Now that the Generic Republican is officially running, I’m thinking he needs a slogan that truly reflects his exciting identity. Here are some of the ideas I’ve come up with:

• Pawlenty 2012: Adequate for America
• Pawlenty 2012: Less Frightening Than The Various Alternatives
• Pawlenty 2012: We Are The Ones We Have Been Vaguely Waiting For, Sort Of
• Pawlenty 2012: In Your Heart, You Know He’s Alright
• Pawlenty 2012: Mediocrity We Can Believe In
• Pawlenty 2012: Bland Over Blue

What say you, O Internet masses? Any better ideas?

On a more serious note, I’ve been pondering my GOP nomination odds since I posted them in a comment Sunday night, and I think I may be underestimating Romney’s chances a bit. I have Multiple-Choice Mitt with a 22% of winning, well behind T-Paw’s 33%, based on the notion that Romney’s manifest flaws and his sordid past will prove too much to overcome, and Pawlenty (who presently barely registers in the polls, whereas Mitt has a low plurality lead) will eventually rise to the top, given the absence of viable alternatives (no Daniels, etc.). But it occurs to me that, while Pawlenty is clearly the Generic Republican, Romney is the Default Republican — the candidate who people just sort of assume is the front-runner, and who is liable to get a decent baseline of support from relatively low-information voters unless and until somebody else catches fire. (And really, is it even possible to imagine Tim Pawlenty “catching fire”?) Some years, the Default Republican and the Generic Republican are the same person — think Bob Dole — but this year they’re definitely not. Looking at Romney vs. Pawlenty as Default Republican vs. Generic Republican is a pretty useful framing of the race, I think.

Anyway, Romney’s status as the Default Republican potentially matters a lot, in general but especially in one specific, plausible scenario: if the need arises to rally around an anti-Bachmann or anti-Palin (or anti-Santorum??), and Pawlenty’s campaign hasn’t taken off yet, Romney would be the logical hold-your-nose-and-vote-for-someone-who-isn’t-crazy choice. Basically, as I think about it, Pawlenty really, really needs to win Iowa, so he can use the momentum boost (a la John Kerry) to suddenly vault to the front of the pack. If, instead, an unelectable far-right candidate wins Iowa, it’s very possible that Romney’s superior name recognition and poll numbers — and the #PANIC!!! of the GOP’s non-crazy wing — would allow the Default Republican to become “inevitable” before the Generic Republican ever has a chance to really catch on.

Oh, and also: Pawlenty has a money problem. Romney doesn’t. That matters, too.

In light of this, I think I’d revise my odds to something like:

Pawlenty 28%
Romney 27%
Bachmann 10%
Perry 8%*
Palin 6%**
Huntsman 5%
Cain 4%
Gingrich 2%
Other 10%

*Assumes a roughly 20-25% chance he runs.
**Assumes a roughly 50% chance she runs.

Compare and contrast with Intrade, which I think is slightly undervaluing Palwenty and Bachmann, and waaay overvaluing Huntsman, who I personally like but can’t imagine winning the nomination. Also, although I don’t specifically call out Jeb Bush on the above list (he’s subsumed within the 10% for “Other”), Intrade’s 0.3% odds for Jeb winning the nomination seem like a bargain to me. He very likely won’t run — but if he did, he’d have a helluva good shot.

(Apropos of which, if Perry jumps in, he becomes an instant front-runner on my list, and Pawlenty’s chances are shot to hell. If Palin jumps in, she and Bachmann roughly switch places.)

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Comments on "Wanted: generic Pawlenty slogans!"

16 Responses to “Wanted: generic Pawlenty slogans!”

  1. David K. Says:

    Pawlenty 2012: Eh, why not?
    Pawlenty 2012: You could do worse.
    Pawlenty 2012: Meh
    Pawlenty 2012: [insert campaign slogan here]

  2. Joe Mama Says:

    Pawlenty 2012: Everyone Else Is Cornmeal

  3. Alasdair Says:

    Pawlenty 2012: Just One Of The Millions Who Couldn’t Do Worse Than The One

  4. David K. Says:

    The one what?

  5. gahrie Says:

    The one what?

    I don’t know..ask Oprah, I believe she was the one who called President Obama “The One” first.

  6. David K. Says:

    Yes and clearly rather than meaning he was “the one” choice to win or “the one” politician she really believed in, she clearly CLEARLY meant he was “The One” great savior of us all that Alasdair implies with his comments (many over the years). Clearly every time someone says that person A is “the one” they only only mean it in a super religious context. Yes thats right, everyone who voted for Obama did so because we believed he was our new Lord and Savior, rather than, oh I don’t know a good choice to vote for.

    Yup, lets continue to feed Alasdair’s irrational partisan rhetoric and fail to have adult conversations. What a f***ing fantastic plan.

  7. gahrie Says:

  8. gahrie Says:

  9. gahrie Says:

    Yup, lets continue to feed Alasdair’s irrational partisan rhetoric and fail to have adult conversations. What a f***ing fantastic plan.

    1) Your inability to acknowledge the messianic tone of the media coverage of President Obama is the problem.

    2) Lighten up Francis, this is a thread about humorous campaign slogans, not a serious “adult” conversation.

  10. Brendan Loy Says:

    Personally, I think calling Obama “The One” is rather funny.

    The “messianic tone of the media coverage of President Obama[‘s 2008 campaign]” is an exaggeration, obviously. (I added the 2008 reference because it’s almost totally inapplicable now.) But like many exaggerations, there’s a grain of truth in it. I’ve got no more problem with mocking it than I do with Tina Fey’s brilliant Palin impersonations, or the various jokes over the years about Bush’s malapropisms.

  11. Joe Mama Says:

    Perhaps not literally messianic, but this kind of hilarious crap, which was actually published in a major newspaper, is cutting it pretty close:

    Barack Obama isn’t really one of us. Not in the normal way, anyway.

    This is what I find myself offering up more and more in response to the whiners and the frowners and to those with broken or sadly dysfunctional karmic antennae – or no antennae at all – to all those who just don’t understand and maybe even actively recoil against all this chatter about Obama’s aura and feel and MLK/JFK-like vibe.

    To them I say, all right, you want to know what it is? The appeal, the pull, the ethereal and magical thing that seems to enthrall millions of people from all over the world, that keeps opening up and firing into new channels of the culture normally completely unaffected by politics?

    No, it’s not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn’t have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity.

    Dismiss it all you like, but I’ve heard from far too many enormously smart, wise, spiritually attuned people who’ve been intuitively blown away by Obama’s presence – not speeches, not policies, but sheer presence – to say it’s just a clever marketing ploy, a slick gambit carefully orchestrated by hotshot campaign organizers who, once Obama gets into office, will suddenly turn from perky optimists to vile soul-sucking lobbyist whores, with Obama as their suddenly evil, cackling overlord.

    Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

  12. David K. Says:

    @Joe Mama, I think you should have Brendan check the HTML for your link, it doesn’t seem to be resolving correctly.

    @gahrie – Do I acknowledge taht there exist some people who treat Obama with a messianic tone? Absolutely. Just as they do for Palin and did for Bush, Reagan, etc. Was it widespread or part of the mainstream, no it wasn’t.

    @Brendan – Sure it can have a humorous tone when used that way, or it can be completely derogatory when used by others, in particular Alasdair.

  13. Brendan Loy Says:

    Alasdair’s comment on this thread, using “The One,” was a joke. Was it a partisan joke? Of course. Was it especially funny? Not in my opinion, but humor is in the eye of the beholder. In any event, the only reason you think it was “completely derogatory” is because Alasdair said it. On its face, it’s not that.

  14. Alasdair Says:

    At the risk of sounding like someone from T’ronno (Toronto, to the uninitiated) …

    “Wossamatta u ? Can’t handle the iron, eh ?”

    Perhaps our resident davidkian doesn’t remember the Words uttered by The One, Himself …

    “… this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal …”

    Dubya has been called many things – I don’t remember anything even witrhin orders of magnitude of the fawning which The One seems to expect as his due …

  15. Brendan Loy Says:

    First off, let me just say, that quote is totally hilarious, and absolutely fair game as comical fodder for the Obamessiah meme. I’ve made fun of it myself.

    That said, since you’re basing a serious argument on it, I offer the context:

    America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

    The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

    What is Obama saying here? That “I am The Chosen One, who will save the world”? Or that, “by turn[ing] the page on the policies of the past,” Americans, whose “capacity” is “limitless,” should seize “our moment” (NOT “my moment”) to turn “the country we love” in a “new direction” that will favor more progressive policies on health care, the economy, the environment (hence rising oceans and a healing planet) and foreign policy?

    In other words, at its core, is he saying, “I am Jesus”? Or is he saying, “Democrats’ policies are better than Republicans’ policies. This is our moment to switch from Republican policies to Democratic policies. Vote for me!”?

    Obviously, he’s saying the latter. Again, the way he chose to say it is hilarious, in light of the Obamessiah meme, and it’s perfectly fine to make fun of it, especially the line you quoted.

    (Also, when someone says “I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations,” it’s fair to wonder whether he’s saying that because it’s not actually true — protesting too much, if you will. )

    However, again, if you’re making a serious argument that Obama really thinks he’s the Messiah, or “expects” “fawning” “as his due,” this quote is of limited utility.

  16. Alasdair Says:

    Brendan – thank you for giving us the additional context … (grin) … how about we consider even more of The One’s words … (and then yours, at the end) … (grin) …

    “Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past.” … well, Obama certainly has done that, in some ways … he has sucked up to regimes hostile to the US while alienating our tried-and-true allies … he has taken deficits that he declaimed as too high in the $400 Billion range – and replaced them with deficits in the $1.2+ Trillion range …

    “Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face.” … so *that’s* why he decided to channel an historical President in this economic crisis … of course, he just *had* to choose Hoover’s ideas and we know how those turned out …

    ” this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick” … he tries to make it sound like folk believe that, prior to his Ascension, under The Eeeeevil Booosh, no-one was providing any care for the sick …

    ” and good jobs to the jobless” … like those 62K jobs at McDonalds in April, right ? From over one million applicants ! Amazing how many Directors and Executives and Managers got hired in that 62K, right ? source here

    ” this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow” … this might have made more sense if significant parts of Holland were underwater due to “the rise of the oceans” – given that it ain’t so, well, you gotta admit that it ain’t so …

    ” this was the moment when we ended a war “ … hmmm … this one was precious … let’s see … the Bush wars – Iraq and Afghanistan … so we are out of Iraq, right ? oh … he meant Afghanistan ? hmmm … OH ! he meant Libya – which *Obama* started, well, was going to start, right ? Except that, even though Congress (last I heard) hadn’t approved it within the 60 days, it’s still going on … *that* war, right ?

    ” and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.” … OK – so our Allies now respect us ? Israel especially, right ? OK – how about Libya ? China ? The Arab world ? At this time, even Reid and Hoyer are trying to distance themselves from him …

    “when we came together “ … ah yesssss … Obama as “The Great Uniter” – except that he and his party with the supermajorities in the 111th Congress rammed through unpopular legislation – Obamacare, remember – without a single GOP vote … Obama has singlehandedly managed to polarise the US beyond any prior President within my lifetime … the most he did to unite folk was getting conservatives united to throw the Dems sorry fundaments out of control of the House of Representatives in 2010 … is *that* what he was foreseeing as his intent in his speech ???

    Considering Brendan’s words, now …

    “However, again, if you’re making a serious argument that Obama really thinks he’s the Messiah” … nope, I don’t believe that Obama does – he *acts* more like such a mere position would be beneath his dignity …

    “or “expects” “fawning” “as his due” … now, *there*, you are identifying one of Obama’s main characteristics … he doesn’t like to be challenged, and he gets petty when he is … he flips the finger in public more than my #4 daughter ! (I know, I know, it’s a nervous tic that he has, he can’t help it … what’s that syndrome called ? Digital Tourette’s ?)

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