Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Republican 2012 Hopefuls Not Shy About White House Ambitions

4 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Emboldened by dramatic Republican gains in Tuesday's election, President Obama's would-be rivals in 2012 are edging toward coming-out parties for a campaign that should be well under way by next spring.

Several from the 2008 field -- Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin -- are in the forefront of the early buzz -- and they've done little to discourage the speculation.

"I haven't made that decision," Romney insists. But the former Massachusetts governor is raising money like crazy and appeared in 25 states on behalf of Republican candidates during the midterm campaign. His political action committee contributed more than $1 million to various GOP causes.

Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, already has a platform with his regular Fox News talk show. He said last summer there is "strong sentiment out there" for him to run and that polls indicate he "does better against Obama than any other Republican."

Mitt Romney, former Republican governor of MassachusettsA CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, taken during the last week in October, gave Huckabee a 52-44 percent lead over Obama in a hypothetical matchup. Romney was preferred 50-45 percent (within margin of error) over the president in the poll of 921 registered voters.

Palin is the wild card and at this point probably the favorite of many activists in the tea party movement, which energized the GOP base in the midterms. Her "mama grizzlies" and other Palin-endorsed candidates won in at least 62 contests and lost in 23. In the course of the campaign, she made a lot of political friends and almost certainly collected some chits for her next campaign -- whenever it may come.

Related: An Open Letter to Would-Be GOP Presidents: Are You Sure You Want the Job?

She's given herself plenty of wiggle room when the conversation turns to 2012 -- as it almost always does in media interviews. Palin has said she is willing to run in two years, "if there's nobody else to do it " -- that is, if no candidate meets her standard for "common sense conservative." By that barometer, a candidate like Romney, presumably could be deemed not conservative enough for the former governor of Alaska.

However formidable she might be in a Republican primary, the CNN poll suggests Palin has some convincing to do when it comes to a national audience. Obama was ahead of Palin 52-44 percent in the CNN sample of prospective voters from both parties.

CNN also asked the 500 respondents, who identified as Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, for their favorites. Huckabee came out on top in that one with 21 percent backing, followed closely by Romney at 20 percent and then Palin with 14 percent.

The Republican field is certain to expand in the coming weeks and months.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said recently he is trying to decide whether a White House campaign is "practical" for him, and he added, "I increasingly think it is." Gingrich, a regular contributor on Fox News, said he'll likely make his intentions clear early next year.

Rep. Mike Pence, (R-Ind.), a long shot -- but a favorite of many conservative voters -- said this week he would give up his leadership position with the new Republican majority in the U.S. House to allow himself more maneuvering room in considering options in 2012. That probably means a campaign for governor of Indiana, but Pence did not rule out the possibility that he could seek higher office.

In addition, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (definitely interested), Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, libertarian Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum are all going to get mentioned.

In the cool of the shortened November days, Republican leaders sense weakness in the White House. But for all of his midterm woes, Obama has time to repair the political damage before the 2012 campaign gets going. A national economy that heats up would be his best ally.

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

408 Comments

Filter by:
elpasop

If the new Congress wants changes to social securety then they too should have the same as what they pass on us. Also their retirement package is out of order, Serve once and your paiid your salary for life no other job does that. When and if they make changes make sure they have to follow the same changes or not do anything at all.

November 12 2010 at 9:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
vwilli007

Concentrating on 2012 is unfair to the people. Work in the present one day at a time and somethings might get done, Our monetary train is busted and not working and has lots of spaces to fall through. Can't we have a real year of policy making for the people. Let that be 2011. 2011 should not be a year of campaining it shoud be a year of reps and dems communicating and working togeether. WE are not only counting on the President for CHANGE. The people who care want to see changes made by you men and women. What is that saying -"it ain't about you-its about all of us"

November 10 2010 at 11:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Welcome HERRING!

A common sense jobs proposal. Appoint a private agency of all volunteer entrepeneurs. Do NOT incorporate God forsaken federal regulations. Devise plans to send American materials and manpower to Haiti and to parts of the Tsunami-stricken Pacific Rim. Rebuild those areas. Use American shipping, American nails and screws and lumber. Put American builders to work, using all American saws and hammers. Rebuild Haiti so that the construction conforms to the Southern Building Code for Coastal Florida... do not go the old Soviet way with watered-down concrete and minimal specifications. Send American trucks and tractors to work in those countries. Where you can, do the same in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's use our government's "wealth" to artificially create a shortage in building supplies and labor inside America. Meanwhile, come up with some sensible plans to make it feasible for banks to lend to home-buyers -- not a repeat of the failed Clinton plan....... Then, let's see what happens!

November 10 2010 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nanalimes

The GOP candidate for President will do well if he makes one of his major jobs developing our Natural Gas Industry. We have plenty of natural gas and won't have to spend money buyiing it from our unfriendly neighbors. This will also help our finances and will be more easily accomplished.

November 10 2010 at 10:11 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
chrisclary14

democrats dont stand a chance next election. last week the people of this country voted overwhelmingly to stop the out of control spending and reduce the size and scope of the federal government.next election we will finish the job and vote the rest of your tax and spend liberals out of office then return this government back to its constitutionally proscribed limits and ending 100 years of failed progressive policy

November 10 2010 at 2:25 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chrisclary14's comment
sherichadh

I hope you're right. But I can't help thinking we could have said exactly the same thing in November 1994.....

November 11 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
robert

There seems to be much debate regarding diversity in office. We as a country have and enjoy the right to have different social views and perspectives that is what makes this a great country to live in and is the very fabric to which civil liberties are derived. With that being said these social perspectives began to turn in to political views and the line between our own civil liberities interfere with our obligations to serve a country and its citizens. In my opinion it is very difficult to support or by into a philosophy (party) that respresents less than 2% of your social belief or roots. If a party wants to truely reach out and be objectively open and bipartisan then true inclusion is where it starts, not turning figures into poster childs, because Americans are much more intelligent than that. The only way we will accomplish what we are capable of politically and otherwise is to come together and work on policies that affect us all. Politicians need to take off their "PARTY CLOTHS" and work together.

November 09 2010 at 9:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
punnster

The next president will have a very tough row to hoe. I can't imagine anyone wanting the job.

November 08 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
vallesula

Sssssshhhhhhhhhhhhh...............will someone please drop a dime on this guy letting him know, we don't need someone at the helm just because " he looks presidential". I wonder how much he'll be spending this time around for a job that pays a lot less than he'll be shelling out ?.

November 07 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
edhsimmons

If Louisiana govenor Booby Jindal tries to run for president, then he will see how these red necks feel about him. Red necks see only white, white and white. Jindal, if you think you have arrived, think again. You are not white and you are viewed worse than us blacks. Step out of LA and find out what they think...terrorist, muslim, sand niger...these are terms that red necks use, but I am sure you have heard tnese before. They call President Obama some of these or worse.

November 07 2010 at 10:41 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
edhsimmons

If Louisiana govenor Booby Jindal tries to run for president, then he will see how these red necks feel about him. Red necks see only white, white and white. Jindal, if you think you have arrived, think again. You are not white and you are viewed worse than us blacks. Step out of LA and find out what they think...terrorist, muslim, sand niger...these are terms that red necks use, but I am sure you have heard tnese before. They call President Obama some of these or worse.

November 07 2010 at 10:40 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>