Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and New York Times columnist David Brooks say anything could happen in the Republican presidential primaries since so many candidates have been front-runners.
On Friday’s broadcast of NPR’s “All Things Considered” the two laid out scenarios that in any other election cycle would have been thought of as nearly impossible.
First, Dionne elaborated on a recent column explaining why he thinks former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman could still win the New Hampshire primary in January.
“I said in the piece I was up in New Hampshire in Peterborough – I said it’s a bank shot, a long shot scenario,” Dionne said. “New Hampshire allows independents to cross over and vote in the Republican primary if they want to. Huntsman is well-liked among non-Republicans who see him as a reasonable guy. He’s actually much more conservative than all the liberals who like him realize, and that’s his second possibility, which is if Romney and Gingrich somehow destroy each other, or really go at each other, it creates an opening for another candidate. Is this a long shot as I said in the column? I wouldn’t bet $10,000 on it, but I think it’s at least a possibility.”
Brooks was skeptical, saying Huntsman was “awkward” and lacked “crisp messaging,” “a theme,” and “a narrative.” Had his own long-shot prediction: a late entry of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush into the race.
“I’m not holding out hope, but I do think it’s a remote possibility,” Brooks said of a Jeb Bush candidacy. “I do think the Republican Party is not going to nominate Newt Gingrich. If he emerges from the primaries, the early primaries as the front-runner, someone’s going to step in.”