Potential 2012 GOP Contenders

The Washington Post has a good round-up of all the potential 2012 Republican Presidential candidates:

Haley Barbour: The Mississippi governor virtually invented lobbying – not exactly the ideal background in a very anti-Washington Republican electorate. And his Southern roots – and the gaffe he committed late last year when he seemed to suggest that the civil rights movement wasn’t a big deal where he grew up – might not play well in the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary, the first two nominating contests of 2012.

Mitch Daniels: The Indiana governor drew widespread criticism among the party base when he suggested that the next president would need to call a “truce” on social issues until the country moved beyond its current economic woes. Social conservatives dominate the Iowa caucuses and the South Carolina primary – and they won’t forget Daniels’s truce talk anytime soon.

John Thune: The senator from South Dakota – like many of his Republican Senate colleagues – voted for the Troubled Assets Relief Program in late 2008. Many conservatives view the vote as a sort of scarlet letter, a massive government bailout that is anathema to their limited-government philosophy.

Newt Gingrich: The former House speaker’s appeals to social conservatives in places such as Iowa and South Carolina could be complicated by his very public personal life: He has been married three times.

Sarah Palin: The former Alaska governor has done next to nothing to build a national political organization or demonstate the ability – or willingness – to grow beyond her committed social conservative base.

Jon Huntsman: His serving in the Obama administration – albeit as the ambassador to China – won’t go down well with many Republican primary voters who detest the current occupant of the White House. And Huntsman’s public endorsement of cap-and-trade legislation puts him out of step with most in his party.

Tim Pawlenty: The former Minnesota governor’s biggest problem is a lack of pizazz. Can a candidate who is relatively unknown outside his home state of Minnesota and whose best trait is his “niceness” rise to the top of such a crowded field?

Mike Huckabee: Huckabee’s record as governor of Arkansas – particularly his decision to commute the sentence of Maurice Clemmons, who went on to murder four police offers in Washington state – is ripe for a deep opposition-research dive. And Huckabee’s record on taxes as governor isn’t likely to look much better in the eyes of many Republicans.

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