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No major GOP candidate has officially announced any intention to run for the presidential nomination in 2012. However, the field of speculation continues to grow. It is so wide open that this has grown into a series of articles instead of just one on the topic. In the first article, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich were all featured. In the second part, we focused on Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Jon Huntsman. Article three was about Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Donald Trump. The last installment of this series examined Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Rudy Giuliani. And now we have the relative unknowns that may be jumping in the race or are have already made the jump.
One such unknown is Buddy Roemer, former governor of Louisiana and a former congressman. Roemer served as governor from 1988-1992. He was elected as a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party in 1991. In March of 2011, he announced that he had launched an exploratory committee for a potential run at the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. And he promised to be like Mike Gravel was in the Democratic primary last time—he will be the one making everyone else uncomfortable and will likely be ignored by mainstream media and shunned by his own party. Roemer has stressed that campaign finance reform would be a key issue in his campaign. Pledging to limit campaign contributions to $100 per individual, Mr. Roemer promises to ask big money raisers Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman a single question at the presidential debates. (He’s still waiting for the invitation to the opening debate on May 2.) “I’m going to ask, ‘Where did you get your money?’” he said.
We also have Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Cain has suggested he might run and if he does, he will likely be entertaining. He is known for his inflammatory remarks, but may just be the most honest of all potential contenders. He spent 2010 addressing 40 Tea Party rallies and visited the early presidential states. He set up an exploratory committee in January when he announced his potential presidential bid. Cain told the Union Leader in New Hampshire that if he does follow through in mounting a campaign, he’ll rely on his business credentials and radio talk show host experience to advance his ambitions.
Last but not least is Jimmy McMillan. You may remember McMillan from the New York State governor’s race. He ran on the Rent is Too Damn High Party and became an internet sensation. McMillan was a registered member of the Democratic Party but in December of 2010, he said that he would run as a Republican in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, to avoid a primary challenge from President Barack Obama. He believes that his greatest political strengths include a mastery of social media, an ability to pinch pennies, and inimitable political vision. McMillan appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2011.
These are the likely candidates for now. There are also those that say they aren’t running, but some have their doubts. And there very well may be some other contenders that crop up. After all, it will be a long 18 months until the presidential electionin2012. Stay tuned.