2012

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2012

Postby Jason Rees » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:23 pm

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articl ... 08327.html

By my count, 24 people benefit from nontrivial presidential buzz: Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, John Thune, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, Rick Santorum, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, David Petraeus, Ron Paul, Jeb Bush, John Bolton, Bob McDonnell, Jim DeMint, Chris Christie, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Judd Gregg, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry.


There can be only one! ~ cheezy Highlander reference

Barbour, perhaps the sharpest political operator with a natural Southern constituency in a Southern-dominated party, could be a front-runner (and a hilarious, adept debate opponent for Obama), but his plans remain murky.


Despite his bone-headed comment this week, which I think was benign, and not proof of racism, nor something that should convince anyone except those already convinced Republicans are evil... I'm hoping Barbour makes a go of it.

Also, there's growing buzz that Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a fierce defender of his top-tier contender status, may not run because he's got a big new contract with Fox News in the works.


I would be disappointed if Huckabee didn't give it another try.

That leaves us with a top tier of five front-runners: Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Pawlenty and Daniels. Romney is the organizational front-runner; Daniels is the first pick of wonks and DC eggheads; Palin probably has the most devoted following among actual voters; Gingrich will dominate the debates, and Pawlenty (vying with Daniels) is the least disliked.


I like Daniels.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:25 pm

Very often in a situation like this, a little-known individual breaks out. Such an individual will have minimal baggage.

A good duke-out in the primaries would be useful. But it works best where the party spends more time out-attacking the "bad guy" in debates (per the Democrat playbook of 2008) and less time attacking and embarrassing each other.

I personally would love to see Newt Gingrich debating Obama. Back when I was in academia, I remembered how much he infuriated me as the Republican House majority leader. Nowadays as long as he keeps a good distance from the religious right, I think this college history professor matches and often exceeds the intellectual abilities of the Chicago law professor dude. He was by the way Time person of the year in 1995 back when he helped engineer the Contract with America.

Do I think Gingrich will run? No. He's smart enough to realize his negatives, and know that he has a good thing going doing what he's doing. But damn... this is one guy who could poke holes in the empty suit. After being the nemesis and torturer of Clinton, Obama would be a simple re-run.

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Postby Glenn » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:05 pm

What's interesting is the change from Gingrich being villified by Republicans as a fall-guy in 1998, leading him to resign his seat after winning his re-election, to being identified as a contender for 2012. I think you're right though Bill, unpopular aspects of his personal life would be brought too much to the forefront in a presidential election, likely overshadowing his campaign messages, and he knows it.

The one that really surprises me on list is Jeb Bush. Given how the Republicans have been trying to distance themselves from Bush Jr, I really do not see them backing Jeb as a national contender.

There actually seems to be some desperation in the list, as if Republicans are so anxious to defeat Obama they will consider anyone.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:03 pm

Glenn wrote:
There actually seems to be some desperation in the list, as if Republicans are so anxious to defeat Obama they will consider anyone.

Desperation? I don't think so. Lacking a clear leader? Sure. This is the case in most elections - including 2008. Often in such times a nobody wins because there's nothing negative to pin on him (or her).

To some extent I'm saddened by it all. Ideally you want someone with experience to be the CEO of a world power. But with campaigning taking on a nasty, negative tone, anybody with experience has a history. And history provides fodder for the attack dogs.

Frankly I think there's a good chance that Obama will win, and Congress will go even more Republican. And this independent who loves gridlock and hates government spending thinks that's not such a bad thing.

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Postby Jason Rees » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:19 am

Glenn wrote:What's interesting is the change from Gingrich being villified by Republicans as a fall-guy in 1998, leading him to resign his seat after winning his re-election, to being identified as a contender for 2012. I think you're right though Bill, unpopular aspects of his personal life would be brought too much to the forefront in a presidential election, likely overshadowing his campaign messages, and he knows it.


I'm with Bill. As much as Newt would make a good president, I think his negatives make it a snowball's chance in Hell (which in Hell Michigan, ironically, is pretty good this time of year). I think talk of him running is giving Chris Matthews another tingling up his leg.

The one that really surprises me on list is Jeb Bush. Given how the Republicans have been trying to distance themselves from Bush Jr, I really do not see them backing Jeb as a national contender.


Jeb has said clearly he has no interest in running for POTUS. Here's hoping he doesn't have a change of heart.

There actually seems to be some desperation in the list, as if Republicans are so anxious to defeat Obama they will consider anyone.


I don't think it's desperation. I think it's the fact that you don't need an annointing to run for President on the Republican side. You don't need the support of the unions, Al Sharpton/Jesse Jackson... and so forth. I consider this a good thing. Competition keeps the Republicans from putting forth an empty suit like the Chosen One, and it's our best hope for keeping Palin out of the drivers' seat.
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