Republican Presidential Thoughts 2012
by Tom Donelson on January 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM
(Notes: I am not making any endorsements or will I spend time in this piece to dissect weakness of candidates. There is more than enough time to do this. My purpose is to point out that Republicans have a strong list of candidates.)
The 2012 presidential elections have already begun and there is one thing to consider, who is in the lead now may not be later. Today polls merely reflect names that have ever been present in the news or ran in 2008. Mitt Romney's profile is enhanced by his 2008 Presidential run whereas Mike Huckabee has kept his profile through his Fox News connection. Sarah Palin has created her own support network outside of the traditional network with her commentary on Facebook and her program on the learning stations and she has the additional benefit of being on Fox News. So when polls show these three as the top three, it is as much due to voters being familiar with them.
At this stage of the campaign, no candidate has established his or herself as the main candidate, leaving the door open for other candidates. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty proved to an effective governor; rating an A from the Cato Institute for his ability to maintain some element of order on Minnesota budget during his years as governor. Another candidate, Mitch Daniels is a candidate with hearty resume including a successful two term as Indiana governor, a stint as OMB in the Bush administration, President of Lilly pharmaceutical North America and stint as President of non-profit Hudson Institute. Few have ever run for President with just a resume.
Haley Barbour, the present governor of Mississippi, is thinking about being President. His resume includes being a lobbyist and head of the Republican Party; leaving the impression that he knows politics. Among other candidates include John Bolton, the former diplomat, Senator John Thune and businessman and now talk radio show host Herman Cain. Then there is Newt Gingrich, a individual who is forever thinking outside the box but may have been the most effective Speaker of the House as he forced Bill Clinton to the right by getting welfare reform passed (first significant reduction of the welfare state passed since the passage of the New Deal), a balanced budget along with a capital gains tax. Before he became Speaker, he helped defeat Hillarycare, the precursor to Obamacare.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is a dark horse but he has been an effective governor as he managed to place Texas as the state shaping America’s revival. Least we forget, Rudy Giuliani is considering yet another run for the President and there is still memory of his cool leadership on September 11th.
And Republicans have a deep bench for future Presidential runs beyond 2012 or Vice-Presidents consideration in 2012. Bobby Jindal is the young governor of Louisiana who tangled with the Obama administration during the BP oil spill and like many of the others; he has his own impressive resume. Among his accomplishments include President of Louisiana system, Head of Louisiana Health and Hospital, worked in Health and Human Services during the early part of the Bush’s era, congressman of Louisiana first district and now governor. He has yet to hit 40.
Paul Ryan has been one of the sharpest minds for the Republican Party when it comes to domestic policy, always thinking outside the box, and this knowledge was displayed when he confronted Barack Obama during the Health care summit where he literally destroyed the economic assumption right in front of Obama, who had no response.
Chris Christie is showing how to challenge the status quo in New Jersey and his combative style has made him a youtube star. (So far Christie has resisted any national aspiration.)
Conventional wisdom is that the top tier of Republican candidates are weak, but beyond the top three of Romney, Palin, and Huckabee are a list of candidates with impressive accomplishments and resumes.