GOP Race Won't Be a Rerun of 2008

Candidates already look sharper than the last pack: Jonah Goldberg
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2011 1:41 PM CDT
Republican presidential hopefuls from the last election schmooze before a debate in this Oct. 9, 2007, file photo.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

(Newser) – Now that The Donald and Mike Huckabee have gone home, the 2012 GOP field looks a lot clearer—and Jonah Goldberg likes what he sees. Over the past few weeks, candidates have broken the “policy logjam,” trying out positions that broke from party orthodoxy, Goldberg observes in the LA Times. “These should be fascinating developments given the perennial claims that the GOP base is too right wing, extremist and closed-minded to tolerate such philosophical diversity.”

Newt Gingrich endorsed an individual mandate—which surely had Mitt Romney “jumping for joy so high his hair might actually have moved.” Mitch Daniels, meanwhile, called for a “truce” on social issues and floated the pro-choice Condoleezza Rice as a potential running mate. All of which suggests "that this year’s primary season won’t be a replay of the dreadful 2008 debates, in which the candidates auditioned to play the part of Ronald Reagan in the school play,” and that these guys “might be ahead of the rank-and-file of the GOP.”

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