Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Looking at 2012

This post is not as long as it looks. ;-)

The Field:

My favorite potential candidate is now out of the running for the Republican
nomination for 2012. So I thought I’d give my analysis of the race as it stands.

Who are our possible choices? Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Mike
Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Mitch
Daniels, Jim DeMint, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Michele
Bachmann, and John Huntsman.

I am intentionally leaving out Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Bob
McDonnell, and Marco Rubio because they are not indicating any interest this time
around and are likely 2016 candidates.

Governor Sarah Palin:
She is a household name and 'celebrity.' She has rocked the political world and has a
very loyal following. The fact that she left her Governorship will open her to attacks
and her combative nature with the “lame-stream media” will make it difficult for her
to expand her audience beyond her current 2.5 million member facebook flowing.
Random fact: Palin seems to have been the most strategic of the ’12 field when it
came to endorsements.

Governor Mitt Romney:
He has the money! Romney’s business career has been very successful and he lead the
U.S. Olympic committee out of scandal. His last presidential race in ’08 ended with a
wall full of “Silver medals,” the term he used for coming in second place. He landed
an arm full of conservative endorsements from people trying to stop McCain, but
he will have to explain RomneyCare to the Republican electorate who I am sure are
very interested to hear what changed his mind… again. Random fact: As his last act
with Marriot Hotels, Romney seems to have secured a policy to stop the hotels from
selling pornography.

Governor Mike Huckabee:
Preacher to Governor. Leading in many of the polls, Huckabee took on the conventional wisdom in the last round. He pulled off an upset and took the Iowa caucuses. The question is, has he
successfully established himself as a reliable face in the lineup with his Fox News
show? Random fact: Mike Huckabee won the Values Voter Straw Poll in 2008.

Speaker Newt Gingrich:
Fallen leader of the Republican Revolution. Gingrich lead the charge against Bill
Clinton in the ‘90s and became the Speaker of the House after the Republican victory
in ’94. He is a prolific writer and speaker, who has been pushing his concept of
supporting issues that the vast majority of American’s agree with. He always pulls
headlines and always draws a crowd. I know my Grandpa is a huge fan, but can he
attract support from the younger generations? Random fact: He was on Dobson’s
show and said he regretted his divorce.

Governor Haley Barbour:
The Ultimate Insider. Barbour is Governor of Mississippi, he was the successful chair of the Republican Governor's Assn., and he is a former head of the Republican National Committee. He is an easy speaker and good communicator. His problem will be overcoming the smoke filled room. Most agree that the 2010 elections were a rejection of "the establishment," so someone like Barbour will have a hard time fitting in with the crowd. Random fact: last year he said it would be obvious that he was running for president if he lost lbs-he hasn't.

Governor Tim Pawlenty:
The Super Hero! Pawlenty has a solid reputation as a conservative and is likely to be considered the "safe" candidate, but many worry that he is too boring for a presidential campaign. That is until he released his recent web ad: here. Now he is interesting. If this is the flavor of his campaign to come, then I take back everything. But until then, he just sits on my list as my first choice for McCain's VP in 2008. Random fact: Pawlenty's pastor is Leith Anderson, Pres of the NAE.

Senator Rick Santorum:
The homeschool dad. Santorum was quick to respond to Hillery Clinton's book "It Takes a Village" [to raise a child], with his own book "It Takes a Family." He also won lots of pro-life points as champion of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban in the Senate. His challenge is that he has been out of the political spotlight because of a 18 point loss in his last Senate Race. That is hard to overcome. Random fact: Santorun has as many children as my parents (7).

Governor Mitch Daniels:
The man who shoots his feet, regularly. Gov. Daniels has a very strong record in Indiana. He has been strongly conservative and in fact good on the social issues. But the fact that he keeps talking about a "truce" on some of the conservative issues will cost him in the end. If he did not keep talking about that and pushing that agenda, I would have him handicapped in the very top tier taking his votes from Huckabee, Pawlenty, and Romney. But that is what he keeps saying, and it hurts him more than he knows. Random fact: Daniels is widely credited among conservatives with saving Indiana's economy.

Senator Jim DeMint:
The Tea Partier who says what needs to be said, even if he isn't a great speaker. DeMint, was one of the first highly ranked elected officials to join the Tea Party movement. He is a strong advocate and a tireless campaigner. Although he is intensely popular, he will have a hard time holding conservatives together. This is not because he isn't solid on their issues, it is because there are so many others out there who can attract them. Random fact: DeMint played drums for a band called "Salt and Pepper."

Congressman Ron Paul:
The King of the Internet. He wins almost every straw poll. His supporters are sure that given a chance he is the only viable candidate. In 2008 the two biggest names endorsing Paul were a brothel owner and a pastor. Bottom line: he is a Libertarian. Random fact: Paul ran for President with the Libertarian nomination in 1988 and received .5% of the vote.

Herman Cain, CEO:
The Pizza Man. Cain has spoken at more Tea Parties than I thought possible. He took on President Bill Clinton in a TV townhall on Healthcare Reform. Clinton fought back and won. Cain fought back and he won. And all this was in 8 minutes. He speaks like a tea partier, and not like a President, will that play this year? I don't think so. Random fact: because he is African American you might get in trouble calling him a "dark horse" candidate.

Governor Gary Johnson:
Running in the shadows. Johnson, as a Libertarian leaning candidate, will be fighting the Libertarian hero Ron Paul for voters. After spending $500,000 of his own money on his campaign for New Mexico's Governor, Johnson made national news with his talk of legalizing drugs. I am sure this will come back in an interesting way considering that according to an interview with the Weekly Standard he smoked marijuana for medicinal reasons. He is also the only R candidate who does not call himself pro-life. Random Fact: Johnson is a triathlete.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann:
They can't shut her down. Bachmann is quick to engage tough issues head on. She has given a voice to many in the Tea Party movement, and she is a go-to person for the media. As a candidate for congress she wowed commentators with the amount of money she was able to raise. Whether you like her or not, she speaks from her heart. Random Fact: She and her husband have provided foster care to 23 kids.

Governor John Huntsman:
The Ambassador. Huntsman recently announced that he was leaving the State Department as Obama's Chinese Ambassador. Some wonder if Huntsman's Mormon beliefs force him to share votes with Romney. He is one of the few candidates running who can claim foreign policy experience (even if it is under Obama), but some believe that he his throwing his hat in half heartedly this time as set up for 2016.

Who do you like? Do you think.
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