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.
I'm not sure I agree he is the only one ready for this fight but I certainly agree he is ready. I'd feel very comfortable with him as the nominee but then I'd feel quite comfortable with most of them.
For these folks, there's Mike Huckabee, who is probably the most genuine person potentially in the race.
Can anyone name any of the potential candidates on the GOP side that currently have less experience that BO did when he started his campaign?
I am not just talking about legislative experience either. There may be a couple with less time as a legislator but I doubt anyone has less real world experience than BO did.
I wish there were just one of the announced participants who could get my interest excited.
None of them do in the slightest, so how can the field be called “strong?” Just the same old GOP same old, IMHO.
Hussein will have close to a $ billion at his disposal so it’s time to get serious about this. And anybody standing on the sidelines who thinks he/she can beat Obama, please get busy quick.
“...there is no way in hell Republicans are going to put a guy on the ticket who has never won an election”
It’s not going to be up to “The Republicans” as in the “Establishment Republicans.”
The combination of Steele’s horrible fund raising skills and the Tea Party propensity for directing money directly to candidates or other PAC’s has left the RNC in financial ruin. The “Republicans” will have little choice but to support the candidate that has assembled the best ground game, social network, and campaign war chest.
At this point, that would be Palin - but it’s unclear if she’s running - and it seems that she may not.
we’ll see, but I’d not count out Herman Cain.
I agree that this upcoming election it is the RINOs who will have to hold their nose and vote for a conservative in the general election.
The TEA party will see to that as you say.
Obama is going to have a billion dollars and the not-dead-yet lamestream media as well as the power of incumbency.
Do you really think conservatives are going to nominate someone who has never won an election to go up against that?
Hey anything is possible and I’m not going to spend anymore of my time talking down a good guy like Cain. I just don’t see it happening.
Like you said, we’ll see.
I think that Cain and Pawlenty are the only ones that are both conservative and strong general-election candidates.
This writer is a fool.
I don't know how much expreience Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has, but that guy has gotten my attention.
I'm going to have to find out how he stands on various issues.
He has a spine...something we don't see enough of in politicians these days.
But I agree with you...Beelzobama has no real corporate, life or legislative experience. After a couple of years in the White House, he still doesn't. I'm sure his golf swing has improved, though.
Romney, Huckabee, and Newt are all worthless turds.
Elmer Gantry’s a socialist fraud who only attracts the myopic single-issue so-cons, who aren’t necessarily the strongest fans of laissez-faire capitalism, either.
He's running against 0bama on the Republican ticket
Well first of all, it is ridiculous to speculate about Mike Huckabee, because he has a contract with Fox News until July, which he is obligated to fulfill. Second he likes his job, and third it might be to late after July to decide to run anyways
I think a majority of what this guy wrote is ridiculous.
Compared to some of the nonstarters on this list (Mittens, Hucky, Ron Paul) he looks “not bad”. Being an ex-governor is a plus as well. Can “not bad” win the whole thing next year? I don't know.
Herman Cain is an interesting man. I like him a lot, but I agree with what others have posted, no way in hell does the nomination go to a person who have never won a single election. VP? Ehhh...maybe? Treasury Sec. or Fed Reserve Chair? YES!
Pawlenty I tended to put in the same category as Mitch Daniels for non-starters. He presided over a disastrous decline of GOP fortunes in the state (essentially lost the MN House majority and near-tie in the Senate), he didn’t forcefully contest the judicial and DFLer theft of the Senate seat for Frankenstein. He nearly lost reelection in ‘06 (winning only after some stupid gaffe by the DFL running mate). He’s tried to have it both ways on TARP. He just came off as a big squish. Another problem, too, is that I sincerly doubt he’d even carry MN in a Presidential race were he to be nominated. That was one of the reasons I opposed him as a VP candidate in ‘08, as he would have brought nothing to the ticket. Put it all down to a gut feeling I have about him that just rubs me the wrong way. Is he as bad as Huckster or Slick Willard ? No. But that’s like saying getting the clap is better than getting AIDS.
WOW! “Ask and ye shall receive.”
Thank you for the info, Fieldmarshal; it puts TP and his candidacy into perspective.
“He just came off as a big squish.” Yep.
The more I think about it the more attractive Cain seems.
He’ll probably have a tough time getting traction (liberal blogs are laughing at him). But if his campaign does take off he’d warrant strong consideration.
Of course unlike the other candidates he doesn’t have a record in office so we have only his word to judge his polices on.
My biggest problem with T-Paw is his stance on climate change (now flipped flopped on but can we trust him? He seems a bit McCainy). He ain’t the worst choice though.
Squish is a good word for a lot of these people.
We really need someone with nads.
I agree. Intereresting how the folks with the biggest nads are hot women (MB and SP).
Tis true, we have a strong field.
Unless you want Obama for another four years, it would be wise to vote for the GOP candidate.
Exactly. Unfortunately there are some in here who don’t care
We cannot play around. We must win in 2012.
Stopped reading at this point. Sorry.
Pawlenty, while he governed my state, was very cozy with the Will Steger AGM crowd, and was a champion of ethanol subsidies. He was strong fiscally, and did the very best job I think he could do with Democrat controlled state houses regarding the budget, but he is in fact squishy on those isses. There are others. I think calling him a RINO is a bit overboard, but is he the best conservative being bandied about? I don't think so.
AGM=AGW. Upside down :)
Contrary to Media Reports,
GOP INDEPENDENT COSERVATIVES Have Strong Field in 2012
THE GOP IS DEAD !!!
Thank you Colonel for the insight “from the ground”.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.