Saturday, April 25, 2009

One View from the Right on the 2012 Field

Matt Mackowiak, doing a guest spot over at CQ, has an early look at the GOP's field of candidates for 2012. The former Senate press secretary doesn't affix numbers to the candidates' names, but it is hard for me to read it any other way. Thirty months out from the start of primary season 2012, this reads like a rough ranking. Here's his list:

1. Mitt Romney

2. Newt Gingrich

3. Tim Pawlenty

4. Mark Sanford

5. Bobby Jindal

6. Sarah Palin

7. Eric Cantor

8. Mike Huckabee

9. Jon Huntsman

10. John Thune

11. John Ensign

12. Mike Pence


  • I can buy Palin and Huckabee that low simply from an organizational standpoint. And when I say organization I mean the ability to win over party elites within the Republican Party. Despite both having at least some modicum of support at the grassroots level (Palin being Palin and Huckabee in polling), there's still the thought that neither has much of a link to the elite level of the party. You can get away with that in a Democratic nomination race (see Carter, Jimmy or Dean, Howard P. -- where the P stands for pre-scream), but that really doesn't happen on the Republican side. That's why those top two look so good.
  • Bobby Jindal. I still see the Louisiana governor as the Mark Warner of this cycle -- dropping out before the race starts and eying another cycle. In fact, let's pencil those two in for the 2016 general election and be done with it. Nah.
  • Eric Cantor. Look, I haven't said much about the Virginia congressman, but boy has his name been dropped a lot lately in the context of a presidential run. I don't know. I could be proven wrong, but I really see him as aspiring to the Speaker's position. The guy wouldn't turn down a chance at the GOP nomination, I'm sure, but I doubt he makes that jump unless he really feels like he can win it. His last name isn't Bush, so I don't see him queue-jumping around the "next guy in line" method of presidential nomination for the GOP.
As always, time will tell.

Recent Posts:
More Texas-less Fun

Nothing to See Here: NY-20 Race Comes to a Close

Obama vs. Four Prospective 2012 GOP Candidates: Huckabee Does Best


Matt said...

If Obama keeps his high approval ratings, you may see some of the younger candidates decide to wait 4 years. Then this may look a bit like the Dems in '92 - the most well-known candidates pass, leaving the field for a lesser known Governor. Sanford and Huntman are the two I would keep an eye on.

Josh Putnam said...

I agree. The other factor to consider is what I alluded to in that Palin/Huckabee paragraph. To what extent to we see a Dole-like consolidation of the party structure?

Yeah, Dole had to work for the nomination -- his spending to ward off Forbes and Buchanan drained his coffers heading into the summer months of 1996 -- but he was the candidate of the party.

Does Romney emerge as that candidate? Does Gingrich? I don't know, but the Dole example is the GOP model for 2012 -- minus the money issues the party and its supporters would hope -- and Romney and Gingrich are the candidates that would most likely fill that role best.

Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney deserves and is so highly qualified for these times. He is not an insider, we have had enough of that. I feel Mitt is as honest as the day is long. He has proven he can turn unsightly businesses around, Just look at the Olympics....Family man, mature, proven leader, and SMART.A man who walks his talk..Great disposition, and knows how to lead...Mitt 2012....

Anonymous said...

Romney's not running.

Anonymous said...

Oops. Here's the proper link.

Josh Putnam said...

I had to do a double take on Anon4:36's post. That "smart" and "A" were a little too close together.

Also, when did Mitt hire Susan Boyle as his spokesperson. And here I thought FHQ was going to be immune to the Boyle virus.

Jack said...

At least we're able to discuss Huckabee without it degenerating into Chuck Norris facts.

Josh Putnam said...

Oh, Chuck will reprise his role. He's the "get" of 2012.