Well now that the 2008 election is over, the quest for the White House in 2012 has officially begun. But who will go up against Barack Obama in the 2012 election? Well, it will no doubt have to be someone with charisma, great ideas, a lot of funding, and not to mention a great campaign strategy. But it can be done. To do this though, prospective candidates need to start laying the groundwork now. Now I don’t mean they should start campaigning now (the Republican party to needs to reorganize before any of that starts), but they should start with the basics now. Before I start, I’d like to say the majority of these candidacies depend on how well Barack Obama does over the next few years. If he does well, then we probably won’t see the majority of these people make an attempt in four years. Look for them in 2016. Having said that, let’s take a look at who I think will be prospective candidates in the 2012 election:
1. First, and probably most obvious, Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is adored by nearly everyone in the conservative community, and has the potential to be a political force. All she needs to do is prepare for the next two years and then in 2010 start laying the groundwork for her campaign. If she can hold up well in the Republican primary debates, and have successful interviews, I think she can erase the bad impression she made with some with her Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson interviews.
2. Mick Huckabee- This was my candidate in the Republican primaries earlier this year. If he and Sarah Palin both ran for the 2012 nomination I would be torn between the two. But nontheless, Huckabee won last years Iowa caucus and will be back in Iowa promoting his new book soon. He has an extremely popular show on FOX, and it’s almost impossible not to like the guy. I think with all of the exposure he has gotten recently, he will probably wind up in the mix either in 2012 or 2016.
3. Newt Gingrich– While I wouldn’t consider him to be incredibly popular, he is certrainly a very smart man. I think he could do a lot with the party. His spokesman, Rick Tyler, has said that “We’ll see what Barack Obama does.” when asked about Gingrich’s presidential run. I think that if he doesn’t run, he needs to be on the campaign of whoever gets the nomination. He is a very smart man that could help a great deal.
4. Tim Pawlenty– Said to be the runner-up choice as McCain’s VP, Pawlenty shows great promise. He will have to become better known if he wants to compete with the big dogs (Palin, Huckabee, Romney), but he can do it. Also, another positive note is that he’s a popular governor in Minnesota, which would no doubt score him a win in the usually blue state.
5. Mitt Romney– The only real threat to McCain as the primaries progressed, Romney is very popular. But some of his views don’t mix well the conservative base, especially his views on abortion, which have changed often through the years. He is probably my least favorite of the prospective candidates, as he was in the 2008 Primaries, but he has the potential nontheless.
6. Bobby Jindal– Jindal is currently in his first term as Governor of Louisiana, after serving several years in
the U.S. House. Many conservative leaders hail Jindal as “the future of the GOP”, one even going as far as garaunteeing Jindal will be the president one day. My best advice for him is to wait until the 2016 maybe run for the Senate before he goes for the nomination. He has loads of potential. This is one to surely keep your eye on.
7. Charlie Crist– Crist is currently the governor and Florida, and has stated that he wants to “broaden the party”, according to his closest advisors. He successfully secured a large portion of the African-American vote when he ran for governor, and believes the same can be done in a presidential race. Crist will be the host of the RGA conference in Miami.
8. Haley Barbour– Barbour is currently the governor of Mississippi, and served as the RNC chairman from 1993 to 1997. While he was the chairman, the Republicans captured both the House and the Senate for the first time since 1954. Barbour was wildly praised with his handling of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster and is popular among many Mississippians. He turned around the budget situation in Mississippi, going from a $709 million deficit in the 2004 to a balanced budget in 2006, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in years. And with his final term as governor coming to an end in 2011, his options are open for a 2012 election bid.
Well that about raps up my top 8 potential candidates (in no particular order) for the Republican nomination in 2012. We have a lot of promise in this group, if not in 2012 in 2016. So take note of these names because this is certainly not the last time you’ll hear them.