Rubin wrote the following today for Pajamas Media:
…We have learned something in the last six months from watching the president and his Republican critics. Based on what we have seen we would suggest that those seeking to lead the party back from the wilderness should abide by seven rules. Those who follow them are not guaranteed to grab the 2012 nomination, but if a contender can’t even manage these simple guidelines, he or she really needs to get off the stage.
1.) No drama.
2.) He or she need not know everything, or have expertise in every conceivable area of public policy. But having demonstrated competence on some topic could well come in handy.
3.) It helps to be not old, not a grouch, and not imprisoned by policy minutiae to the exclusion of broader themes and an aura of gravitas.
4.) Be able to run a full-throated attack on Obama and the Congress.
5.) A little boring is okay. Former Vice President  Dick Cheney showed us that you need not be more charismatic or “cooler” than Obama to win a policy debate, just better informed and more focused on a clear, fact-based message.
6.) Figure out the demography. The old, white, southern men don’t vote in great enough numbers to elect the next president.
7.) Don’t banish a single person from the party. Rush Limbaugh, Colin Powell, David Frum, and all the silly conservatives who backed Obama should be part of the campaign and part of the candidate’s outreach.
Palin is excluded by #1 and #6, and Huckabee’s excluded by just #6. The only person (who can actually win the nomination) who’s not excluded by any of the rules seems to be Mitt Romney.
Again, though, if the economy rebounds at some point in 2011 or 2012, Obama will be re-elected, and none of these rules will matter.
I’ve gotta say, it’s a little strange rooting for and against the economy at the same time…