Political Animal


April 08, 2013 5:48 PM The Ricks Just Won’t Go Away

By Ed Kilgore

I saw a couple of pieces earlier today suggesting that Rick Perry was letting it be known he might still run for president in 2016, and didn’t think it worth writing about. But then I saw this item at CNN:

Rick Santorum, who says he’s open to another White House bid and already speaks like a candidate, told CNN the GOP’s focus on the economy and taxes, instead of social issues, was what led to presidential losses for the party in the last two cycles….
In a speech next week to the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, Santorum will argue that Republicans should meld economic and social issues, making the case that focusing on both is critical to scoring votes. A press release says his “remarks will focus on the future of the Republican Party and what must be done to ensure our party’s future viability.”

Well, why not? The man’s already visited every Pizza Ranch in Iowa, a state where the idea of piping down on cultural issues is absolutely not accepted by the kind of people who tend to dominate the presidential Caucuses on the GOP side. It’s hard to think of anything Santorum has said that Steve King, who seems to be inching towards a decision to run for the Senate in Iowa in 2014, hasn’t said even more loudly.

As for Perry, the CW that his 2012 campaign was just incompetently run would be a nice excuse for getting himself a whole new batch of advisors and trying again. If Rubio’s tripped up by immigration policy (Perry knows all about how that can happen) and Paul’s crazy associations catch up with him and Republicans decide another Bush is just a bad idea, then theoretically the Texas could be made viable by a terrible field of rivals. After all, it worked for Mitt Romney.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on April 08, 2013 6:00 PM:

    I saw a couple of pieces earlier today suggesting that Rick Perry was letting it be known he might still run for president in 2016, and didnít think it worth writing about.

    You just did, though I can see where this is of some passing interest just now.

    On the other hand, just how much weight are we supposed to assign Sanitarium...I mean, Santorum's latest exhale?

  • T2 on April 08, 2013 6:02 PM:

    People in Texas have turned on Perry. He is still a great leader/candidate in his own mind, but is pretty much a joke for everyone else. The moneybags that sponsored his massive flop last year are casting their eyes elsewhere, looking for someone who can count to three. Perry won't be the GOP candidate, and he won't be governor again either.

  • c u n d gulag on April 08, 2013 6:10 PM:

    Oh, Icky Sticky Rickey, please, please DO run!

    And make your core message be how much you hate women's icky-parts, but love the fetuses, and want to ban gay butt-sex.

    THAT'S a winning formula!!!

    Poor, poor, Rickey.

    All you ever wanted to be, was The Pope.
    And, you had as much a chance at that, as you did of becoming President last year - or will have, in 3 years.

    Hey, why not lose Lil' Rickey's two traveling companions, and become a castrati tenor?

    The other plus, beside being able to hit a high-C, is no more little Icky Sticky Ricky lil'-ones, running around - in case, you know, you want to step-out on the old ball-'n-chain, and pull a Gingrich with some intern.

  • efgoldman on April 08, 2013 6:12 PM:

    Well, its still a very long way out, but its hard to see any GOBP nominee not tetched by the crazy. Even if s/he isn't originally, it will be a qualification to win the primaries.
    And then there's Jebbie. Not so much the crazy, but he's got that last name...

  • AndThenThere'sThat on April 08, 2013 7:37 PM:

    T2 is spot on.

    Perry is Texas toast.

  • Kathryn on April 08, 2013 10:16 PM:

    Every one of these republican potential candidates is an insult to anybody who knows how to tie their shoes, so apparently something like 47% of Americans need to wear slip ons.

  • Rick B on April 09, 2013 12:56 AM:

    Concur with AndThenThere'sThat and T2.

    Rick Perry is winding up his third term as governor in 2014. If he runs he'll be defeated. If he doesn't run then the run for the Presidential nomination will be his second choice and that will be obvious.

    The social Republicans and the "big money - No tax on the wealthy" will still support him, but no one else is fooled this time.

  • Seth on April 09, 2013 7:16 AM:

    According to GOP nomination history, Santorum should be the nominee. Not since before Eisenhower, has the nominee not been a former President, Vice President or the runner-up in the delegate count of the last presidential election.

  • low-tech cyclist on April 09, 2013 11:19 AM:

    Is this the 'rickroll' that the kids were talking about a few years back?

    Yes, I'm being facetious.

    Rick Santorum has no, repeat NO, chance to win the GOP nomination in 2016. The party will be looking for newer, fresher faces to put on the same old drek.

    Rick Perry? Damned if I know. But I agree with T2 that he's gotta score well in the proverbial 'money primary' to have a chance.

    I really think it's gonna be Rubio, assuming he doesn't self-destruct in some way. He's the new, fresh face on the same old drek. And it's hard to see who else it might be.