Pawlenty Is Probably Helped The Most By Daniels’ Departure
This disappoints me for a lot of reasons. Governor Daniels was looking like a candidate I could have found myself supporting for President. I also considered him to be a contender who could have saved us from the ignominy of a Romney nomination. But what really troubles me about the departure of big-name candidates such as Daniels, Barbour and Huckabee from the 2012 race is the political calculations they’re making which is leading them to these decisions.
I worry that Daniels, et. al. are concluding that, despite a stagnant economy and a slate of unpopular policies, President Obama’s re-election to a second term is inevitable.
The person who this helps the most is likely Tim Pawlenty. Romney is old news, and tainted by Romneycare. Plus he’s been running for President for so long that most Republicans have hardened their feelings about him. They either support him completely, or won’t ever support him.
Gingrich all but did himself in by attacking the most serious budget and entitlement reform proposal currently on the table, and attacking it from the left no less. Jon Huntsman worked in the Obama administration, for crying out loud. Bachmann and Palin are conservative favorites, but poll so poorly among independents that they aren’t likely to win the nomination. Herman Cain has pizazz and a growing following and the added benefit of being perceived as a political outsider, but he seems a long shot at this point.
And yes, there are Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. I’d prefer Johnson over Paul if given the chance, but let’s face it. Short of some radical realignment in the GOP neither of those guys are going to win the nomination.
Pawlenty may well be emerging as the consensus candidate, though making any conclusions this far out is foolish. At this time in the 2008 cycle I thought John McCain was out of the game, which just goes to show how much can change once the primaries start.
Discussion question: Does Texas Governor Rick Perry get into the race and become the savior of the 2012 cycle?Tags: election 2012, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, mitch daniels, mitt romney, Newt Gingrich, ron paul, sarah palin