Republican Summer: A Look at Who’s In and Who’s Out

The 2012 Presidential race is here whether you like it or not. It may seem early – heck it is very early – but this is how the system works. Already we are seeing Republicans beat around the bush, unsure when they should join the Presidential Race. The Republicans will nominate their choice in 8 months time – getting ready to do battle across the nation with Obama. There is still a long time until election night Tuesday, November 6, 2012 and understandably many candidates are waiting and choosing to delay their official announcement because the longer they are officially a candidate – the longer the media will scrutinize and dissect each and every statement. Here is a rundown on who’s in and who has already faded away.

Rick Santorum: The former senator is well known for his strong conservative convictions and he will be sure to play them up throughout his campaign. What is yet to be determined is whether his anti-gay and anti-welfare positions will either help or hurt his cause. If the Republican party is looking for a candidate who aims to distance themselves from Obama’s every center-shifting position, then Santorum may find success.

Donald Trump: It was big news when the Donald entered the race and the media was stirred into a frenzy. No one was quite sure whether this was a ploy for media attention or an actual campaign in the making, but these questions were answered when his campaign went up in smoke after the “birther movement” was put to shame. He’s out.

Newt Gingrich: When he entered the race earlier this year Democrats were scared. And understandably. He represented a strong contrast to Obama and in the past he has been a fiery political competitor. Among Republicans, there are few who are sharper and more skilled at crafting a political argument – highlighting the issue he wants the country to focus on. His candidacy always had hurdles but a major setback occurred last week when his main advisors packed up and took off. It looks like his campaign never really got going but he will be dangerous from the sidelines – throwing punches at Obama up until election night.

Mitt Romney: Mitt will be in it to win. The only question is exactly when he kicks up the campaigning and starts drawing shots from other Republicans. Romney will play up his private sector experience and success – hoping to push this issue to the forefront of the conversation and avoid the tough questions. The toughest one to date: Why do you oppose Obama’s healthcare plan when it looks very similar to the one you created in Massachusetts? There may be a real answer, even a simple answer.  But we won’t hear it with the Republicans yelling and shouting during the debates. For more info visit

Sarah Palin: As the Republican vice-presidential candidate during the 2008 election, she was catapulted into the media spotlight and with all of the attention came hard questions. Many feel the intense scrutiny is warranted because she has at times appeared to lack credibility, experience, and even competence. However for all of the fun that the news media and comedy shows have had at Palin’s expense, she still has been able to mobilize a large swath of the Republican party and should not be brushed aside. She has not entered the race as of yet but with a family bus tour that has passed through major political states in the Northeast – all signs point to her entering the race come summer.

Ron Paul: In previous campaigns and elections, the scrawny economist was pushed to the side as a nut. During the 2008 Republican Debates, other candidates seemed to team up against him in their rush to beat their chests and talk about being tough on terror. But this year things seem to be different. With rampant unemployment, continued interventionist American foreign policy, and a bevy of concerns regarding credit and debt, crazy just doesn’t sound crazy anymore. It is starting to look like Dr. Paul will be taken seriously this time around. Here’s a clip from his recent appearance on Fox Business (sit through the first 45 seconds).

Tim Pawlenty: A Former Minnesota Gov, Pawlenty has a smooth talking and sensible charm. His stock seems to be rising but the more that you hear him speak the scarier his ideas start to become – as they keep coming without explanations of what programs will be cut. Slash spending. Drop the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. With so many other big names poised to clog up this race he may be hoping to play it safe and simply hang around until Fall.

There will be more names who toy with the idea of joining. Mike Huckabee seemed to a formidable candidate but he has said he has no plans on running, but there will be others like Daniels, Cain, and more who may decide to toss their name into the hat.

The race will be exciting and no doubt, at some point turn ugly. The republican candidates seem to be falling on two sides. 1. Those who lean hard to the right and will find support within the base but sound crazy and angry to the rest of the country. 2. Those who will try to position themselves as conservative enough to win the Primary but ultimately hope to capture the growing attention of Independents during the election.

Come November 6th I hope the tide of plain angry has washed over and the country decides to give Obama another go, but that’s just me.


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