Skip to comments.Contrary to Media Reports, GOP Has Strong Field in 2012
Posted on 03/11/2011 5:19:25 AM PST by Kaslin
This past week, I've seen or read plenty of news analyses suggesting that the Republicans have a weak field of presidential hopefuls for 2012.
Not so. I believe that many of the potential candidates who might seek the GOP nomination have strategically strong paths to the White House, assuming that President Obama is still vulnerable next year.
Last week in this column, I put forth an explanation as to why Newt Gingrich is a stronger political force than many imagine. This week, let's consider the Republicans' other potential major candidates for the White House.
For starters, there's Mitt Romney. Some will have it that his expected candidacy is fatally flawed from the start, thanks to the largely unsuccessful health care reform that he championed when he was governor of Massachusetts.
Anyone who believes this is simply out of touch with current public opinion. Yes, the 2010 elections were a stark rebuke of "ObamaCare." But Romney, to his credit, has already admitted that his best intentions on health care in his home state didn't work as he'd hoped.
Romney is handsome and charismatic. He knows how to run an organization and already has a voter base from his presidential run in 2008. In my mind, he's the early frontrunner for his party's nomination in 2012.
Of course, some people view Romney as a bit too moderate. Others are troubled by his Mormon religion. Still others think he's just a little too smooth. For these folks, there's Mike Huckabee, who is probably the most genuine person potentially in the race.
But Huckabee is more than just a folksy good guy. He's also smart. He may be best known right now for his gig on Fox News, and he may himself believe that his presidential chances could look better after 2012. But if he does run this time, he will become the new front-runner. More, his chances to win the critical early caucus and primary contests in Iowa and South Carolina would be quite good.
Everyone seems to love to hate Sarah Palin; everyone, that is, except for the hardcore Republican base -- and yours truly. Her devoted following gives her a head start if she decides to run. And for political instincts, this woman makes Hillary look like she is standing still.
In some ways, Palin reminds me of female version of Ronald Reagan in 1980. The press dubbed him incompetent and unelectable. The people found him magnetic and about two tons smarter than he was given credit for.
Keep a watchful eye on Palin. She learned the ropes during her vice-presidential campaign as John McCain's running mate. My only advice to her would be to stop putting down every other Republican. Otherwise, she's good to go if she decides to run.
I have tremendous respect for columnist and pundit George Will. He says 2012 will be primarily a year for governors to emerge as viable presidential candidates. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana are two Republicans who immediately come to mind. But my top choice would be Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. I knew him earlier in my career. He is a "people's person" if I've ever seen one. He's been a lobbyist, yes, but so what? These days, it seems everyone is hawking influence, either in person or through books, CDs, nonprofit organizations and so on.
Barbour's biggest drawback would be his syrupy Southern accent. (Sorry, Haley, but they think you and I are rubes because of our accents and dialects.) But supporters and foes alike would be well-advised to pay less attention to Barbour's twang than to his second-to-none smarts. Watch out for him as a potential dark-horse Republican nominee.
Then there is Donald Trump. I know, know -- few in the political world are taking him seriously. But I do. The man is brilliant, and he knows how to organize and raise money. His biggest weakness is that he has never been involved in tough national politics. Trust me, Mr. Trump, presidential politics makes the New York business scene look like a kid's birthday party. Trump would need the assistance and expertise of veteran politicos were he to run. But he has huge name identification, and that puts him halfway to winning already.
Whoever the GOP's nominee turns out to be, the biggest mistake the party could make would be to take Obama and his chances of winning too lightly. The president is articulate, and he's likeable to many independents and Democrats. He's also been moving swiftly (and wisely) to the political middle of the road. That could enable him to again win moderate-to-conservative states such as North Carolina and Florida.
Soon, the presidential race will begin in earnest. To my mind, the Republican field of potential candidates is at least as strong as it was in 2008.
Oh, and consider this afterthought: Ron Paul. He won't win the GOP nomination, but that chunk of support that he would take away from other conservatives in Iowa and other early primary states could have a huge impact on the final outcome.
If the GOP puts up a crusty old RINO I will forever change my party affiliation and do whatever I can to get a 3rd party off the ground.
I voted for my last McCain...
Ugh. Yeah, he was the the first to socialize medicine. That's a big "bit" of a problem.
Disagree with this article. Out of the early "frontrunners" most aren't even credible. Myth? Trump!? Ron Paul? NEWT?
I like both Barbour and Pawlenty at this point.
Neither party has any field since no one has declared their candidacy. This is another example of the media attempting to influence the 2012 elections by steering people towards certain individuals.
Don't need to go any further than those two losers to see this author is sniffing glue.
Speaking of Newt, while this is not being reported on FNC because of his relationship with them this interview shows that Newt will continue to stick his foot in his mouth as he always has.
AOL News: Gingrich: Love of Country Contributed to Affair(Newt says in interview)
Clinton once said something idiotic like this related to fighting impeachment to save the country.
Children read this and be warned it is the results of glue sniffing at an early age.
Uh, no, he hasn't. He continues to defend the Romneycare abomination, which scuttles claims from his defenders that he went along with it because he had to or else it would have been worse.
Allegedly (I don’t know fro sure if this is true) Newt told his ex-wife that she was a “Jaguar” and he “couldn’t handle that right now” and all he wanted was a “Chevy” (current wife). He then asked her to just let him cheat and she refused.
He’ll always be a heroic figure for 1994 but if that’s a glimpse into his psyche....
This is a subject we don't need rehashed again and then to have Newt explain that he cheated on his wife because of his passion for his country just brings back bad memories.
Is there any political group that wants Newt as president? Or that thinks he would even have a chance to win?
“Don’t need to go any further than those two losers to see this author is sniffing glue.”
That’s exactly what I thought. And if you read the rest of the article it’s just as bad. Huckabee genuine? What planet is this guy on?
I think he pretty makes the case he’s trying to argue against-this is truly a weak field. I think our only hope is Herman Cain.
I no longer believe we have a weak field. I personally liked Santorum. He helped himself but they were all very good. Roemer probably has no chance but I'd still take him over Obama.
Tea Party, I’m counting on you. It’s time to rid the country of this tired old bunch of RINO’s and deeply money-entrenched republicans. Come up with some behind-the-scenes conservative and value-oriented ‘gentlemen farmers’ to take back our country and rid D.C. of the massive corruption and fraud. Restore the country to a Republic and get rid of the corrosive and destructive components of a centralized government.
Cain was very good Monday night and he has support here in Iowa.
Newt’s done, mostly by his own actions, both in and out of the political arena.
@sickoflibs: “Is there any political group that wants Newt as president? Or that thinks he would even have a chance to win?”
No and no. Less than zero of a chance. Again, he did it to himself.
Electoral votes: Maine splits theirs as well.
Cain is emerging as the strongest of the field. Those who haven’t looked at him seriously should take a second look.
As a former CEO, Chairman of the KC Fed. Reserve, and Mathematician/Comp.Sci major - Cain is an analytical problem solver. He considers problems something to be “solved” not “spun and kicked down the road.”
He has enough charisma to excite a crowd, and is the only one in the field that seems to understand the gloves will have to come off if there’s a chance to win. Obama is going all out class warfare and race warfare. He’s given up all pretense of “uniting.” He’s being purposefully divisive in hopes that he can wring one more vote out of his side.
So far, Cain is the only one that appears to be both capable and willing to get in this fight to win it.
NO NEWT, ROMNEY, OR RON PAUL!
PALIN, PENCE, DEMINT, BACHMANN YES!
Cain is a good guy. But there is no way in hell Republicans are going to put a guy on the ticket who has never won an election before.
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