Now that the 2010 elections are over, the new Congress is in session and the new year has begun, it is time to start speculation on the GOP front-runners for 2012. Most polls show that there are really just a handful of potentials in the mix. Most notably are Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Tim Pawlenty are also in the mix.
Depending on the poll Mitt Romney leads slightly. He has the name backing and the war chest to make a run. I am suspicious of any Republican that can be elected governor in the liberal state of Massachusetts. Plus he must be able to explain signing Masscare into law. It mirrors Obamacare and has cost the state more money than was projected.
Sarah Palin trails Romney slightly in most Polls. Unfortunately, in my opinion, she has been destroyed as a candidate. She has gotten it from all sides; the media, democrats and even some republicans have savaged her policies, character and intelligence. She is second to Romney in cash in the bank. She also has built some political capital by the way she supported and endorsed candidates in the 2010 election.
Newt Gingrich is probably the smartest of the current front-runners. Gingrich has too much of a past. There are just too many skeletons in the closet for him. From his days as speaker of the house to the controversial way that he handled the situation with his now deceased wife and new wife.
Mike Huckabee seems to be one of the nicest people in politics today. The only controversy he may have to answer is his commutation of a sentence for a man who ended up getting out of jail and going on a cop killing spree. That would likely come back to haunt him. He most likely will not get any more traction as a candidate this time as he in 2008.
I do not know that much about Tim Pawlenty, other than the fact that he was governor of Minnesota. Minnesota is kind of like Massachusetts in that I am not sure how conservative you can be as a republican and still get elected in Minnesota.
Maybe someone that is relatively little known will emerge in the neat future. Barack Obama is not going to go away quietly. If jobs start to come back and the economy has either rebounded totally or is perceived to be rebounding, Obama will be tough to beat. We can take nothing for granted. Hopefully the momentum that the conservative movement built going into 2010 will keep going into 2012 and beyond.