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The talk may grow louder, but any challenge would be suicidal in its own right.
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For that reason, the challenger often loses more than just the race, he hurts his own political future. Roosevelt never regained the Republican throne, despite overwhelming earlier popularity. Kennedy spent years in the Senate rebuilding his reputation as an able legislator.
Again, Reagan is the only exception — gaining the nomination just four years later — but Watergate was the reason: Republicans had never nominated Ford, let alone elected him, to the vice presidency or the presidency.
Few are willing to embody the adage: He who wields the sword, seldom wears the crown. That limits greatly the field of credible challengers in the first place.
Finally, from what angle would an Obama challenger run? It is inconceivable that it would be from the right — there is no national conservative base left in the Democratic Party. From the left? With the Tea Party’s rise, liberals have to know that Obama is their only hope in this election.
Finally, the Kennedy challenge is particularly instructive in another way. Its wounds were not just inflicted on the candidates or the party elite, but the party itself. The challenge by a Northeast liberal to a Southern conservative was something many southerners never forgot.
Kennedy’s challenge to Carter is hardly the only reason Democrats have seen a continual erosion in the South, but it didn’t help stem it either.
Party establishments don’t quickly forget such things, any more than they quickly forgive them. It is something any party — particularly today’s Democrats, who took a beating in 2010 — will do everything they can to avoid.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?