May 22, 2011

Cain in, Daniels Out. Now what?

To catch everyone up on what's going on, Herman Cain is running in the GOP primaries.  Mitch Daniels another suspected candidate, surprisingly, is not.  Add Daniels' name to Huckabee and Trump, as a candidate who was a pretty safe bet to run and has dropped out before the race has begun.  Add to that the fact that Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul have all said some pretty foolish things that make their nominations unlikely at best, as did Daniels' record for that matter. So far it seems like the GOP primary is starting off with a fizzle.  Romney has to be considered a clear front runner at this point.  Romney won't generate much enthusiasm in the primaries but with a disjointed field of relative unknowns, he has the easiest path to primary victory.  So far.

Herman Cain is pretty much saying all the right things so far but he is a political neophyte and has a tough road ahead of himself as far as fundraising and having a good ground game goes.  It's not impossible for him to win, but it is a formidable task, as far as his 2012 chances go.

Michelle Bachmann appears to be getting ready to run, and Sarah Palin has a fire in her belly, which puts her in the very possible category.  But both ladies, while popular with the conservative grassroots and the Tea Party faithful, they unfortunately occupy the same space as Herman Cain on the right side of the spectrum.  With Pawlenty and Romney, there's a lot of room in the centrist space.  Pawlenty looks to be a distant long shot right now, given Romney's inherent starting point advantage.

The people hopping in and the people jumping out mean one of four things.  Either (1) the candidates are clearing the way for Romney (2) or someone else to take on Romney (like Palin for example) or (3) they are making decisions on their own accord rather than collectively because they don't think they can win the GOP nomination or (4) against Obama if they win the primaries.  Of course that's just speculation but to hone it down further, I don't think people have made any back room deals to step aside.  These are self directed decisions.  Which means that there seems to be a lot of fear or doubt about the ability to beat Romney or Obama.

That's not good.   But let's not forget, it's still early - at least historically.  There's plenty of time for things to change.  Not having an early decision on things is a good idea.  Remember, that's what led to McCain.

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