GOP Primaries 2012: A second-term for Obama?

The Iowa caucus is over and Mitt Romney was declared the winner by 8 votes, 6 votes short of his turnout when he finished 3rd behind Mike Huckabee and John McCain in 2008, so I want to have a look at the the field and focus on who I believe is most likely to face Barack Obama in 2012 to become the next President of the United States.

Over the primary season in 2011 it was apparent that the Republican Presidential field overall has been weak and I feel that’s because there’s been no credible candidate shaping the argument, outside of how much they all want to remove Barack Obama from the White House, and that leads me to believe that they are on a hiding to nothing.

None of the candidates have:

  • Taken the debate away from being a bully pulpit to criticise the President.
  • Successfully articulated their vision for America other than to repeal legislation.
  • Explain how they will build growth other than to comment on their state record and then criticise other candidates.

That doesn’t tell me of the kind of America they want to see other than to undo what Obama has done, which isn’t going to help America (as much as they think it will).

I’m not saying that this isn’t the strategy but you certainly need to pick the right moment to play it – perhaps when you are running against the President? Rather than against the seven other candidates (for the most part) who are bound to agree with you in their assessment of the President and his policies – being that you stand on the same party platform.

It has been suggested that Obama is getting stronger simply because of the number of candidates preventing the Republicans articulating a coherent and consistent message with one candidate, which I feel is a disservice both to Obama and the Republican field – if he is getting stronger it is only because of the strength of the Republican candidates presently not the number of them – and how they are not focusing on a message other than criticism of the incumbent.

The Candidates

John Huntsman

Michele Bachmann

Rick Perry

Newt Gingrich

Ron Paul

Rick Santorum

Mitt Romney

Nominee Prediction: Mitt Romney

Whilst he may not have the conservative credentials that some are looking for to make sure he is the GOP nomination he does stand the best chance against Obama. Not to say that he’ll win. I think Obama will wipe the floor with any of them, especially Romney, but the threat from the Republicans to Obama is with Ron Paul.

Romney is well-heeled and has experience of running in 2008, which I think will become invaluable, especially in consideration of the expected return hits from Newt Gingrich soon. He’s known across the country and has been talked about as a Presidential runner for as long as I can remember so it’s likely that the Party will begrudingly nominate him.

After all the party’s best shot to win is 2016 when the Democrats have to go through the same process to nominate a candidate after Barack Obama’s second term.


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