Who Wants To Be The GOP Nominee?
By John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine .com
April 5, 2011 — With less than a year remaining before the first presidential primary, no republican candidate of any consequence has declared their candidacy for president.
Hell, one republican presidential candidate debate has been cancelled already. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation’s May 2 event has been rescheduled until September. In the 2008 campaign cycle, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, current Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. John McCain had already officially declared less than a year before the first primary.
President Obama’s polling numbers are low, the economy hasn’t fully recovered and the ‘good old days’ don’t look like they they will ever be coming back. By all accounts, Obama seems vulnerable. But republicans with historical sensibility — including all seasoned political consultants and ideologues — have been down this road before and they are all wary that what may seem like an opportunity may actually be fool’s gold.
Just as the political landscape in 2010 and 1994 unfolded in strikingly similar ways, 1996 and 2012 national elections promise to unfold in much the same way. The “republican revolution” in 1994 — that would be likewise duplicated in 2010 — caused Gop’ers to go on the offensive buoyed by their victories at the polls. With momentum on their side, a long list of potential candidates were discussed as the best one to be the next president, because clearly, Clinton was going to lose, regardless of the last name of the republican candidate.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the steps of the capitol. As 1995 went on, Clinton started rising in the polls once again —thanks to backlash from the government shutdown which again threatens — and as he became more popular, most of the names that would be the future of the republican party — until this election cycle, that is — backed out. McCain, President Bush II, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Newt Gingrich all were prodded but declined. The republican primary battle ended up coming down to Bob Dole, Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes.
Dole, of course, won the nomination and put up a good fight and might have won without the presence of Ross Perot. But on paper, Clinton had a grand electoral victory.
Fast forward to 2011.
The names being bandied about are: Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Gen. David Petraeus, Haley Barbour, Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Haley Barbour and others. Jeb Bush has already stated he isn’t running. So has Michael Bloomberg.
Again, the tea party faction of the republican base are still not happy. They are the “mad as hell and won’t take it anymore” crowd and their support of the policies of no compromise might bring another government shutdown.
So far, it is setting up to be a lot like 1996 and that is why no one wants to move first. The path to the nomination may be easier thanks to many viable candidates deciding to sit it out because they don’t want to challenge an incumbent president that while not loved by the polls will get his campaign machine up and running come 2012.
But some of the wild cards and the ‘tea party’ may split the republican base.
Herman Cain is the tea party darling with no political experience, although he was CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. In the poll at the tea party national convention in Phoenix, he led all challengers with 22 percent. Mitt Romney came in last.
With Romney being the front runner in most national polls as well as in the early primary states, if he can carry that momentum to the nomination, it can be expected that the tea party might not be happy that he of the Massachusetts health insurance plan is the nominee
The Tea Party and Cain could split from the republicans and then all hell would beak loose. Obama might win easily — just like in 1996.
But all of that hypothetical thinking is just that. As of now, the only republican candidates that have officially declared and regional kooks and wackos who declare every year and get no money or votes.
And, anything can happen between now and then. The Obama White House could make a blunder that might even turn his consolidated base against him. Maybe not.
Doesn’t any republican think they can be president?
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