Topic of the Week: 2012 pretenders and contenders

President Barack Obama has declared that he’s running for a second term as president, and obviously he’s the man to beat, but what about the Republicans?

Who are the contenders and pretenders among the likely Republican presidential candidates, and who would you most like to see run for the Republican nomination?


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93 thoughts on “Topic of the Week: 2012 pretenders and contenders

  1. Walker/Mubarak in 2012.

    Sam Wurzlbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber” can open for them on their nationwide campaign/tour titled, ” Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs”.

  2. President Obama could very well be a one term president, the Republicans must be very careful who they run against him. Sarah Palin would not be a good choice just to polarizing would make a great Secretary of the Interior though. Mike Huckabee is to close to a RINO, Gingrich no way to old school. Bachmann, Barbour, Daniels, Rubio, better options than the first three, and 3 of the 4 would defeat Obama for sure. Long way to go and there are a few others but right now no one is standing out.

  3. “President Obama could very well be a one term president. . .”

    Once the Republicans went after Medicare, as well as began to pursue an extreme social agenda, this particular Republican wet dream has been increasingly relegated to the realm of wishful thinking.

    “. . .[T]he Republicans must be very careful who they run against him.”

    The Republicans haven’t been acting very “carefully” since the 2010 election. Apart from their pursuit of a rightwing social and economic agenda at odds with the “mandate” that they were actually given by the electorate in 2010, to wit, job creation (not that they realize that they are, in fact, at odds with it, hence, the current “across the board” Republican overreach), Republicans are now more than “dabbling” in “the crazy” with ever-increading abandon.

    The clearest example of that is the fact that a significant majority of Republicans are now “birthers”, believing that President Obama was born in some other country and is not legitimately holding office, leading them to lend their support to unelectable candidates.

    Like Trump.

    “Long way to go and there are a few others but right now no one is standing out.”

    The polls don’t agree with you. Trump is surging to the top. He is DEFINITELY “. . .standing out.”

    Unfortunately for Republicans, he’s “standing out” like a sore thumb.

    “Know Nothings” like Palin or Bachmann would go down in flames.

    Barbour’s too much of a “good ole boy”, and has way to much professional, cultural and political baggage.

    Gingrich’s problem isn’t that he is “too old school”. It is that he is “damaged [beyond repair] goods”.

    Huckabee won’t run because he has grown to like suckling at the lucrative Fox News teat. Even if he did run, his social conservatism, and political baggage from his days as the Governor of Arkansas, would doom him to being on the wrong end of a landslide in 2012.

    Rubio has said that he isn’t running, and I believe him.

    Daniels has done absolutely nothing to prepare for a run.



    You can almost hear the “Yeeeee-haaaaaaaaahs” of absolute joy from Democrats from coast to coast.

    And Karl Rove is just flat-out losing his mind over it.

    Delusional calm in the face of that may help you keep your sanity, but it won’t change the simple fact that the Republicans don’t have a serious and electable candidate yet, nor is there one even remotely close to being on the horizon.

    Bon chance, Notalib.

  4. Bearing in mind the recent polling that shows Donald Trump at the top of the “leader board”, besting Romney by 9 points, consider this recent New York Times/CBS News poll that asked of Republicans, “What candidate are you most enthusiastic about?”

    Who topped that poll, you ask?

    The answer is, “No one”, with 56 percent of the vote, followed by all of the actual potential candidates, each with around 1 percent of the sampling.

    Yep. Good luck, Republicans. You’re gonna need it.

    So, who’s it going to be? Trump/Bachmann (hope so)? Walker/Mubarak, a ticket Steve humorously/sarcastically suggested after staring into the extremist “tea[bagger] leaves”? (*laughing* Seriously – Good one, Steve)

    I guess it will all come down to just how far to the right the Republican Party has been dragged.

    The Republican Party has spoken volumes about its values lately. It’s true colors have been revealed in the extreme overreach in which it has engaged, and in its focus, since misreading its “mandate” from the 2010 elections. 2012 is going to see another “wave election”. Guess whose surfboard is heading for the rocks, this time? (*laughing*)

    Time to party like it’s 1964.

  5. If the last four years of violent swings in voting behavior haven’t taught us anything… it should be apparent that we shouldn’t be gloating or taking anything for granted going into the elections of 2012…this is going to be serious business.

    1. While I appreciate your even-keeled nature, Ed, the reality is is that it is the last four months, not the last four years that have the greatest predictive value.

      And, at the top of the list of all the truly awful things that the Republicans have done over the past four months is the Ryan Plan, with its glad-handing of the wealthy, it bitch-slapping of the middle class, and its destruction of Medicare. Arrogantly flush with a complete misconception of what the 2010 election meant, and comfortably coddled in the Beltway bubble, Paul Ryan and the Republicans actually “said IT out loud”.

      That along with their pursuit of a radical rightwing social agenda with which the country simply does not agree to the complete exclusion of any consideration of job creation, wouldn’t bode well for the Republican Party in the abstract. Given the present “candidate” mix confronting them, with Trump and his birtherism Tourette’s being the apparent frontrunner and with Republican’s choosing “None of the above” as the “candidate that they are most enthusiastic about, it just doesn’t bode well for them as a practical matter, either.

      I’m just reporting the facts, kind sir. It’s not so much “gloating”, as you put it, but realistically assessing the political landscape. The fact that that landscape is, and should be, more than a little scary for Republicans, is just an expression of common sense.

      The simple truth is this, what is happening to the Republican Party now is exactly what was happening to it in 1964.

      It’s no small coincidence that the wingnuts among the Republicans are openly and proudly quoting Barry Goldwater these days: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

      As I was saying, it’s time to party like it’s 1964.

      1. I am just looking at the high coming off of 2008 and how the Republicans were down for the count supposedly. It is very difficult to maintain a cohesive movement for 18 months particularly for the Democrats for some reason.

  6. If the Republicans were smart, they would actually have someone who is socially liberal by fiscally conservative they could give Obama a run for his money – in fact? If the Republicans weren’t so stupid I might actually vote for them if they stop the damn trickle down theory and go back to Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Who would probably be labeled a communist now days.)

    Let’s face it, the crash in Greece was not because it was ‘socialist’. If that was the case, the countries like Nordic would have crashed as well. But it was because tax evasion was commonplace from the people who should have paid their taxes like the wealthy (like the big companies at the top of our U.S. economy), the price of everyday things were beginning to rise even if they were ultimately lesser quality, and cutting from public service to ‘stimulate’ the private sector. (Which saw no reason to make anymore jobs – after all they were still getting money, right?) They made the prices too high, but the people could no longer buy from it while they continued spending.

    It’s not something many of the conservative wingnuts like to acknowledge, but cutting from the public sector is still cutting the economy as a whole. Why? Because those people get paid and they spend money to survive. Giving them a smaller paycheck is going to make them want to spend even less because they are not sure what they need and what they really need.

    If we vote in a Republican or Tea Partier who uses trickle down economics like the last three ones? Guess what? We’re going to become like Greece. This is why Paul Ryan’s plan is foolish, because if we are so paranoid to spend money because we have so little of it … what is going to happen to the system? It relies on the people having money, and if we don’t have money — so what is going to happen?

    This is why we need to step in now, do a mix of taxing, regulation, and cutting — which unfortunately both sides only want to do one. Republicans want to cut, Democrats want to tax, but it needs to be a mix of both. And unfortunately the only bill that works? Is not getting any damn attention no matter how much you write to representatives.

  7. Oh yeah, one OTHER thing that Republicans have overreached on, education:

    Article entitled: “VIDEO: Michigan Town Hall Attendees Demand ‘Higher Business Tax’ Instead of Snyder’s Education Cuts”

    “Angry residents confronted Republican state Sen. Tom Casperson at a town hall last week over his support for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) proposed budget, which — like those of many other GOP governors — would slash funding for education while cutting corporate taxes. Snyder’s budget would cut spending on education by $471 per student and reduce teachers’ pay and benefits. Yet while students and teachers are asked to sacrifice, Snyder’s budget would give huge tax breaks to businesses in the form of a flat 6 percent corporate tax rate.

    At Casperson’s town hall in Marquette, Ishpeming school board member Mike Flynn joined numerous other constituents in speaking out against the cuts. Flynn said his district is already struggling to make ends meet, having shut down its middle school, laid off teachers and staff, and privatized its bus and custodial services. Flynn asked those in attendance to stand if the oppose education cuts. “Nearly everyone in the room jumped to their feet while cheering and clapping,” the Maquette Mining Journal reported.

    Casperson responded that he was trying to minimize the impact on education, but that cuts are necessary. “What about a higher business tax?” one constituent shouted, met with cries of “yes!” from other attendees and a chorus of applause. Watch a video of the event shot by the Mining Journal and edited by ThinkProgress for length (full video here):

    Several other attendees spoke passionately against Snyder’s budget, with one constitutes receiving applause for speaking out against cuts to services for “the most vulnerable” while the top “one percent” are given tax breaks. “This trickle down theory, we’ve tried it before — it doesn’t work,” she said. Meghan McLeod, a special education teacher, said that Snyder’s cuts may force her to move back in with her parents on her 25th birthday.

    Meanwhile, as TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports, Michigan state Sen. Bruce Caswell (R) has suggested allowing children who receive public assistance to spend their meager $80 per year only at thrift stores, even though Caswell acknowledged his plan wouldn’t save the state “a dime.”

    As one man at the Casperson town hall said, “I don’t recall you or most of the other people who are Republicans running on anything like what is being foisted upon our state right now.” His comment was met with boisterous applause.”

  8. Constituents across the country are beginning to figure out that the Republicans care about the interests of corporations and the wealthy over the interests of the middle class and the poor:


    [This is HILARIOUS, by the way]

    “Rep. Chris Gibson Says ‘Illegal’ Immigrants Not Paying Taxes, Town Hall Attendee Asks: ‘You Mean Like GE?!’

    As ThinkProgress has previously reported, while services and investments in Main Street America are being gutted, many of the nation’s wealthiest individuals and corporations are getting away with paying little to nothing in federal corporate income taxes, exploiting a tax code filled with loopholes, carve-outs, and giveaways.

    At a town hall meeting last week, Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) faced the ire of constituents who are upset about this tax dodging by some of our nation’s biggest corporations. In a video posted on YouTube, Gibson responding to a question from a constituent concerned over border security by explaining his plan for dealing with the immigration system.

    Towards the end of his answer, Gibson said that Americans actually pay higher taxes because “there are people in the country that are not paying taxes because they’re illegal.” At this point, a town hall attendee cried out, “You mean like GE?!” which actually forced the congressman to say that he agrees and that the company needs to pay its fair share:

    GIBSON: I think there’s a rational way to go forward that we’re going to be able to bring closure to this issue. I tell you there is one thing that you’re saying that’s true. there are people in our country that are not paying taxes because they’re illegal. And that’s gotta be addressed[…]

    AUDIENCE MEMBER: You mean like GE?! [some laughter and light applause from audience]

    GIBSON: Well, GE needs to pay their fair share, too. No, I support that, too.

    Watch it: [Video of the exchange available at link]

    For the record, undocumented immigrants do actually pay a lot of taxes. As Wonk Room guest blogger Mike Elk notes, a “new study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy shows that undocumented immigrants paid $8.4 billion in sales taxes, $1.6 billion in property taxes, and $1.2 billion in personal income taxes last year.” Additionally, a study by the National Council of La Raza last year found that “undocumented immigrants in the United States will pay, on average, approximately $80,000 more in taxes per capita than they use in government services.” Meanwhile, some of the nation’s biggest corporations like Boeing and Bank of America are paying nothing in federal corporate income taxes.”

    1. It’s happened.

      “Ron Paul 2012 Exploratory Committee Launches”:

      Yep, it’s GONNA get interesting. I’m hearing echoes of Barry Goldwater AND Ross (“Loony Tunes”) Perot.

      And it’s cause for Democrats to celebrate.

      As if things weren’t already bad enough for the Republican Party, Paul is a rightwing flake popular with teabaggers who will either drag the Republicans even further to the right, or run as an Independent if the Republicans aren’t inclined to play ball with him.

  9. The Republicans have definitely “stepped in IT” now. It doesn’t really matter who they run.

    Watch how constituents of two Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta (at 0:25 of the video linked to below) and Pat Meehan (at 5:45) hold their feet to the fire until they start to smoke over their votes for The Ryan Plan. Also watch how a new Americans United For Change ad targeting local boy Sean Duffy rips him a new one over his vote for it (at 8:00):

    Hilarious, telling, and, I think, of enormous predictive value.

    The Republican Party has unambiguously revealed itself for exactly what it is this year, and I think that that is going to have ramifications well beyond just the 2012 election cycle. Couple it with America’s changing demographics, and I suspect that the Republican Party is in for a world of hurt for years to come, assuming that they can EVER recover from the disastrous overreach and policy decisions in which they engaged in the last days of 2010 and the first four months of 2011.

  10. Also for filing under, “No sh*t, Sherlock:

    Per The Atlantic Wire:

    “Sarah Palin’s Iowa Operation Seems Non-Existent”

    As reality intervenes, Sarah Palin’s “long con” is finally, at long last, coming to an end. . .

    I just feel SO badly for all of you wingnuts out there who elevated celebrity and symbolism above the need for a truly intelligent and informed candidate, just as Senator McCon did in 2008 when he sacrificed the best interests of the country in favor of his own by selecting Palin as his running mate, and fell for it. (*laughing*)

    Well, hey, if you ever start “jones-ing” for a stupid, inane and uniformed candidate, you’ve still got Michele “Obama is spending one BILLION dollars a day on his trip to India”) Bachmann to fall back on.

    1. I think Palin was only ever in it for the money, and Michele Bachman’s emergence as a 2012 contender gives Palin an easy out so she can continue to cash in.

      1. Zach, you’re absolutely right about Palin only ever being in it for the money, well, AND the fame/notoriety, of course.

        I can only hope that the ever delusional Bachmann officially enters the race.

        She is every bit Palin’s “intellectual” equal, and shares Palin’s willingness to latch onto any tasty piece of wingnut propaganda (“India on a billion dollars a day”), however ridiculous it might appear to a reasonable person, and run with it, and do it with that vacant, slightly deranged, “deer caught in the headlights” stare of hers.

        She also shares the same “familiarity” with history and geography that Palin has always demonstrated.

        Bachmann’s latest foray into “clarifying” history comes in her cameo in Newt Gingrich’s film, a film purportedly about American exceptionalism (with Newt, ya just never know for sure) in which she quotes John F. Kennedy talking about “passing the torch to a new generation”, but attributes the quote to Abraham Lincoln.

        She is a joke as a Congresswoman, she would be a joke as a candidate. but she would be the ultimate gift to Democrats/progressives/liberals were she ever to secure the nomination, a Barry Goldwater kind of gift. Only Trump could give her a run for her money in this regard.

        Bachmann/Trump. . .Trump/Bachmann. . .Hmmmm, now THERE’S a ticket! Is it possible to end up with a negative number of electoral votes? (*laughing*)

        All right. I’m in. Trump/Bachmann in 2012!

  11. Huckabee’s apparently going to have to make up his mind pretty damn soon.

    Huffington Post article entitled, “Fox News Pressuring Mike Huckabee To Make Up His Mind About 2012 Run”:

    Kind of academic really. Even if he ran, he would lose for the reasons I mentioned above, but the fact is, he won’t run because he LOVES, and has grown dependent on, that cushy Fixed News gig and all that Fixed News “cheddar”. Gotta pay for that big house he be building down Florida way, y’all.

  12. To Notalib’s way of thinking, “Bachmann, Barbour, Daniels, [and] Rubio [are] better options than the Palin, Gingrich and Huckabee], and 3 of the 4 would defeat Obama [FOR SURE].”

    Putting aside Notalib’s laughable premise that “3 of [those] four would defeat Obama [FOR SURE]”, and ignoring the fact that he conveniently failed to identify which one of the four would be the probable losing candidate, in his mind, in a match-up with the President, let’s do the “math” on Notalib’s “fearsome three out of foursome”, huh?

    Barbour and Rubio have said that they are not running. Daniels has done absolutely nothing to suggest that he IS running. So, who does THAT leave “in the running”, so to speak? History, geography and fact-challenged, loony-tunes Republican Congressional cuckoo-bird, Michele Bachmann.

    Bachmann’s latest foray into “The Twilight Zone”?

    This just in:

    “Michele Bachmann Invokes Holocaust In Railing Against Taxes”

    Since I have a feeling that Bachmann was Notalib’s least favorite potential candidate of the four that he named, I doubt that even he will disagree with me when I say that Bachmann has little or no chance of being nominated, much less of ever being elected.

    So, speaking as a big fan of President Obama’s, let me just take this opportunity to suggest the following ticket/tickets to the Republican Party:



    As Jon Lovitz (in the guise of his recurring Saturday Night Live character, The Liar) used to famously say, “[BACHMANN/TRUMP or TRUMP/BACHMANN], yeahhhhh, THAT’S the ticket. . .”



  13. This just in from a couple of the “contenders”:

    Re Palin:

    HERE WE GO AGAIN: Palin can’t name her most influential journalist. . .

    Story entitled, “Sarah Palin Can’t Name Most Influential Journalist (VIDEO)”:

    Re Trump:

    Story entitled, “Trump: Gay People Should Not Be Allowed To Marry Because These New Golf Putters Are Terrible”:

    Good God, Almighty!!!

    Hot “dahmuh”, the Republican Party is in serious trouble. . .


    1. I’ll repeat what I’ve said time and time again: there’s not a candidate in the 2012 Republican presidential field that I can see beating President Obama. It’s a very imperfect bunch of candidates.

        1. I say that without really knowing for sure whether someone like Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey will jump into the race, but even he’d be an incredibly flawed candidate, despite exhortations from conservative pundits that he get into the race lest Republicans lose in 2012.

          1. I’d agree – at least of the candidates that have been mentioned, none of them would have a very good chance. That said, I honestly was shocked that McCain got as many votes as he did, because he was a really dreadful candidate. I still don’t know how the heck he beat Romney – I guess I just didn’t have an appreciation for the anti-mormon sentiment.

            I’d guess you’re right about Christie – though I think he’d be a high risk, high reward candidate for the Republicans. He certainly has charisma, especially compared to the guys they usually trot out there. He could really get a lot of people excited and win over people who wouldn’t otherwise vote for a Republican. He could also say something to end his candidacy in one fell swoop. To be blunt, it would be interesting to see how an overweight candidate does.

            It would seem, Republicans best chance would probably be similar to Obama – a younger candidate who sort of came up out of nowhere very quickly and had great deal of momentum. But I don’t know that they’d ever actually go that route – instead it always seems to be about who’s waited patiently for it to be “their turn.”

            Finally the last thing – I’m reminded of what I thought about Bush’s re-election. Considering how reviled and unpopular he was, if he could get a second term, I’m convinced that with the enormous money advantage & inertia, I just don’t know that we’ll see a single-term President again.

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