A brief rundown of the 2012 White House wannabees

December 22, 2010

Jonah Goldberg sizes up the possible GOP presidential contenders (presented in outline form by me):

1. By my count, 24 people benefit from nontrivial presidential buzz: Sarah Palin, 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 Gregg, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry.

2. Rubio, Ryan and Jindal … are all wisely sitting out the presidential contest … though the GOP’s three golden boys are ripe vice-presidential picks.

3. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the governors of New Jersey, Virginia and Texas — Christie, McDonnell and Perry — probably aren’t running. … Also, there’s growing buzz that Huckabee … may not run because he’s got a big new contract with Fox News in the works.

4. DeMint … has said he’s not running but acts like he might be. … Gregg … acts likes he’s not running but hasn’t ruled it out. Pence … definitely wants to run but now may switch to the Indiana governorship.

5. Barbour … could be a front-runner (and a hilarious, adept debate opponent for Obama), but his plans remain murky.

6. In many respects, Thune is the GOP version of John Kerry: a candidate with presidential hair who seems “electable” despite not having done much.

7. That leaves us with a top tier of five front-runners: Romney, Palin, Gingrich, Pawlenty and Daniels. Romney is the organizational front-runner; Daniels is the first pick of wonks and DC eggheads; Palin probably has the most devoted following among actual voters; Gingrich will dominate the debates, and Pawlenty (vying with Daniels) is the least disliked.

I am beginning to think the field of legit contenders might actually be quite small in the end. But my dark horse entry is still Jeb Bush.


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Why would you put Gen Petraeus in the category since he has said so many times on-the-record that he has no interest in the job. What makes you think he would be a candidate or would benefit?

Posted by Steve-in-Kansas | Report as abusive

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To further what Steve-in-Kansas wrote, wouldn’t it be extremely strange that a serving general would run against his commander-in-chief? Makes sense maybe if Obama wins 2012 and 2016 is an open door, but not now for sure. Looking through the rest of the list… Palin and Gingrich are out of politics and don’t have a prayer; Romney is a centrist and wouldn’t get enough teabag votes to win; Pawlenty and Daniels aren’t that well known yet so could have the best shot, but they would be running as campaign creations not on their record.

All-in-all, if that’s the republican field as you see it get ready for four more years of Obama.

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Interesting that Mike Huckabee, who wins virtually all the Republican polls for 2012, is listed 10th on the list, and then dismissed as not running because of his contract with FOX News. We see something like this about once a week from the Washington propaganda machine who is determined that no one not beholden to the special interests will ever have a chance to be President. Well, that makes average Americans like me all the more determined to help him.

Posted by DavidE7 | Report as abusive

I’d love to see any combination of Christie, Romney, Santorum or Rubio. Any of those pairs would beat Obama. I agree with 80% of everything Huckabee says on Fox, but I’m troubled by the ample evidence from his last run for office that he’s a religous bigot. Huck would do well to review Article VI of the US Constitution:

“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

Posted by njguy | Report as abusive

Herman Cain for President 2012

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