Who’s a Contender, Who’s a Pretender?

The Republican dominoes are falling into place. There are several declared candidates, and several candidates circling like sharks waiting to get into the race. However, if the sharks take the bait, are they going to be hauled aboard a boat and turned into the next day’s dinner. Or do they have a chance? I would love to know how you feel. Here are my predictions.

Pretenders:

Mitt Romney-this race is going to hinge on government spending, and Obamacare is one of the biggest spenders. Romneycare in Massachusetts is no different. Sorry Mitt, save your money. But, Romney might make a good addition to a cabinet; Secretary of Commerce?

Newt Gingrich-Newt is really smart. But, he has a lot of baggage. That baggage has to be paid for now when you fly-politics isn’t like Southwest Airlines. I also picture Newt in a cabinet position, Secretary of State?

Ron Paul. Ron Paul isn’t grandpa, he’s great grandpa. Way too old, and way too out in left field. He makes some winning points in debate, but ending the Federal Reserve and going back to a gold standard is for crazies. Ron should stay in the House. His son Rand would make a better President.

Rick Santorum. Save your money Senator. Social issues are taking a back burner. America is becoming more libertarian on these kinds of things. Many of us believe abortion is terrible, but we’d rather see the government end all subsidies and payments for it, and try to create a good economic climate where women wouldn’t make that choice.

Donald Trump. He got a lot of publicity and that’s what he wanted. He is likable. He works hard, but he would get so frustrated with the political process he’d blow a gasket. Plus, I don’t think he wants the rectal examination he would get on his finances. Come to Chicago and visit your Trump Tower. It’s a nice addition.

Michelle Bachman. Not this time. She is well spoken, embraced the Tea Party but has some high negatives. She would be a great VP candidate I think.

John Huntsman. Sorry, anyone that crossed the aisle and worked for Obama will not pass muster with the Republican base. Aside from that, the social conservatives will trash him.

Sarah Palin. She has a huge loyal base. But, it’s not her time. She needs to become more articulate off the cuff. Once she runs through her talking points, is there any substance there? Palin wowed ’em on the campaign trail in 2008. But, she is divisive among independents. The left has done a good job demonizing her-she isn’s as crazy as they make her. As a matter of fact, she’s competitive as heck and probably a pretty smart cookie. She keeps making huge money in the private sector for 8 more years, then tests the water.

Mike Huckabee. He is beloved by social conservatives. He is a good talker. But, he isn’t a financial genius type guy. Huckabee would be a good VP candidate. He brings in the south, and can talk to plain folks. In a head to head against Obama, I don’t think he wins. (subsequent to this, Huck said he wasn’t running)

Maybes

John Bolton. Smart. Knows foreign policy. Really smart and unafraid. No one has a good sense of what his domestic policy would look like. He needs to define himself.

Herman Cain. Has all the right experiences. Federal Reserve, CEO. He must flesh himself out, and become a better debater. Even though he is black, the left will demonize him and call him an Uncle Tom. My sense of him is that he understands that and doesn’t care. Watch Herman Cain.

Contenders

Tim Pawlenty. Former governor of Minnesota. Comes from a hard scrabble background and the Tea Party can support him. Social conservatives can support him too. He should appeal to the middle of America, and the independent voter. The question then becomes, can he build excitement? He needs some polish.

Mitch Daniels. The knock on him was he is too short. But, so was James Madison. There are other issues, like the court judgement in Indiana today on property rights, and his marriage. Daniels is a social conservative, but has said he will put those issues on the back burner. He has been a great governor for Indiana as far as finance goes.

In my lifetime, the incumbent Presidents that lost were beaten by some stalwarts. Carter, a weak incumbent if there ever was one was beaten by Reagan. Reagan’s shadow hangs over Republicans to this day. If they could have cloned him they would have. Bush 1 lost to Clinton. I dare say that Clinton is much more beloved than any other Democratic president, including the one that occupies the White House today.

Would have been an interesting race, Reagan vs Clinton. We aren’t going to have that this time. Obama isn’t going to be as weak an incumbent as Jimmy Carter, but he won’t be as strong an incumbent as George Bush 1.

So my prediction is Cain, Bolton, Pawlenty or Daniels vs Obama. What do you think?

ADDENDUM

What about some fantasy candidates?

How about Paul Ryan? He would provide the intellectual counterbalance, and plain speaking American’s desire. He can beat Obama, and credibly took Obama on in the health care debate. I would instantaneously be behind Paul Ryan.

Chris Christie will not run, and is not yet built for the long run I don’t think. Everyone likes him, but let him finish a term or two as governor.

  •  No way Pawlenty is a contender. The guy has done nothing. 
    He has no resume to run on. All hes done is be a governor of a blue state (and cap & trade which he now ‘regrets’)…Plus on top of that hes as boring as a rock. Being president, you need to have some personality IMO. He has nothing.

    I agree with all your pretenders besides Huckabee (who declared hes not running) and Romney. Romney is a legit candidate and IMO the leader in this race. He has been a consistent top 3 vote-getter in GOP polls. You knock him for spending but really, which GOP candidate is going to step in and actually cut spending (besides Ron Paul of course)?? Nobody, they are all hypocrites and wont stop spending unless it hits the middle class (which will screw them over).

    Mitch Daniels- Also not a super exciting candidate but aside from that he has NO name recognition. But more possible than most candidates.

    Hermain Cain- Eh. Same as Daniels, more possible but not a threat IMO so far.

    Hunstman- Not bad, but like Daniels, does anybody know him? I had to google him a few days ago to find out who he is. Hes probablly setting himself up for 2016.

    And did you mean John Bolton instead of Michael??

    Last thoughts: This is Romney’s to lose now that Huckabee (who had huge support) is out. As for the main race, its Obama’s to lose. I dont see Romney as a big threat although he is legit. However, a lot of things can change between now and even the GOP primaries 

    • I think it’s a long way to November of 2012. Obama came out of nowhere to beat Hillary. Republicans aren’t enthused about Romney. They already know him. It’s an open field.

      Saw an article today that picks Gingrich.

      Republicans may be asking themselves the incorrect question; it’s not where is the next Reagan-maybe it should be who is good enough to ride a tidal wave?

      •  Ya very true 2012 is a long way away but I wouldnt say Obama came out of nowhere. He was ‘decently’ known IMO. 

        No way Gingrich wins. He doesnt stand a chance.All those marriage/personal issues he had will kill him. A recent poll aske Americans if they would vote for Newt, and 42% said they would Never vote for him. Thats a huge #. No way he overcomes that.

        • Agree on the salamander. He came out in favor of some health care today-he is already done. In 2007-08, before Obama announced, Hillary was walking down the primrose path to a coronation. He was a surprise, and when you saw how he won-using dirty tricks against Clinton in Iowa, screwing over voters in Michigan, his odds weren’t good in Feb 2008 when he declared.

          The Republican field right how is weak. I just added Paul Ryan as an addendum. Ryan can beat Obama-and beat him soundly.

      • donw

        I saw Gingrich on Meet The Press this morning.  He can swat down the “talking heads and pundits” so easily.  He is able to turn the discussion back to his ideas.  What impresses me every time I hear him are the ideas and commonsense solutions. The Republicans need ideas desperately, they can’t simply be the party of “no”. 
        I think the “Contract for America” in ’94 was something positive to which people responded.   We need positive ideas instead of simply railing against the Democrats.
        The downside, as stated,  Gingrich’s personal turmoil.  The older I get, the more I realize none of us is perfect, yet most of us manage to contribute to society to whatever degree we choose.  I guess what I’m saying is personal issues don’t run me off as they used to.

        • Good points. Except he kind of torpedoed the Republican budget. I think Newt has some good ideas, but he can’t win I don’t think. But, I could be wrong. I was ticked when the Bulls drafted Noah and he has turned out well.

  • Asdfasdf

    looks like another 4 years of Obama….