Apparently, the last couple GOP presidential threads scared off the conservatives on these boards from making public their choice for the GOP nomination, to see who becomes the candidate against President Obama's reelection. While several here have ventured some of the usual suspects in a broad, generic fashion, none have been proud enough of anyone in the GOP field to pick a winner.
As noted before, by this time in the 2008 cycle, every major candidate had not only formed a committee, but had declared and was actively pursuing the nomination. Debates were planned and eagerly anticipated. As noted in the previous thread, the GOP originally planned a debate on May 2, which was postponed 6 months due to the general disarray of the GOP field.
Why are the candidates lagging?
Is it they want to read more polls to understand how strong the President will be in 2012?
Is it that they do not want to commit to the political suicide of too early declaring, or not, their allegiance to the radical, "right wing social engineering" of the GOP/Ryan budget bill that privatizes Medicare, gives new tax cuts to billionaires and maintain subsides for Big Oil, the most profitable industry ever?
Waiting appears to be the right move, allowing them to avoid head on questions on those and other absurd fringe questions, such as whether they support birthers.
Most obvious with this field, is who is NOT in:
"[Daniels'] exit illustrates the degree to which the GOP race is being shaped by who's not running. Consider the list of would-be candidates who've passed on a campaign in the last four months: Mike Pence, John Thune, Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, Donald Trump and now Daniels.
Add Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan and Rick Perry Republicans with star power who've said flatly they won't run and it translates into a GOP establishment deeply worried that the flawed options they're left with won't be any match
"Insofar as politics abhors even a near-vacuum, others are bound to get in," Weekly Standard editor William Kristol predicted this morning, suggesting a race that could "remain open and fluid until Thanksgiving."
One Daniels friend was blunt when asked about who in the current field was now more appealing: "None of the above." "
All the above likely saw the writing on the wall and may be protecting their reputation from this toxic tea bagging environment, marshaling their reputations for an open 2016 race.
To recap the current field:
- Mitt Romney: Out fund-raised all contenders, as he did initially in 2008. Will he continue, or like 2008, will his fundraising falter after his Mormon connection taps out, i.e. reach the legal limits. Bigger question: can he get past Rombamacare to even place in the top three in Iowa? He's already chickened out in Iowa, and is barely campaigning there.
- Tim Pawlenty: Announced yesterday, but was pre-empted on the news stations by "O'Bama's" ancestral visit to Ireland.
Pawlenty - always the personality questions! Timmy Snore is the anti-Romney at this level, but will soon be replaced by Huntsman. Tim as a VP candidate?
- Sarah: says this week she has "fire in her belly,". (I think it's the moose burrito.)
Sarah joins a long list of recent GOP candidates that use the press and hints of a campaign to get media exposure and publicity for personal gain: fox appearance money, speaking fees, increasing book sales, etc.. As with previous iterations of Newt and Rudy.
Nonfactor, won't run, unless Santa brings the Dems a great big early Christmas gift.
* Second level:
- Michele Bachmann: Tea bagger fav. Grew up in Iowa. Will have big effect early, if she enters. Big in Iowa, not so much in NH, a small rebound in SC with haley's help, then out?
See also: Dem Christmas gifts.
- Jon Huntsman: What's not to like? Serious. Dignified. Statesmanlike. Looks really good on the tube, maybe better than Mitt.
Oh, yeah, there's this: supported an individual mandate. Is Mormon. Believes in climate change. Laughs at birthers, just like the normal folks.
Which is deadly in the GOP primaries. Jon Huntsman is in this to build name and cred for 2016, which would be difficult for him to do then in the face of Christie, Jeb and others. But can he make a go of it this time? Looks likely.
- Newt: What a difference a week makes. Was: the corporate media's choice for serious candidate in the primaries. Now: will he make it to the primaries?
Has Newt received his thank you note from the Dems yet? "right wing social engineering", "privatizing Medicare is extreme" and "any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood..."
The gifts that just keep giving. Gamed the system for years as a potential candidate to increase speaking fees and book sales. Destroys it in a day. One doesn't even hear about the ethics or cheating scandals anymore.
- Herman Cain: G'father. Clearly won the first debate. That's his 2012 highlight reel right there.
- Ron Paul: permanent candidate. Give it to the guy, he's a believer in his libertarian values, right down to declaring heroin and prostitution should be legalized. At a GOP debate.
- Fred Karger: Log cabin republican. God luv ya, Fred. Because the republicans sure won't.
- Gary Johnson: I haven't googled him.
- Rick Santorum: Sadly, I have googled him.
Care to pick you man/woman?
Any conservative pride in any of these candidates?
My opinion? Looks to me like a cast of characters that will give the GOP a nominee whose sole job will be to motivate the base to get out and vote for down ticket races, because current numbers show it's unlikely they will win.
We'll get to those down ticket races - the lopsided Senate race (once again, Dem's have to defend the majority of seats up for re-election this time around,) and an interesting House cycle - in a few months.
Coattails are always important. And I don't see GOP voters getting motivated by any winner of this group.
Unless things change, 2012 will be ALL about the coattails.
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