Editor’s Note – With Obama’s approval rating reaching new lows almost daily, and many in America beginning to realize that ‘Change and Hope’ was little more than ‘smoke and mirrors’, it’s not too early to start looking ahead to 2012.
The field will be crowded, you can be sure. Palin has the popularity, Romney has the structure and, apparently, the support of the ‘leftstream’ media? Newt has the name recognition.
One name not mentioned here is Lou Dobbs, who could make the whole process pretty darn interesting!
Ultimately, who ever follows in Obama’s footsteps has a lot of work awaiting them. This person will need to step into the White House with an understanding that the political process in Washington, D.C. is completely broke, and the only real solution is to shake that town to it’s core.
In my opinion, there is only one of these candidates that will accomplish that task, although the deck will be stacked against HER!
Early Signs of 2012 Power
By Jonathan Martin
With roughly 18 months to go until the Iowa caucuses, here’s what the latest fundraising numbers and recent activity of potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates tell us: Mitt Romney is the traditional front-runner, Sarah Palin is a not-so-traditional force, and Tim Pawlenty is the early bird. As for Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee, they want to stay in the conversation.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
The 2008 presidential hopeful outpaced the field by raising $1.8 million in the second quarter for his political action committee. In the first half of this year, he has raised $3.5 million — double any of the other GOP prospects.
He also is being methodical about his money and endorsements. While wading into some GOP primary battles on behalf of candidates who supported his White House bid, Romney is mostly waiting until after primaries take place to get involved. After each primary, his PAC will issue a statement of support for a state’s slate of GOP candidates and cut checks for them individually. He has already distributed about $400,000 to Republican candidates and causes, much of it in pivotal primary states, such as New Hampshire and South Carolina.
But it’s what Romney is doing that’s not searchable in the Federal Election Commission database that has many Republican insiders convinced that he’s a lock to run again and the early candidate to beat.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
While Romney is doing all that presidential hopefuls typically do in the run-up to a White House bid, the former vice presidential nominee is doing the opposite: no sit-downs with members of Congress and no schmoozing with money types on Wall Street or in Washington in an effort to develop a political organization.
Palin, of course, doesn’t necessarily need to do such spadework since she enjoys a following rivaled by no American politician except President Barack Obama. She can command an audience in the thousands in any city and create breathless cable TV coverage with just a few sentences on Facebook or Twitter.
Recently, she signaled that she intends to professionalize her approach to politics, cutting a slick and much-buzzed-about video, delivering policy speeches, doing direct mail and showing a pragmatic streak in her candidate endorsements.
If she intends to run, though, she’ll need to do far more to put together the type of infrastructure needed to compete in the early states. Beyond organization, her larger problem is being viewed as presidential material. For all her appeal among conservatives, there are many in the party who — while tickled about how she sticks it to the media and the left — simply don’t want her to run.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
The Minnesota governor’s approach to a possible White House bid resembles that of Romney, circa 2008.
Like the former Massachusetts governor four years ago, Pawlenty is aggressively traveling to early states like Iowa and New Hampshire to become better known among GOP activists. He also is working diligently to cultivate national operatives and donors.
Just as Romney had to be more forward-leaning in a field that included household names such as McCain and Rudy Giuliani, Pawlenty has to be more open about his intentions to crowd into the same space with the likes of Palin and, well, Romney.
The Minnesotan’s obstacles include a charisma deficit and a clear rationale for why he should be president. His appeal is more heavy on process — he got elected in a liberal-leaning state and has a blue-collar background — than it is on any overriding policy ideas at the moment.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
The two have every reason to fan speculation that they may each run for president. It means more attention to their Fox News appearances, continued demand for paid speaking opportunities and more robust sales for their frequent books.
Both know how to deliver a good line and carve out a space in the news cycle. Yet will they really give up their media-personality-cum-provocateur roles and the money that comes with them to put together presidential organizations and spend 14-hour days with grass-roots activists?
Gingrich may be the better bet of the two. He raised almost $3.5 million between two political organizations over the past three months, one of which doesn’t have contribution limits. He said this week in Iowa that he’s “never been this serious” about a White House run. How to know if he means it? If he starts releasing county-by-county lists of supporters in the early states.
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