Chris Cillizza writes in The Washington Post about four potential dark horse candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. It’s early, but of course the official season started in earnest the day after the midterms. His mentions, and my comments:
Rick Santorum – Yes, Santorum might very well run, and surely wants to. I don’t think he would win, however, and he would not be the right nominee. He’s too narrowly focused on social issues, and lacks resonance with voters beyond his natural constituency.
Mike Pence – Pence could decide to run as well, and certainly if not this time then at some point in the future. It could be the year for a guy like Pence, however, if 2012 proves to be another change cycle. He could legitimately run as an outsider, while still presenting the substance and style desired in a presidential candidate by the electorate.
Scott Brown – No way. Fun to think about – if for nothing else but the novelty of the idea – but only for about one second. There’s no way he’d do it, and no way he’d win. He simply doesn’t have the experience, the network, or anything else to make that even a realistic possibility to consider.
Marco Rubio – Again, no way. He’s an attractive figure within the party and his star is rising to be sure, but it’s simply not his time, and he’s smart enough to understand that. The only caveat I’d add is that many potential GOP nominees would certainly take a look at him for the VP slot.
Personally, I still like Mitt Romney, both as my personal choice of those who have all but declared, and as the odds-on favorite to take the nomination. If Pence jumps in the field, I’d be compelled of course to take a very serious look at him. As you know, I’ve long been a fan of the Congressman from Indiana. He starts behind Romney in name ID and money, but projects a personal authenticity and warmth that could compensate for that in a race to attract the attention and support of primary voters.