A few months ago, I wrote what I've been wanting to write since 2008 - that Sarah Palin is a moron. If she actually earned the Republican nomination, it would ensure another landslide victory for Obama and 4 more years of his administration. What I didn't do, and probably should have, was talk about the other potential Republican candidates.
Recent CNN polls have showed Palin's popularity is slipping, even among Conservatives, and people are finally starting to realize that somebody other than her is going to have to run in 2012. I'm proud of the American people for finally realizing how stupid she is, but disappointed that it took so dang long.
So, that raises the obvious question: who will run against Obama? Who stands the best chance? Who can actually beat him?
In no particular order, here are some options:
1) Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts.
Probably the most likely, but not necessarily the guy with the best chance. Like Obama, he's a Harvard guy. He's also a Mormon, a former missionary, and a pretty good lookin guy. He narrowly lost to McCain last time. Romney's potential flaw: we've seen him before. He lacks that freshness that politics often requires.
2) Mike Huckabee, Governor of Arkansas
My parent's top pick, Huckabee is outspokenly Christian and not afraid to mingle politics with religion. This will endear him to many, but also cost him many moderate votes. He might be too right-wing. Whoever beats Obama will have to secure not only the Religious Right, but also the moderates and minorities. That will be his biggest challenge.
3) Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana
Sort of a rising star among Republicans, Daniels has the education and experience to go toe-to-toe with Obama and beat him. His greatest challenge will be garnering enough attention to win the Primaries.
4) Ron Paul, US Representate from Texas
He's run for President twice as a Libertarian, but is rumored to run under the Republican ticket in 2012. He's as small-government as they come. What's the opposite of a Socialist? A capitalist? I guess maybe that's what Liberatarian means. Anyway, he's probaby too old (75).
5) Tim Pawlenty, Governor of Minnesota
This is one of my favorites. He's been rumored to run since early 2009, and was expected to be McCain's VP pick before McCain stupidly picked Palin. He's a lawyer, a Baptist, and a hockey player. He's pretty young, decently good looking, and doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. He just might have the newness and youth needed to excite the Republican party and take down Obama. But first he needs to make a name for himself (write a book!) and become a true contender in the minds of voters. Best way to do that? Start going by the nickname T-Paw.
6) Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida
If not for his last name, he might have a chance. But there's no way another Bush is getting into the White House for another 300 years.
7) Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi
Here's another unknown fellow who actually has a decent chance. He made a name for himself for the way he handled Hurricane Katrina, and has become beloved in the South much like Rudy Guiliana was after 9/11. He's a former lawyer and lobbyist, and might be a strong enough leader to take the Republican party under his wing and become the new face of the party. Plus he has an interesting name, which helps.
8) Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House
He's been rumored to run for President since 1996, but appears poised to finally make his move in 2012. Question is, is he too late? He's now 67 years old, and while he carries a well-known name, it's not exactly known for all the right reasons. He's been married 3 times, he was embroiled in an ugly ethics scandal, and consequently resigned. He's certain to have a strong following, but like Romney, I don't think he has the freshness needed to beat Obama.
9) Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida
If you want young and fresh, here's your guy. He's just 39 years old, but Obama was just 47 and JFK was 43 when they were elected. Maybe the Republicans' best chance is to roll with the young son of Cuban exiles. Check out his credentials:
-Graduated top of the class from University of Miami Law School;
-Played college football at Tarkio College;
-Is married to a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader;
-Speaks fluent Spanis - which means he can do campaign speeches without a translator;
-His dad was a bartender, and his mom was a hotel housekeeper.
If the Republicans are ready to mix things up and go full-force after the minority and lower-class vote, Rubio is the guy. The only question is whether he could get votes from the old grumpy white guys. He probably won't win the Primary (if he actually runs), but if he does, he'll have a legit shot against Obama. My guess is that he doesn't run, but could be elected President in 2016, especially if Obama wins in '12. Remember the name: Marco Rubio.
Last but not least, my personal favorite...
10) Scott Brown, Senator from Massachusetts
That's right, a Republican from Massachusetts. If that sounds weird to you, that's because he's the first GOP Senator from that state since 1972. And that's just one of his many accomplishments:
-Active member of the U.S. National Guard for over 30 years; ranks as a Lieutenant Colonel;
-Attended Law School at Boston College;
-Worked as a model for Cosmopolitan magazine;
-Been in politics since 1992;
-Identifies himself as "socially moderate but fiscally conservative;"
-Has a memoir to be released in early 2011;
-His daughter, Ayla, was a semi-finalist on season 5 of American Idol;
He is personally against same-sex marriage and abortion, but doesn't believe they should be made illegal. He also was one of few Republican senators who voted in favor of lifting the ban on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Those things will make him unpopular among super Conservatives (like Palin, who has publicly bashed him), but will give him a fighting chance against Obama if he were to win the Primary.
A 51 year old guy who looks like James Bond and actually thinks for himself? Sounds like a good Candidate to me.
So there you have it. Ten candidates who are infinitely better than Sarah Palin.