Ok, for all my fellow politics junkies: since the 2010 midterms are over (and my party got its ass kicked), all focus will soon be on 2012. The GOP hopefuls will probably announce their candidacies within the next 6 or 7 months. Trust me, that's not early. Obama announced his candidacy in February of 2007, just 3 months after the 2006 midterms and 21 months before the Presidential election in 2008. So my question to all of you interested is: who's going to be the GOP nominee for President in 2012? Here are my thoughts:
Sarah Palin - The darling of the tea party movement and a favorite amongst conservatives. She will run for President. She already has national ads running on TV for her political action committee. She has a very good shot at winning the Republican nomination, but she will get TROUNCED by Obama in the general election.
Mitt Romney - A very wealthy and practical conservative. He was a Republican Governor in a VERY blue state. The Massachusetts health care law that he signed into law was the model for national health care reform bill that was signed into law by President Obama last year. He's loathed by many religious conservatives, but is a favorite of establishment and corporate Republicans. Right now, I'd say he has more than a slim chance to win the nomination (he'll do very well in the New Hampshire primary), but he has an uphill battle to win primary states with more conservative bases. If he does get the nomination, he could give President Obama a huge run for his money.
Mike Huckabee - A very likable former Governor from Arkansas. He has that southern charm and seems like a very honorable man. He won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, but couldn't carry momentum passed that. He has a better shot than Romney to win the nomination and he could be a likable candidate to some moderates. He is another candidate that could give Obama trouble in the general election.
John Thune - A dashingly good-looking and young conservative Senator from South Dakota. He's very popular amongst a vast array of Republicans and is my choice for a dark horse candidate.
Newt Gingrich - He's going nowhere. He'll run, but I think a lot of primary voters will see right through his hypocracy. Tom Coburn, a very conservative Senator from Oklahoma, has stated publicly that Gingrich would be the last person he'd vote for.
Tim Pawlenty - He'll run, but he'll suffer from the "who's he?" problem. He was a successful 2-term governor of Minnesota, but he doesn't have the charisma to stand out in the crowd. Look for him to be top tier VP choice.
Ron Paul - The only true conservative I can think of. He'll run again, but his commitment to small government in all circumstances will piss off the religious right and the neo-cons.
There will probably be other candidates, but I can't see any other names in the Republican party going that far.