OK, so this is two years early, but I wanted to see if anyone felt strongly for/about potential 2012 candidates for U.S. President. Barack Obama will get the Democratic nomination, unless they find him in bed with a dead underage hooker sometime in the next 30 months. The GOP will have a VERY interesting nominating process, especially if they make gains in Congress in 2010. Here are some names that are being bandied about:
Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska - Hoo boy, would that be entertaining. Palin-Beck 2012?
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich of Georgia - I highly doubt it, but I wouldn't be surprised if he involved himself (publicly or not) with the campaign of a "properly conservative" candidate. He still has a cadre of GOP true believers who love him.
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas - He's getting up there in age (despite being in amazing shape) and I think he is far more into the idea of his Campaign for Liberty. He will be very much involved in the Senate runs of Peter Schiff in Connecticut and his son Rand Paul in Kentucky (yes, his son Randal calls himself "Rand").
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas - My personal LEAST favorite potential GOP candidate. He'd appeal to the small-town, anti-Washington/Wall Street crowd, but I would foresee a major drubbing against Obama. Not nearly fiscally conservative enough, and the preacher background might actually work against him. Very interesting about religion, though. Obama vs. Huckabee would have to be the most devout presidential square-off in modern American history.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts - Something tells me not to count Romney out, but the Mormon thing might still be an issue. Plus, he'd most likely lose his own state, and I don't know if he has the personal charisma to take down Obama.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota - Widely tipped to become a national "face" for the GOP, he is good-looking and fairly popular among those who know him. He has come out to criticize Obama on several occasions, as well. Does he have the heft and name recognition?
Former Gov. Gary E. Johnson of New Mexico - Perhaps the most libertarian non-Ron Paul Republican candidate, he would represent a more mainstream small-government conservative message that would contrast with Obama and Congressional Democrats. Could be a strong dark horse if he can raise his profile.
Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana - Sort of the insider's Gary Johnson, Mitch Daniels is strong on fiscal discipline and has experience outside of politics. Slightly dorky and tied to the Bush 43 Administration, however (even though they pretty much ignored his advice whenever they felt like it).
Former Mayor Rudy Guiliani of New York - I really doubt it. He's a cheerleader at best now.
Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana - Midwestern conservative. Strongly Christian, pretty much a Bush-type, except he's an immigration hawk. Might entice some Palin/Huckabee voters.
Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana - He's a minority, a social conservative, and has executive experience, so he would have quite a bit of appeal as Bizarro Obama. I don't think he has enough name recognition throughout the nation, though, and he hasn't seemed to assert himself as a major player.
Former Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi - Might as well call Central Casting for "fat, crooked Southern Republican." He is a former lobbyist. It'll never happen.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania - Did I say that Mike Huckabee was my least favorite candidate? I fucking hate this guy. I hate that he represented my home state in the Senate for six years. Again, a burnt offering to the Idol Obama.
Former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida - Roofles.
Also, Libertarian, Green, and independent speculation is welcome. Wayne Allyn Root might make another bid for the LP. Does Nader give it one last whirl? Let's hear some wild speculation.