Saturday, March 26, 2011

Race for the White House 2012

World events continue to dominate much of the news focus, but this past week saw a bit more of the emerging GOP nomination battle come into focus.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has formally opened his exploratory committee to begin the formal opening phases of a Presidential campaign. He has a campaign website up and has begun to unveil his team in key states.

While the entrance of Pawlenty was long expected, another Minnesota Republican has now also signaled intent to seek the White House. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite has said that she may launch an exploratory committee of her own within months. While Bachmann had been making noise about a run for some time, most had believed she was more likely to run for the Senate. If Bachmann runs for President, it probably signifies even more clearly that former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin will not run. In mentioning the first ever female candidate on the Republican ticket, it is worth noting the unfortunate passing today of Geraldine Ferraro, a Democrat who made history when she was the first woman on a major party ticket back in 1984.

Bachmann joined other announced and potential Republican candidates today at a conservative conference in Iowa, site of the opening Presidential Caucuses. Also appearing were businessman Herman Cain, former U.N Ambassador John Bolton, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Earlier this week, Florida political operative Sally Bradshaw, a longtime top aide to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, signed on with Barbour. In 2008, she had been on the team of Mitt Romney.

Speaking of Romney, the candidate I am very proud to support, news story indicate that he is planning to open his Presidential exploratory committee as soon as early April. The fundraising he is expected to embark upon could be staggering and force some candidates on the fence into taking a pass for the 2012 cycle. Once Romney is formally in the race, the big strategic question will be just how much emphasis his campaign will place on the early states of Iowa and South Carolina. While they will certainly be focused in winning the other early states of New Hampshire and Nevada, there is some belief that that they will seek to lessen the importance of the other two states mentioned, and instead prepare for a long, drawn-out survival battle though the other states, on the way to accepting the nomination of the Republican Party in St. Petersburg.