A few people have asked me to elaborate on the thought I tried hurriedly to express at the end of the This Week roundtable. Here it is: Republicans have a problem, while Democrats have a crisis.
Republicans have had an exciting summer fling with Donald Trump, and are about to embark on a fall romance with Ben Carson. It will be little delicate to unwind those relationships. But it will happen, I believe—probably sooner rather than later (I'd bet against either Trump or Carson winning a primary).
When it comes down to selecting a nominee, the GOP finalists are likely to come from a group encompassing Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush. One is a former CEO of a major high-tech company; two are impressive young senators from big states (Texas and Florida); three are governors, and one a former governor, who won election and re-election in major states that Barack Obama carried. It's a reasonable field. All that has to happen to produce a good nominee is that one of the qualified candidates rises to the occasion.
So the Republicans face a few months of turmoil and recriminations.
The Democrats have a much more unpleasant prospect. They long ago settled on their inevitable bride, the nuptials have been scheduled seemingly forever ... and now they realize they've made a terrible mistake.
What to do? Go ahead with an ill-advised marriage, with no prospect of no-fault divorce until it's too late? Or call off the wedding when the invitations have already gone out? And then find someone else? They'd almost surely be better off admitting the mistake and spending some time playing the field—but that's easier for me to say than for them to do. And who tells the bride the wedding's off?