One of the overlooked downsides to the electoral wipeout the Republican Party has endured in the past two election cycles is how those elections have drastically shrunk the amount of Republicans who are nationally prominent. Without the Presidency, and the loss of Governors, Senators, and Representatives, there aren't very many potential leaders left among Republicans. Also, even the most loyal party man surely isn't enamored with every Republican elected official. What you hear these days is a cry wondering where Republican leadership is. Debates about who is the "leader" of the Republican Party are distracting at this point, but there seems to be a paucity of those who could even be in the discussion. Republicans have a short bench problem, which hurts their ability to have national leadership in Congress, in the states, and in the future, in the White House. . .And see Max Borders' 20 innovations that might return Republicans to power.
Romney seems a near lock to run again and would have to be considered the frontrunner. Huckabee will never be President, but he may run, especially if no Southerner is in the race. I think Palin's resignation indicates she won't run in 2012, but she still is young and already has a big national following. I don't think we'll see another Wesley Clark/Fred Thompson fantasy candidate next time.
The Republican bench is very thin at this point. If you are looking towards 2012, I would predict right now the only serious candidates who will run are Romney, Pawlenty, and Barbour. Daniels would certainly be in that grouping if he decided to run. Sure, you would get the Tom Tancredos of the world running no shot campaigns, but those candidacies are irrelevant. I think beyond 2012 Jindal, Huntsman, Thune, and perhaps Palin 2.0 would be serious Presidential candidates. There really is a leadership vacuum in the Republican Party right now.
Friday, July 17, 2009
As a follow-up to this quote, here's Chris Palko on The Next Right: