Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

George H.W. Bush

GOP race hasn't stuck to the script

GOP race hasn't stuck to the script

According to conventional wisdom, the GOP nominates the guy whose turn it is, while the Democrats look for a savior. As Bill Clinton once said, "In every presidential election, Democrats want to fall in love. Republicans just fall in line."

George H.W. Bush came in second to Ronald Reagan in 1980. As the sitting vice president, it was Mr. Bush's turn for the nomination in 1988, and he got it. Sen. Bob Dole came in second to Mr. Bush in 1988, so in 1996 it was his turn. In 2000, there was no obvious line of succession, but George W. Bush came closest as the heir to the Bush dynasty. Sen. John McCain came in second to W. in 2000. In 2008, Mr. McCain got the nomination....