By Bill Bucco
So, I’ve been keeping quite for the most part about who may/should be the nominee for the Grand Old Party and face President Obama in the 2012 election. So now, I’ve decided to throw my opinion out there on who I think is the best candidate for the Grand Old Party’s nomination.
First lets start with the people I believe should NOT get the nomination and why:
Former Governor Mitt Romney
Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Former Governor Sarah Palin
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Governor Romney, someone who I very much respect, but I think has too much baggage now that the so called RomneyCare is going belly up in Massachusetts; which many say ObamaCare is mirrored on. Also, last time around Governor Romney spent a lot of his own money and still couldn’t pull off any big upset wins. He’s a fine American and I believe his experience and knowledge will be best served as the top economic adviser to the next President.
Governor Huckabee is an accomplished Governor of a state that housed a former President of ours. And he was definitely the underdog in almost every primary and pulled a huge upset in the Iowa Caucus. The only problem with the Governor is fundraising. He had trouble back in 2008 to raise money and I still think him being a former minister is going to hurt him in key swing states that are going to heavily have young voter turnout; who still unfortunately are blind sighted by the “Obama talk.”
Governor Palin, while someone who can shake up the base and I believe be very competitive in a Republican Primary, she has too much baggage. The liberal media has done a good job by ripping her apart and may have accomplished the task of making sure she never becomes President or Vice President. Her same talking points aren’t going to get her to the oval office, and also her resigning as Governor with but 18 months left doesn’t help either. She is someone that should be getting a lot more respect then she has, but let’s be honest, the liberal media won in the sense of painting her as a “right wing extremist” and are trying to shut her up but are failing miserably. Whoever the nominee is may want to look at her as a fund raising tool.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He has done a pretty good job staying in the public eye. With frequent appearances on Fox News, writing books, and producing movies. However he can only ride the “I was Speaker when the budget was balanced” train for so long. He is yesterday’s news. He has too much baggage and I don’t think he should be considered as a possible contender.
Former Senator Rick Santorum. If any conservative out there wants Obama for another 4 years, then Senator Santorum is the person to nominate. I mean seriously, is he for real? Here is a man who lost his reelection bid 59%-41% the largest margin of defeat ever for an incumbent Senator since George McGovern lost to James Abdnor in 1980. I mean come on! And 1 thing I have to criticize Fox News for is actually having him on as a regular guest. He is yesterday’s news and shouldn’t be given any media attention really.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Now growing up where I did, I knew who Giuliani was and everyone loved him; still do in fact. But he was Mayor for 8 years and has not held a higher public office since. I think people in the North East have a different view of Giuliani, because we got to see what he did first hand, but the rest of the country didn’t. And his personal life will again play a big factor into people deciding whether or not to vote for him as well as his decisions on same sex marriage and abortion. He spent the most part, if not all of his campaigning in Florida and showed a weak 3rd place. Not good for a chance of the GOP to take over the White House next election.
Herman Cain, a lot of people will go who? Donald Trump, a lot of people know who he is, but again people will be like huh? These two men, successful businessmen, and people we need in Washington to make it more business friendly, with all do respect, have no right running for President. Just like Ross Perot back in the 1992 and 1996 election. This is just an example of millionaires and billionaires wanting to be at the top without having zero experience what so ever.
Now let’s go with some who said they won’t run, but names are still floating around:
Governor Chris Christie
Former Governor Jeb Bush
Now, nothing would make me and probably most of the country happier then to see Governor Christie run for President against President Obama. You’ve had politicians in the past say that they aren’t going to run and then a few years later they end up running, but no one has said “short of suicide, I don’t know what to do to convince you that I’m not running for President.” Except one Governor. While I wish the Governor would reconsider, he is also a man that does what he says and says what he means. So if you were going to put a bet on who is not going to run, put it on Christie.
Former Governor Jeb Bush. Another man who has said thanks but no thanks. But even if he didn’t, it is still way too soon to even think about having another Bush on the ticket. Not because I don’t think Governor Bush would do a bad job, I think he would do a fantastic job, but I will have to agree with his mother when she said, “I think the country is Bushed out for a while.” Another good return on a bet if you were to do so.
Now let’s wrap it up with possible contenders and of course, my pick for the GOP as well as a pick for the Vice President
Former Governor Tim Pawlenty
Governor Haley Barbour
Governor Mitch Daniels
Congressman Mike Pence
Let’s start out with Governor Haley Barbour. I had the opportunity to meet the Governor last February and I was very impressed by him how he presented himself. He has a great record of winning elections. 1994 and in 2010; where in 1994 he was the RNC Chairman when the republicans made a historic sweep then and in 2010 as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) where he won Virginia and New Jersey (2009) and gained 12 out of 17 Governorships that changed parties. (Florida was counted in the 12 being Crist was officially an Independent as of April 2010) The problem with Governor Barbour is though his ties to lobbyist groups. That I think will be something his fellow Republicans will use against him and you know it is something Obama will use against him as well; but if the RNC or the person whoever gets the nomination, Haley Barbour is another person to really consider having as your fund raiser; the man can raise money!
Congressman Mike Pence, not much talk about him, but enough to put him on the radar as a possible contender. The major thing he has going against him right now is history. Historically, and in fact never, has a sitting member of the House of Representatives won the primary to seek the nomination. Also, outside of Washington DC, Indiana (where he is from and represents), and a small circle of the GOP, he is unknown. Now the argument can be made for a lot of the other candidates mentioned above, but as opposed to be being 1 out of 50 like the Governors or 1 out of 100 like the Senators, he is 1 out of 435 at the same time all of them are trying to find ways to get air time. He has a good record and I believe he could make an effective leader, but I wouldn’t recommend he be the nominee.
Now it comes down to the final two (at least on my list) Former Governor Tim Pawlenty and Governor Mitch Daniels. Both Governor’s I admire and had the opportunity to meet Governor Pawlenty last February also. And he has been more vocal and visible then Governor Daniels in regards to running for President. The only reason is now because Tim Pawlenty is no longer Governor and Mitch Daniels, while still on the fence, is still Governor. However, I do believe Governor Daniels is seriously thinking about a run, because he cannot stand for reelection as Governor in 2012, he will be term limit out, and the RGA made Governor Rick Perry the Chairman of the organization; not a big surprise but at the same time yes because usually they give it to a Governor who is term limit out so the other Governors can focus of governing and reelection.
Both of these men have similar traits that would make them both appealing. Both of them come from states that Obama won in 2008. Although Mitch Daniels has a better shot of turning Indiana red then Tim Pawlenty does turning Minnesota red. Only 1 Republican President has won Minnesota and that was Richard Nixon back in 1972; the good ole Gipper didn’t even win that state. Although Tim Pawlenty is closer in age to Obama and that can work in his favor. Both men have worked in “manufacturing states” which means they have worked with a lot of unions and can negotiate well and have the back bone that can fix the pension reforms in this county, something our current President lacks.
That being said, the person I believe would be the best person to match up against President Obama is Governor Mitch Daniels. Some of you may think that is a boring choice, but I respectfully disagree. If you read his record as Governor, and they (the RNC and other GOP affiliated organizations) market him well, he will be an outstanding candidate for President. Also, geographically he is from a perfect spot. For starters, you can bet Indiana will be removed from the blue column and put back into the red column, and Ohio can also do the same. He is from a neighboring state so he is more known to “middle America” where some key states are located and states that Obama won in 2008 that Bush did in 2004.
While Mitch Daniels is not the exciting spark that Barrack Obama was for the Democrats in 2008, that can change with the pick of the Vice President. And I am choosing the Governor of New Mexico, Governor Susanna Martinez. What she has done 3 weeks as Governor, Obama still hasn’t done as President, she is energetic and will rally the base more then Sarah Palin did in 2008.
I believe a Mitch Daniels and Susanna Martinez ballot for November 2012 is a team that can beat President Obama and Vice President Biden.