobbishness and somehow invented a “rivalry” w/ highly stereotyped anti-ideal of L.A. to cement their feeling of superiority. I read somewhere a post by Steve Sailer observing the same thing while living in Chicago but can’t find it.
In both scenarios the object of the rivalry is blissfully/idiotically unaware of it: they tend to imagine S.F. and Chicago as all-American places that’d be fun to visit; but of course, L.A. people are too self-absorbed most of the time to ever take trips, what with all the yapping on their iPhones at the beach while drinking Starbucks and merging onto the freeway… Totally different from salt-of-the-earth like you & I in Adams Morgan.
As a son of the south w/ one side of relatives in N. California, where I live now, I note the SoCal disdain frequently; and btw, how it’s frequently correct (little things you’d never recognize without driving between them a hundred times). My favorite variation of this was once in the 90s my aunt claiming we “stole” water from them. Well, it’s all stolen from somewhere, but L.A.’s water fights and proliferation of corrupt districts are famously intense (though amicable by San Diego’s standard).
Now with the drought the shoe is on the other foot, because SoCal is used to jack-booted water conservation but the north was caught completely unprepared. So now I LOL at Jerry Brown PSAs and the state Capitol groundskeepers letting one section of the lawn die, and everyone ripping out their landscaping, reminding me of my youth and wasting part of the school day on conservation “training.” Last night I witnessed the local news anchor & anchorette wrapping a story about rainfall, agriculture, etc. by actually complimenting themselves as steadfast water-misers and remarking, “We made great improvements from last year, but of course Southern California still has a lot to do.” Thanks, guy, if I want to know what manning the nightly sports desk in Mobile-Pensacola or Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo is like I’ll know where to ask