The first primaries are some 14 months away, and over the next six months, many heavyweights, dark horses, and others will announce they are running for President of the United States. I am at this stage by no means committed to favoring any particular candidate, but I think the GOP frontrunners as posited by the media are way off base.
It's not going to be Palin, Romney, Fred Thompson, or Huckabee.
It's definitely not going to be Gingrich, Giuliani, Pataki, Santorum, Bloomberg, Dobbs, Tommy Thompson, or Paul.
Most, and perhaps all, of those dozen mentioned may run for POTUS. But for various reasons, I don't see them as viable candidates for that particular office. All great conservatives (except Bloomberg), but not our strongest POTUS material, at least at this time.
My criteria are having a positive record to run on, strong conservative social and fiscal values, a credible figure on economic growth and job creation, gravitas persona, ability to bring in all major elements of the GOP coalition, and no major drawbacks. So without further ado, here is my list of potentials:
1. Governor Bob McDonnell, VA
2. Governor Mitch Daniels, IN
3. Ambassador to China, and ex-Governor John Huntsman, UT
4. ex-Governor Tim Pawlenty, MN
5. Governor Bobby Jindal, LA
6. Rep. Paul Ryan, WI
And for the VP ticket mate I would add:
1. Senator Marco Rubio, FL
2. Governor Chris Christie, NJ (but for his lack of a strong stance against abortion and his declaration he will not run for President, I would put him on the top of the list)
3. Rep. Mike Pence, IN
4. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, MN
5. Senator Rob Portman, OH
Or One of the 6 above listed for POTUS