Monday, November 8, 2010
Caruba's Crystal Ball: The 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee
By Alan Caruba
If the Republican Party nominates a RINO (Republican in Name Only) like John McCain in 2012 it will lose and, assuming the Democratic Party clings to its suicide pact with Barack Hussein Obama, he will win.
What we do know is that independent voters will decide whoever will be elected in 2012. There were no Tea Parties in those earlier elections and a lot depends on what the GOP does over the course of the next two years. While they control the House, they have limited options beyond a declared intention to repeal Obamacare, cut government spending, etc. Twenty-three very nervous Democrat Senators up for election in 2012 may prove cooperative. Obama will not.
So, let the speculation begin! Rasmussen Reports polled likely primary voters to find out who Republicans favored at this early point and released a November 4 announcement that three ex-governors, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and Sarah Palin were in a dead heat.
Romney is a RINO who brought an early version of Obamacare to Massachusetts when he was governor. Huckabee plays well on television and should stay there. Palin has a cult following, but is a political anomaly who could be defeated in a general election.
Many Republican women candidates did not fare well in the midterms. None of these early potential candidates should be considered serious contenders for the presidency at a time when many Republicans are looking for new faces, not failed earlier contenders.
Others to ignore in this category include Governors Bobby Jindal and Haley Barbour, as well as Tim Pawlenty. All are good governors, but none have the star power it takes to be president.
There are Republicans who are already making appearances in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and other early primary states and, of these, Mike Pence, an Indiana Representative who won a recent presidential straw vote at a “values summit” in September looks like a viable contender. There’s some buzz for John Thune, a handsome Senator from South Dakota, but Thune has not geared up for the campaign and few voters know anything about him.
Marco Rubio, the newly elected Senator from Florida, is a bright young, articulate face of the new GOP, but he needs to get a full term under his belt before running. He needs his name on some piece of legislation that gains attention. He is, for sure, a rising star.
Newt Gingrich may want to be president, but he is likely to conclude that being the party’s “elder statesman” is the role in which he is most comfortable. I do not think he will run for the nomination. For all his virtues, Gingrich is no Ronald Reagan.
The 2010 midterm elections were unique in that they were all about rejecting Obama’s actions in his first two years and the growing suspicion that he is a few cards short of a full deck. He can be depended upon to pursue the same policies that led to his rejection.
It is worth noting the way even some Republicans in Congress who had been there a long time got swept from office and the way some people with no political resume were elected. A “wave” election, the midterms were also in many ways an anomaly or, as Wall Street would call it, a correction.
My crystal ball tells me that the Republican Party could likely embrace Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.