Alex Pappas, at the Daily Caller, quotes Bill Kristol on the unfinished GOP presidential race field.
Mitch Danielsâ€™ announcement that heâ€™s not running for president means Republicans may turn up the pressure on dream candidates like Jeb Bush, Paul Ryan and Chris Christie.
â€œIt would be unfair to call the current field a vacuum,â€ said William Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, in a blog post. â€œBut it doesnâ€™t exactly represent an overflowing of political talent.â€
He predicted that â€œthe odds are better than 50-50 that both Rick Perry and Paul Ryan run,â€ referencing the Republican governor of Texas and Wisconsin congressman, respectively.
Kristol also speculated that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton â€œmay not feel they have to decide until after Labor Dayâ€”or maybe even until October or even November.â€
Michael Barone sums up where we at at present:
In, in alphabetical order: Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum.
Probably in: Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman.
Probably not in: John Bolton, Sarah Palin.
Out: Haley Barbour, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, John Thune.
Declared out but still being wooed: Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan.
Hugh Hewitt is taking the bizarre position that everything is hunkydory. By his lights, the GOP has a strong field of candidates, and besides “the top two contenders –Romney and Pawlenty– have essentially locked up the campaign talent and the money commitments necessary to mount a traditional campaign.”
Barack Obama clearly doesn’t agree with Hewitt about the GOP field. As the New York Post reports:
President Obama’s re-election campaign is trying to dig up dirt in the Garden State.
Despite New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s repeated pronouncements that he will not seek the GOP presidential nomination, Obama operatives are compiling a dossier of what they call “opposition research” — material that could be used to damage Christie if he changes his mind, The Post has learned.
The Obama campaign is trying to keep its efforts from public view, concerned they would only elevate Christie’s already impressive standing within the Republican Party, sources said.
I think Bill Kristol is dead on and Hugh Hewitt is dead wrong.
No member of a field consisting of Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Jon Huntsman obviously represents a serious challenge to a polished and articulate incumbent democrat.
Of the actually known candidates in that list, Newt Gingrich is demonstrably unreliable on policy and in performance, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are too socially conservative, Ron Paul is a pacifist isolationist, Mitt Romney is a liberal from Massachusetts, and Tim Pawlenty (from liberal Minnesota) has a very mixed record as well.
To win in 2012, the Republican nominee is going to have to offer a serious alternative to Obamanomics. We can hardly defeat Obamacare with the record of a governor who created a similar system in his own state. Americans want prosperity restored. They do not, in general, desire to elect a president primarily devoted to a counterrevolution in public morals.
Paul Ryan is the best possible choice, it seems to me. The Ryan budget proposal represents the only serious alternative that anyone has proposed to the current out-of-control entitlement system. The choice between balancing the federal budget and national bankruptcy and decline is what the election needs to be about, and Paul Ryan is the best qualified Republican to argue our case to the American people.