• Chris Christie,  John Huntsman,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  Polling,  President 2012,  Sarah Palin,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012 GOP Poll Watch: Insiders Poll Hot on Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty – NOT Hot on Sarah Palin

    According to the latest National Journal “Insiders” poll.

    In the view of Democratic and Republican political operatives, the potential 2012 GOP White House hopefuls whose fortunes are most on the rise are Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, while former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a rapidly depreciating asset, according to this week’s National Journal Political Insiders Poll.

    While no Republican could-be candidate towered above the field, GOP Insiders focused on Daniels and Pawlenty as two whose stock has been rising in recent months, but for very different reasons. Daniels, who has taken few overt steps towards mounting a national campaign, is seen as someone who could champion the Republican themes of shrinking government and cutting spending and also has the record in Indiana to back up that message in a campaign. “The more it becomes about deficit reduction, the better he does,” said one GOP Insider. Even Daniels’ serious demeanor is considered a positive. “Increasingly seen as the anti-Obama — no flash and slogans, but real leadership and a plan,” swooned another Republican.

    Pawlenty was rated equally well by GOP Insiders who have been impressed by his disciplined courtship of the party faithful in the early caucus and primary states. Pawlenty is also viewed as a candidate who is acceptable to a broad range of Republicans and has relatively little political baggage. “[He] continues to methodically define himself as the mainstream conservative Republican who can appeal to traditional and new Republican activists,” said one GOP Insider. “Daniels may not run because of family, Barbour has proven surprisingly tone deaf, Gingrich has failed to turn around the marital issue, Palin excites her core group and is unacceptable to everyone else, Romney-care has become the mark of death for Romney,” noted another GOP Insider. “It looks more and more as though everyone has a fatal weakness, other than Pawlenty.”

    Democrats generally concurred and saw Daniels as an “adult” and Pawlenty as “organized.”


    As the GOP primary season heats up, voters will be looking for someone new – not Mitt Romney and not Newt Gingrich. 

    Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (if he runs), former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (if he runs) would fit the bill.

    Note: The “Insiders” are NOT too high on Sarah Palin.

  • Chris Christie,  Haley Barbour,  Jon Huntsman,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  President 2012,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012: Republicans Looking for the Anti-Romney Presidential Candidate?

    Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at the Values Voter Summit on Sept. 17, 2010, in Washington

    Such astute punditry from the Los Angeles Times this morning – NOT.

    Isn’t it obvious?

    1. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    2. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
    3. Former Utah Gov. and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
    4. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
    5. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
  • Jon Huntsman

    President 2012: Game ON for Jon Hunstman?

    U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman speaks to journalists in front of the Beijing High People’s Court after an appeal of Xue Feng in Beijing, February 18, 2011

    Apparently, Huntsman is going to run.

    Members of the presidential campaign-in-waiting for U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman are set to meet on March 18th in New Orleans for a strategy session.

    Huntsman plans to leave his Beijing posting on April 30th to prepare for a likely White House bid in the 2012 election, but he will not be part of the New Orleans gathering and is not privy to it. Some who will attend include veteran Republican strategist John Weaver, GOP ad maker Fred Davis and New Hampshire Republican activist Peter Spaulding. Three staffers for Horizon PAC, the organization for Huntsman’s campaign-in-waiting, will also attend, including executive director Susie Wiles, spokesman Tim Miller and Jake Suski.

    Huntsman will certainly have the personal money to fund a primary campaign and I understand he has already put a dent into Mitt Romney’s donors (you know LDS and all). So, money will NOT be a problem.

    Name ID will probably be purchased rather quickly and a fresh face is certainly better than the old guard who at this point are continuing to stick around.

    Stay tuned as more candidates start to gear up – next up will be Mitch Daniels and Haley Barbour.

  • Barack Obama,  Chris Christie,  Haley Barbour,  Jon Huntsman,  Mike Huckabee,  Mitch Daniels,  Mitt Romney,  President 2012,  Tim Pawlenty

    President 2012: The GOP Weirdness Factor – OUT Goes Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich

    Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee

    Goerge Will DISSES both Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich this morning.

    If pessimism isn’t creeping into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presi dential prospects, that is another rea son for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.

    The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, who won the 2008 GOP Iowa caucuses and reached that year’s national convention with more delegates than Mitt Romney and might run again. Huckabee was asked by Steve Malzberg, a talk-radio host, this:

    “Don’t you think it’s fair also to ask [Barack Obama] . . . how come we don’t have a health record, we don’t have a college record, we don’t have a birth cer — why, Mr. Obama, did you spend millions of dollars in courts all over this country to defend against having to present a birth certificate. It’s one thing to say, ‘I’ve — you’ve seen it. Goodbye.’ But why go to court and send lawyers to defend against having to show it? Don’t you think we deserve to know more about this man?”

    Huckabee should have replied, “I’ve seen paranoia. Goodbye.” Instead, he said:

    “I would love to know more. What I know is troubling enough. And one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya . . .”

    And, then Gingrich:

    Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives like Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans don’t recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured — as it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama’s having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.

    An article containing what Gingrich calls a “stunning insight” is “the most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama.” Gingrich begins with a faux question: “What if he is so outside our comprehension” that he can be understood “only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial, behavior?” Then Gingrich says this isn’t just a question; it’s “the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”

    To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial,” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?

    Granted the references to Kenya and Obama’s birth certificate are just weird bu these two fellows have other baggage problems and I have never considered them serious Presidential candidates.

    So, who are Will’s favorites for 2012?

    1. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
    2. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
    3. Former Utah Gov. and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman
    4. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
    5. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty

    Agreed, except I would add New Jersey governor Chris Christie as a 6th.

    Who do I think could beat President Obama?

    At this point, I would say Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie. The others will be trounced but will do NO harm to protect GOP gains in the House and the 2012 take over of the Senate.