Sunday, March 27, 2011

The 2012 Republican Presidental Canidate Field Reviewed

When considering the 2012 Republican field for President, the picture is murky.  But it can be cleaned up by the process of elimination, so let's do that now: 
  • Sarah Palin - Plan spoken, and darling of the Tea Party.  Also the most polarizing political figure since Bill Clinton.  The infatuation and inappropriate hated of her on the left make her election nearly impossible.  Plus the media would be falling all over each other to get her in her next Katie Couric "gotcha" moment. 
  • Newt Gingrich - Speaking of polarizing...His three marriages and multiple affairs are an issue.  If you can't be true to your wife, can you be true to anything?  Valid question.  He is another one that the media would have a field day destroying. 
  • Mitt Romney - Best presidential looks in the field, however Romneycare is an albatross around his neck that keeps him from moving forward.  He loses all legitimacy to criticize Obama on heath care, and that is a bludgeon that needs to be in the Republican tool box this election. 
  • Mike Huckabee - Recent gaffes trip him up and make him look amateurish.  Likewise, his show on Fox embedded him a little too closely into the media, which crosses a line for some. 
  • Michelle Bachmann - See comments about Sarah Palin.  All apply to Bachmann. 
That pretty much eliminates all of the consensus "front runners," and paves the way for a very wide-open race if I'm right.  So who does that leave?  There's a whole other field out there, including folks like Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, and Mike Pence.  But of the names left, here's who I personally would like to move to the top: 
  • Tim Pawlenty - Executive leadership, and effective management of financials in a politically split state.  Looks, personality, and background earn him a plus.  I've met him on a couple of occasions and always came away more and more impressed.  The big question is if he can get above the fray. 
  • Chris Christie - The smash-mouth NJ governor cannonballed into the political pool, and his ripple effects have been felt nationally.  Renown for his plain talk, no BS style, his press conferences captured on YouTube have been on heavy rotation on right-wing blogs since the jump.  The big question is can her overcome a non-presidential physical look, and will his abrasiveness potentially work against him. 
  • Paul Ryan - Good looks, intelligence, and great in front of a camera.  Economic wonk who appeals to the Tea Party.  Would eviscerate Obama in a debate.  The big question with him is can he overcome a shortened resume.  Given the fact that his opponent was elected on a resume that was on par, if not shorter, he might have a chance. 
What do you think, and where did I miss the boat on the above?     


  1. Haley Barbour. Watch! Big time Lobbyist in the past. Big time Player in the Republican Party. If he can turn perennial cellar dwellar Mississippi into Forbes top 10 most progressing states what could he do with the country. He's been making the rounds too. I seriously want be surprised if he's a front runner. Just my .02

  2. The name I am going to pull out of the woodwork is Jeb Bush. Pick out the best features of all of the candidates from above and Jeb Bush has them, with the added bonus of having 100% name recognition and top fund raising bona fides.

    Jeb easily wins the three southern states that Obama carried, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida that are not absolutely guaranteed to candidates like Chris Christie, Tim Pawlenty or Paul Ryan. If you then add Indiana, which any Repubican candidate will carry in 2012, you have created a race that Jeb Bush only needs to campaign in Ohio to win 272 electoral votes and the presidential election.

    So, as a candidate Jeb Bush gives you the easiest path to turning the five 2008 Obama states a Republican needs to win the election: NC, VA, FL, OH, and Indiana, as well as maintain the McCain states. (And that is the beauty of the 2010 Census because in 2008 those states would only total 265 electoral votes).

    THe only problem with Jeb Bush is that to win the presidential nomination you need to have the absolute fire to win, and I am not sure if he has it.

  3. House, interesting insight. Do you think the media would allow another Bush to get elected? Are there some in the electorate that would suffer from Bush fatigue and stay home?

  4. I would say there is Bush fatigue in the media and in the electorate, but the critical issue is where that Bush fatigue is.

    The race to win the presidency is more of a geographical issue than it is a popularity issue. Most of the "Bush fatigue" would be in NE liberal states and west coast states that are not going to vote for a Republican candidate anyways. The Bush issue might cost you a couple of points in CA, MA, or NY but so what.

    On the other hand, Jeb Bush is a southern politician that would play to those audiences and the more conservative audiences in Indiana and Ohio.

    And, even more important, Jeb Bush is not George W. Bush. I am a huge fan of W., but Jeb is by far the smarter of the brothers, and it isn't even close.

    I doubt that Jeb runs. I don't think the fire is in him. But if I can choose a 2012 GOP candidate, he is it. The path I demonstrated above is there for Jeb. He only really has to work hard in Ohio to win, and Ohio switched over big time to the GOP in 2010.


Please feel free to include any thoughts you may have. Know, however, that kiddos might be reading this, so please keep the adult language to yourself. I know, for me to ask that language is clean is a stretch...