It’s the question that been whispering at me since Scott Walker suspended his campaign, and began screaming in my ear after Bobby Jindal announced he was doing likewise.
(I didn’t worry when Rick Perry failed to catch fire — unfortunately, he sealed his fate in 2012.)
My gut tells me that Republican primary voters are looking for a firebrand this year. That makes things easier for conservative Senators who haven’t had to do much, and it really makes things easy for a loudmouth (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing) like Donald Trump. Governors who need to compromise, to actually work with the other side and govern? They just don’t fit this year’s zeitgeist.
But Ben Domenech has a different explanation:
The answer is simple: Reince Priebus.
The lesson of the Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal failures is simple: You can’t run a presidential campaign from the undercard stage. When the RNC decided that they would dictate this debate process from on high, allowing the networks to rely on questionable low-response national polls, they hamstrung all of the lower tier candidates—people who had insufficient name ID to compete with the Donald Trumps of the world.
Only Carly Fiorina has escaped this trap, and only barely. But the effect was to leave behind the most successful Republican governor in the nation in Rick Perry; the most effective anti-union executive in Scott Walker; and the most innovative policy mind in Bobby Jindal.
It’s time to ask whether the RNC knew what it was doing.
I think we already know the answer to that question, don’t you?
Anyway, read Ben’s whole piece, although I think there’s plenty of room in this field for both of our answers to be at least partly correct.