(Garden Grove, California)
We haven’t even closed out November, 2008; and already people are speculating on whom the Republicans may choose to nominate for President in 2012. One theme seems to weigh in above all others - executive experience.
Almost all the big names being tossed about are Governors. Let’s take a peek:
Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR), former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA): All these names are in the mix because they were on the bill of fare in 2008. All come with immediate name recognition, media attention and fundraising prowess. All three are viable contenders.
Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS): All three are Southern governors who will be needed to secure the “solid South.” The GOP can’t afford another race in which it loses Florida, North Carolina and Virginia. It must take back all three of these states in 2012 to be viable. Any of these men could be a serious VP contender as well.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL): Bush won statewide twice in Florida and came very close on a third occasion. Forget his brother George’s unpopularity. This Bush is a more dynamic candidate, a better public speaker and has a Latina wife. Just add Florida to all the McCain states in 2008, and you are already at 200 electoral votes. Not a bad base from which to start. Bush will be only 59 in 2012, so he’s viable for a few more cycles.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Sen. John Thune (R-SD): These two are young and are believed to have a bright future in the party. Pawlenty was said to be the second choice behind Sarah Palin for VP this year. Thune is a “dragon slayer” for defeating former Sen. Tom Daschle. Either could be a VP pick, as well.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA): Newt will be 69 in 2012, so this might be his last, best shot. If Obama looks vulnerable, I think Gingrich might just run. A lot depends on how vocal and visible he is over the next four years.
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