Late Returns: Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting On A 2012 'Savior'

08/15/2011 06:57 pm ET | Updated Oct 15, 2011

As noted earlier, the Wall Street Journal's editorial board has decided today that it will remain a strong voice of conservative discontent over the field of Republican candidates running for president. But as Jonathan Bernstein points out, it's time to give up the notion that a "savior" is on the way to make everyone believe again:

A number of Republican pundit types and party actors have been holding out hope that there’s still time for a “savior” candidate to emerge. But the notion that this is still possible rests on a misunderstanding of the process. Candidates begin running for president long before they make a formal announcement. For example, Rick Perry didn’t start running for president on Saturday. He may not have totally committed to it months ago, but everything about his book and the issues he stressed during the recent session of the Texas legislature (abortion, immigration) suggested that he was actively getting ready to run. In a completely different way, the same thing is true of Sarah Palin. The Sage of Wasilla may or may not finally decide to run in 2012, but she’s been at least half-heartedly running for 2012 all along.

But that’s it. There’s no one else out there on the horizon who has been doing the sorts of things one has to do to run for the Republican nomination for president. Anyone else — Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, whoever — would be starting from scratch, very late in the game.

Bernstein goes on to add, "The other thing I’d say to Republicans disappointed in the current choices ... is this: What you’re upset with isn’t the candidate — it’s the party."

Go read the whole thing.

Obama shouldn't panic about that Gallup poll showing that his approval rating has fallen below 40 percent -- August polls mean nothing, as Ronald Reagan could tell you. Instead, he should panic about anemic economic growth. (And, you know, the massive unemployment crisis.) [The Plum Line]

We remind you that Buddy Roemer is the only candidate for President in 2012 who believes that money has a pernicious effect on electoral politics. "I challenge the Mitt Romneys of the world. And the Rick Perrys. And the Michelle Bachmanns. And the Ron Pauls. And the Jon Huntsmans. And anybody else who’s there. Herman Cain, I don’t want to leave anybody out. Gary Johnson. Whomever. I challenge them to accept this pledge. No PAC money. No Super PACs formed. Keep your limit at $2,500. I can live with that. [...] No more Wall Street fundraisers! They’d be out with the folks, they might hear something." [ThinkProgress]

The next sixty days will feature five Republican debates, so this is probably a good time for that assisted suicide you've been putting off. [The Fix]

Paul Waldman has some real talk on the "meaning of gaffes." What he says about them is a vital political narrative decoder for ordinary people: "'Gaffes' almost never reveal anything particularly important; instead, they’re opportunities for reporters to offer vivid illustrations of conclusions they’ve already made about the candidates." [The American Prospect]

Ron Paul says that people are not corporations. [ThinkProgress]

Herman Cain says that he just wants to keep on racking up fifth-place finishes from now on. [The Hill]