Friday, December 26, 2014

What 'The Gang of Five' Wants

With Romney apparently headed to the GOP nomination, what do the other five GOP candidates really want?

What 'The Gang of Five' Wants

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE: Ya know, JB, with the always-inevitable Mitt Romney still looking inevitable, the question I have is what do the other five GOP candidates really want?

JB: Well, let's take them one at a time. You tell me what you think. I'll tell you what I think. How about Newt?

BE: He clearly wants Mitt and all other candidates to drop the "pious baloney."

JB: Well, that would cut into his own pitch. I think he wants personal vengence on Mitt for blowing him up in Iowa. Either that or he wants to prove South Carolina was wise in naming its official state amphibian the "spotted salamander," which really is a newt. Perry?

BE: Perry wants to prove he can remember up to three things at one time.

JB: I think you're right. Paul?

BE: He wants respect, a prime-time speaking slot at the Tampa convention and maybe a plank in the party platform promoting personal liberties, or else he'll mount a third-party campaign

JB: I think he wants to clear a path for his son, Sen. Rand Paul, to run in 2016 and so won't mount a third-party run. Huntsman?

BE: He wants to develop a personality that actually connects with voters without speaking Mandarin.

JB: Probably. But he also wants to position himself to spend his father's billions next time around after the economy settles and the anger is gone and tea party evaporates and moderate, sensible Republicans become popular again. Santorum?

BE: Hmm. Hard to say. Party already has a pro-life plank and hates gay marriage. Maybe he wants a spot on the ticket.

JB: Too much of a lightning rod in a General Election. I think he wants to start up a signature line of smart, high-end 100 percent wool gray sweater vests then branch out with a line of rainbow-colored vests to appeal to a larger market to expand his base for when he runs again.

BE: Maybe he can even appeal to "blah" people by then.

JB: Let's not get crazy here.





John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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