Skip to comments.Matt Towery: GOP has deep bench for '12 presidential bid
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.
Across the board full of $hit.
Well....THAT kind of says it all.....
But we have a different environment.
I agree we have a deep bench; what I’m afraid we may lack is an MVP.
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.
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.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to.....The Washington Generals!"
Deep bench, no starters.
What field possibly could be weaker than 2008?
Except for Sarah, you mean?
Sarah Palin all the way....
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.
If they wired five of those idiots together, they couldn’t produce a coherent national economic policy.
“Deep bench.” Yea, right.
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!
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?
Palin is not putting down republicans as this guy writes, she is fighting back and trying to give them a spine.
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.
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
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