Bill Kristol, the Fox News analyst and Weekly Standard editor, made a couple of predictions on Fox News Sunday about the GOP presidential race:
“Can I go out on a limb, since everyone else is scared to say — actually make any predictions. I predict Palin will not run. I have no knowledge at all; I just have the hunch that she ultimately will not run.
I think Newt Gingrich is underestimated. Newt is going to run and Newt will be formidable. People can talk about the baggage, but lots of candidates have had lots of baggage, and people think they’re the right guy for the job, he could do better — and I do think — than people expect.”
Kristol has been an advocate for Palin in the past, so his prediction about her candidacy is interesting in that light. I also think he’s correct. Palin has peaked politically, and will be taken less and less seriously from here on out. A year from now, she’ll be considered little more than a curiosity. Public Policy Polling — admittedly, a Democratic-leaning polling firm — says that even in Alaska, her popularity has plummeted. Only 33 percent of her home-state voters now see her favorably, while 58 percent have an unfavorable impression of their former half-term governor. Among Alaska independents, 65 percent rate her unfavorably, and only 25 percent have a favorable opinion. In fact, of the 10 states surveyed by PPP, only Massachusetts gave Palin a lower favorability rating than Alaska.
Been there, done that, next joke please.
On Gingrich, however, I think Kristol’s dead wrong. Like Kristol, I now believe that Gingrich will probably run, and his glib tongue will ensure he gets media coverage. But in general, people don’t like Newt and people don’t trust him, and people want to like and trust their president. And in Newt’s case, the more exposure he gets on the campaign trail, the less he’ll be liked and trusted. He is not a person who wears well over time.
I wouldn’t care to guess at this point who the GOP nominee will be. It just won’t be either of these two, and for that fact the country and the Republican Party ought to be thankful.
– Jay Bookman