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Neoconservatism and 2016

Michael Tomasky comments on Liz Cheney’s political prospects, and he says something very strange:

She has enough standing in the GOP that she could already, conceivably, be someone’s vice-presidential pick. She nails down the neocons for any candidate, and that could be important because none of the leading candidates right now is much of a neocon [bold mine-DL].

I can only assume that Tomasky hasn’t been paying that much attention to the potential candidates for 2016. If we look at the Republicans included in PPP’s recent Iowa poll to get an idea of who the “leading candidates” are, we find that Tomasky is mostly wrong. It would be difficult to find any foreign policy issues on which Rubio, Ryan, Santorum, Bush, and Cruz disagree with neoconservatives. To the extent that Ryan has articulated his views on these issues, he might as well have been reading directly from a neoconservative script, and he probably was. Christie, Martinez, and Jindal haven’t had much to say on the subject, but to date there is no evidence that they disagree with neoconservatives foreign policy. That leaves Paul, who is pretty clearly the only potential 2016 candidate that fits Tomasky’s description, and the idea of a Paul-Cheney ticket is preposterous for a number of reasons.

So it’s not very likely that Cheney would seriously be considered for a VP role by any of the likely candidates. Paired with Rubio or Cruz, for example, her extreme hawkishness would be redundant, and presumably she would be too much of a social liberal to be acceptable to most of the others. Tomasky is mistaking Cheney’s popularity with many conservative pundits and foreign policy hawks for viability as a national candidate. .

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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