May 30, 2015

Pataki, Revitalizing Republican Moderation?

Does Pataki have what it takes to forgo Iowa and South Carolina (with its far more socially conservative primary voters) and win a New Hampshire Republican primary? Certainly this strategy is far wiser than Giuliani's 2008 banking on Florida with it's expensive media markets compared to retail politics of New Hampshire to pivot to a path to nomination. The downside of course being that New Hampshire is going to be crowded with 20 or more presidential candidates also hoping that they can make a miracle out of better than expected results in the first primary of the nation.

Jeb Bush with enough dough to choke an elephant doesn't need to win New Hampshire just as his father and brother lost the state before him lost it and went on to garner the nomination. Pataki doesn't have that same war chest, and will absolutely need to win New Hampshire if he has any shot of remaining viable in later states' primaries. Of course Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and others are also depending on New Hampshire for the same vault to lead the pack. Pataki doesn't have any other path to nomination other than an outright win in New Hampshire, unlike the others who could come in 2nd and build momentum from there.

Hilary Clinton being moderate (as in acceptable to big business) Democrat, can give populist rhetoric to win in the general but govern as a defender of the status quo. Pataki, may well be the better general election candidate with socially tolerant views and focus on common sense reforms of the government, but those general election assets are huge primary liabilities. Presidential elections cannot be jerrymandered like House districts and aren't going to be decided by paid advertising (since there is nearly unlimited earned media nationally) like in US Senate races, so the party that continues to pander to the angry white-man will find itself on the losing end of national elections. Pataki-esque moderation may be the GOP's saving grace, if they are willing to grab it.

George Pataki Adds a Socially Liberal Voice to the Race for the G.O.P. Nomination