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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

How I View The Horse Race

It’s that time boys and girls — that time where I tell you what I really think and you can all hate me for daring to say something critical about your preferred candidate.

Here’s how I think the 2012 race is shaping up by candidate, in alphabetical order.

Herman Cain

Cain is the Mike Huckabee of 2012. He is articulate, sharp, inspiration, has a hell of a biography, and a team of rabid grassroots supporters. I think people really underestimate him. If he can hang on to South Carolina, he becomes huge. He needs money. I think he can get it. In Iowa though, he’ll be able to connect with people in a big way.

Mitch Daniels

He was my first choice for 2012, but when he went all trucey, etc. I think he has a real tin ear and that troubles me (See here for example). Like John McCain, I get the sense that Mitch Daniels will put his thumb in the eye of conservatives every time he is on their side, just so the media doesn’t think he is one. I don’t know that I want to be a battered supporter for four years. In any event, if Daniels does get in, he has a huge shot at it. I actually think he is one of the guys the Democrats really fear. Obama has a terrible handle on numbers. Numbers are Mitch Daniels’s thing.

Newt Gingrich

He has a real problem. “Newt” the idea is a good thing. “Newt” the person has left a negative impression in the minds of many as a moral cretin and a terrible manager with an out of control ego as Speaker. He’s going to have to work really hard to overcome that. His defense of his Nancy Pelosi on the couch video is truly stellar. If he can keep talking like that, he might turn people towards him. But his personal foibles are going to hurt him more than some might think.

Mike Huckabee

: The front runner if he gets in, but I am still not sure he is. Plus, if he does get in, he is going to get a media rectal exam unlike anything we have ever seen. The released felons, the financial record, etc. are going to come back to haunt him in a way they did not in 2008 because the media was so caught off guard by his meteoric rise. That said, Mike Huckabee speaks about America the way the Gipper did and his entry would force everyone else onto their A game.

Jon Huntsman

He’s got McCain’s team with him, so the media will Lewinsky him from now to kingdom come and find some way to make him a martyr when he flames out in South Carolina.

Gary Johnson

Bawhahahahahaha. Um . . . no.

Sarah Palin

She’s not running. If she does, the dynamics change rapidly, with everyone else coalescing rapidly behind a Daniels or Pawlenty to try to shut her out. The establishment fears her. I’d gladly support her.

Ron Paul

The third time is only the charm in fairy tales. There’s a better chance of turning a frog into a prince with a kiss than with Ron Paul getting elected President.

Tim Pawlenty

If Mike Huckabee does not get in, Pawlenty could shine as the anti-Romney, evangelical. He’s a good guy. His support for ethanol is going to hurt him with fiscal conservatives. The Club For Growth could damage him. If Mitch Daniels does not get in, I suspect Pawlenty gets the nomination.

Mitt Romney

The guy we all want to like, but just have such a hard time liking. His defense of Romneycare hurts him. He has surrounded himself with many of the smart players, but in an a-typical election year when people want a “man of the people”, it hurts Romney.

Rick Santorum

Not gonna happen. Some social conservatives will rally to Santorum, but no fiscal conservative will. I doubt he makes it to Iowa.

Donald Trump

I don’t think it is going to happen. I think he really did want to run. I think he let the story get ahead of him. Trump likes to control the story and this is one he can’t control.

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