Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Prospective GOP Field

Whilst Gary Johnson and Fred Karger remain the only 2 legitimate politicians to declare their candidacy for the Republican nomination the following are prospective nominees that we can expect decisions from in the coming weeks:

  • Michele Bachmann - Minnesota Representative, prominent Tea Party member
  • John Bolton - former UN aambassador, considered a neo-conservative
  • Mitch Daniels - Governor of Indiana, more of a fiscal conservative
  • Newt Gingrich - former Speaker, orchestrated 1994 Contract with America 
  • Rudy Giuliani - Mayor of New York during 9/11, failed 2008 candidate
  • Mike Huckabee - former Governor of Arkansas, social conservative
  • Jon Huntsman, Jr. - former Governor of Utah. former ambassador to China
  • Sarah Palin - running mate in 2008, social conservative, grassroots darling
  • Ron Paul - iconic libertarian Republican, fiscal conservative, evergreen 
  • Tim Pawlenty - former 1-term Governor of Minnesota, social conservative
  • Buddy Roemer - former Governor of Louisiana, was a Democrat
  • Mitt Romney - former Governor of Massachusetts, health-care reformer
  • Rick Santorum - former Pennsylvania Senator, social conservative
  • Donald Trump, Sr. - multi-millionaire businessman, quasi-celebrity, PR stunt?

This is not a comprehensive list of all the possible nominees but it is a list of all those who have any kind of legitimate shot at the nomination that have either expressed intention to run or are widely speculated to do so. (Bold type constitutes the widely regarded heavyweights within the party.) Santorum could be added to this list because much of his career has been prolific except for the fact that he suffered a humiliating and colossal defeat in his 2006 Senate campaign. Since then his career has somewhat stalled whilst Gingrich was one of the most high profile Speakers in American history because of his famous bust-ups with Bill Clinton but since his resignation in 1999 he has yet to recapture those previous heights.

Gingrich is expected to announce as early as the start of next week whilst Bachmann and Trump have said they will make their minds up by June. However, it is Mike Huckabee whose nomination will be followed most closely as he is no doubt a heavy-weight contender that has done everything expected of a nominee except promptly declare. Pawlenty and Romney are heavyweights that are certain to run whilst the smart money would be on Palin not to and wait 4 years.

The Republican field is slowly taking shape but at the moment what we are seeing is a really big game of chicken. Once a heavyweight candidate declares the rest will promptly follow suit but until then the prospective candidates jostle for pole position. Think of it in terms of the start of the Grand National at Aintree, although only the first 30 seconds of the video are relevant, it was a good race anyway.