The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) just finished up their conference and we are beginning to get a clear idea of who will run for the Republican Nomination for president. Here’s the list:
You will notice that most of them are re-treads of previous years. This is very common for the Republican party. Unlike the Dems who bury their dead as deep as they can go, Republicans nurture their politicos and let them take a few more shots. Here is my 30 second take on the field and who is going to be the nominee.
Sarah Palin – Definitely running but will get creamed in the primary. Should make for hilarious media commentary throughout her run and beyond.
Ron Paul – Just won the CPAC straw poll with 33%. He has a devoted following and will make an impact. Unfortunately, the big money of the GOP wants him out of the race, so I think he will become the GOP Kucinich. He’s there, he makes his point, he’s never going to be president.
Mitt Romney – He scooped up most of the ex-Bush-ies. He has more money than God and has big business support. He’s smooth and polished. His main stumbling blocks are a) He looks like a Wall Street guy, which could doom him in this anti-bailout enviroment, and b) He’s Mormon. The Christian Conservative base is NOT a fan and it will be a tough hurdle to get past.
Tim Pawlenty – Sorry dude. This governor of MN brings nothing to the table. He isn’t as smooth as Romney, as funny as Huckabee, as crazy as Palin or as devoted as Ron Paul. He’s going to get drowned out and quick.
Newt Gingrich – The darling of the Media, he can make a headline like no one else. I don’t think he will actually full out run. I think he wants to be kingmaker/vice president. Look for him to be the “voice of reason” when the establishment takes on the Tea Partiers.
Mike Huckabee- Charismatic, smooth, very Christian, he has a decent shot. His main rival will be Mitt Romney so expect Religion to play a big part. He will be the reasonable and calm Jesus-y alternative to Sarah Palin. His main challenge is fundraising. He has never been good at it, so expect him to be outspent.
If I were to place money, it would be a Romney vs. Obama in 2012 with spending and economic growth being the central fights. Any other guesses?