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Matt Towery: GOP has deep bench for '12 presidential bid
The Athens Banner-Herald ^ | March 13, 2011 | Matt Towery

Posted on 03/12/2011 10:04:01 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

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 many of the potential candidates for the GOP nomination have strategically strong paths to the White House, assuming President Obama still is 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 contend 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. And 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 front-runner 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 Clinton 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. 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. 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's Donald Trump. I know, I 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.

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.

******

• Matt Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012; alreadyposted; emptybench; gingrich; huckabe; huckabee; matttowery; obama; palin; romney; searchisyourfriend
Agree? Disagree?
1 posted on 03/12/2011 10:04:08 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Last week in this column, I put forth an explanation as to why Newt Gingrich is a stronger political force than many imagine

Across the board full of $hit.

2 posted on 03/12/2011 10:12:19 PM PST by Nonstatist
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
'To my mind, the Republican field of potential candidates is at least as strong as it was in 2008."

Well....THAT kind of says it all.....

3 posted on 03/12/2011 10:16:49 PM PST by goodnesswins (Unlike the West, the Islamic world is serious.)
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To: goodnesswins

But we have a different environment.


4 posted on 03/12/2011 10:24:52 PM PST by aliquando (A Scout is T, L, H, F, C, K, O, C, T, B, C, and R.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I agree we have a deep bench; what I’m afraid we may lack is an MVP.


5 posted on 03/12/2011 10:27:48 PM PST by Rembrandt (.. AND the donkey you rode in on.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; potlatch; PhilDragoo; bitt; devolve

Newt? Nope, but I’d attend one of his history lectures.
Mittney? Who is he this year?
Pawlenty? Couldn’t keep Franken from stealing the election.
Jindal? Louisiana really needs him. Can he pass the natural born citizen test?
Barbour? Good Gov., good politician, good insider. Oh wait.
Trump? Helped elect 0bama, but then, so did John McCain.
Hucksterbee? I doubt he could win Iowa again.
Palin: Has the right spirit and good background. She needs to show command of the issues of the day. Give us some details on those “commensense solutions”. (She has my vote). Will out-Bush Pres. Bush as target of media venom.

Whomever is the GOP nominee, breaking ranks or sitting home to make a point will re-elect 0 and his regime. If he gets a second term,you ain’t seen nothing yet.


6 posted on 03/12/2011 10:28:36 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

IMHO, at the present time, either Sarah Palin/Herman Cain, or Sarah Palin/Allen West would be my idea of the best ‘12 GOP Presidential ticket. This could change over time, especially if Sarah Palin, officially, decides not to run for ‘12 POTUS.


7 posted on 03/12/2011 10:30:26 PM PST by johnthebaptistmoore (If leftist legislation that's already in place really can't be ended by non-leftists, then what?)
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To: Nonstatist

"Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to.....The Washington Generals!"

8 posted on 03/12/2011 10:38:25 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Deep bench, no starters.


9 posted on 03/12/2011 10:42:51 PM PST by lurk
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

What field possibly could be weaker than 2008?


10 posted on 03/12/2011 10:45:28 PM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: lurk

Except for Sarah, you mean?


11 posted on 03/12/2011 10:51:08 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sarah Palin all the way....


12 posted on 03/12/2011 10:59:08 PM PST by Gator113 (I'll be voting for Sarah Palin, Liberty, our Constitution and American Exceptionalism.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Disagree

We are going to need a fresh face, no more 2008 retreads (and yes that includes you-know-who) or even 1994 retreads like Newt.

So far Herman Cain has impressed so far but we could always use more.


13 posted on 03/12/2011 11:01:39 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If they wired five of those idiots together, they couldn’t produce a coherent national economic policy.

“Deep bench.” Yea, right.


14 posted on 03/12/2011 11:04:24 PM PST by NVDave
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To: qam1

She didn’t run for president, she was chosen to be the vice presidential nominee. Completely different thing. The rest of the 2008 losers couldn’t beat JOHN MCCAIN, for goodness sakes! How ‘competent’ can Myth be if he couldn’t defeat McCain? Huckleberry couldn’t raise enough money, even after winning Iowa!


15 posted on 03/12/2011 11:11:09 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: qam1
"So far Herman Cain has impressed so far but we could always use more."

We've been a country under the articles of confederation and then the constitution for over 200 years. In all that time, we have NEVER elected someone to the presidency that didn't have any elected and/or flag officer government experience. Do you think next year will be different for some reason?

16 posted on 03/12/2011 11:15:10 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: Gator113

Palin is not putting down republicans as this guy writes, she is fighting back and trying to give them a spine.


17 posted on 03/12/2011 11:21:17 PM PST by Brimack34 (Sarah is our only hope)
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To: ntnychik
Jindal? Louisiana really needs him. Can he pass the natural born citizen test?

There is no such thing anymore. The precedent has been set.

breaking ranks or sitting home to make a point will re-elect 0 and his regime.

That crap got old last time. Put up a good candidate that I can actually vote FOR and quit telling me I have to vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

18 posted on 03/12/2011 11:24:38 PM PST by Just A Nobody ( (Better Dead than RED! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA))
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To: qam1
Please check out THIS MAN!
19 posted on 03/12/2011 11:26:30 PM PST by Just A Nobody ( (Better Dead than RED! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
We've been a country under the articles of confederation and then the constitution for over 200 years. In all that time, we have NEVER elected someone to the presidency that didn't have any elected and/or flag officer government experience. Do you think next year will be different for some reason?

We never elected a women either, before Obama we never elected an African American and before Reagan we never elected an actor, before Kennedy never a Catholic etc, etc

Every election is different

20 posted on 03/12/2011 11:27:02 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1

All good points. With the debacle that is the Obama administration, do you really think we’ll see another black president in our lifetime?


21 posted on 03/12/2011 11:35:21 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I disagree strongly. Palin is the only one listed with a chance. She deserves a shot in 2012.


22 posted on 03/12/2011 11:38:01 PM PST by Walts Ice Pick
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
All good points. With the debacle that is the Obama administration, do you really think we’ll see another black president in our lifetime?

Don't know, Unfortunately like any other election it would depend on the mushy middle.

Despite how the left paints us, Conservatives are color blind and as long as the candidate can unite the fiscal and social factions of the party we would all be behind him/her regardless of color.

Liberals no matter what would paint that candidate as an Uncle Tom and not vote for him/her anyhow.

That leaves the middle, which who knows, maybe by then American Idol and Celebrity Dance Stars may be canceled and then who knows what they will remember /forget about the Obama administration.

23 posted on 03/12/2011 11:54:55 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: qam1
Oh, I think Storage Wars, Kardashians, Celebrity Apprentice and some other shows will take up the slack.
24 posted on 03/12/2011 11:57:24 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet ("You cannot invade the US There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." Yamamoto)
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To: ntnychik; 2ndDivisionVet; devolve; potlatch; dixiechick2000

Whomever is the GOP nominee, breaking ranks or sitting home will re-elect 0

25 posted on 03/13/2011 12:30:33 AM PST by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: PhilDragoo

Wonderful graphic! I love it!

However, I think that this time, they had better not give us another McCain.

“Whomever is the GOP nominee, breaking ranks or sitting home will re-elect 0”

The TEA Party held ranks with the Republicans last time, giving them one more chance. If they give us another McCain, there will be a third party challenge.

That argument won’t hold water this time.

We are going to take the Senate in ‘12, it’s just a matter of who the presidential nominee will be.

I hope that he...or she...;o)...will be another Walker.

BTW, I would love to see Walker as Veep.


26 posted on 03/13/2011 12:38:52 AM PST by dixiechick2000 ("First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." - Gandhi)
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To: Rembrandt

I still think Rudy is the man.


27 posted on 03/13/2011 12:47:31 AM PST by Always Independent
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To: Rembrandt

I still think Rudy is the man.


28 posted on 03/13/2011 12:48:50 AM PST by Always Independent
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To: Rembrandt

I still think Rudy is the man.


29 posted on 03/13/2011 12:48:55 AM PST by Always Independent
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.

No truer statement has ever been made. Only Sarah is not weak. Michelle is not weak either. But other than that......WEAK!!!!!! Almost embarrassing.


30 posted on 03/13/2011 12:51:38 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: 2ndDivisionVet; qam1

Well, in Cain’s case, it’s not for lack of trying. He’s a good man, but I don’t think running someone who couldn’t even win a primary in his own state a good candidate against 0bama. Presidency is not a place to gain experience for public service.


31 posted on 03/13/2011 1:49:35 AM PST by paudio (The differences between Clinton and 0bama? About a dozen of former Democratic Congressmen.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

We have a good raw, unedited list. Not all are running and not all are recommendable, but it’s still quite a list. A few are real Conservatives.

Sarah Palin
Michelle Bachmann
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 Greg
Marco Rubio
Bobby Jindal
Rick Perry
Rand Paul
Kurt Weldon
Tom Tancredo
Duncan Hunter
Col. Allen West
Herman Cain


32 posted on 03/13/2011 6:10:51 AM PDT by RoadTest (Organized religion is no substitute for the relationship the living God wants with you.)
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To: napscoordinator
But other than that......WEAK!!!!!! Almost embarrassing.

How do you feel about THIS MAN?

Photobucket

Photobucket

33 posted on 03/13/2011 6:13:29 AM PDT by Just A Nobody ( (Better Dead than RED! NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA))
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There is one at the op of my list!

Click to learn more about her...

Elect Sarah Palin for President 2012

Re-Elect President Sarah Palin 2016

34 posted on 03/13/2011 6:14:25 AM PDT by WVKayaker ("When Sarah Palin speaks, people listen!" - EF Hutton)
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To: Just A Nobody

I like him but he is a one term House member. Can he at least run for Senate or be part of the House for a while. However his military background is great. I have no problem calling him and will in fact, but I don’t think he will run......YET.


35 posted on 03/13/2011 9:23:41 AM PDT by napscoordinator
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To: ntnychik

[If he gets a second term,you ain’t seen nothing yet.]

You ain’t just whistling dixie!
And those who choose to ‘write in’ or vote 3rd party will be responsible if he wins.


36 posted on 03/13/2011 7:05:53 PM PDT by potlatch ( ~*coincidences usually aren't *~)
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To: PhilDragoo; ntnychik
[breaking ranks or sitting home will re-elect ]

Absolutely!

37 posted on 03/13/2011 7:08:05 PM PDT by potlatch ( ~*coincidences usually aren't *~)
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