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As of now, no major candidate has publicly decided to challenge Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. However, there is buzz surrounding numerous GOP hard hitters, suggesting that they may try to capture the GOP nomination in 2012. There are so many possibilities, that this has turned into a series of articles. In part one, we discussed Palin, Bachmann, Huckabee, and Gingrich. In the second part, we focused on Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Jon Huntsman. In part three, there are even more possibilities.
Would it be a real list without mentioning Mitt Romney? The former Governor of Massachusetts may be the front runner in the list of potential candidates. He is part of the establishment, sure, but many Republican voters are still fans. He has a better track record, keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t embarrass himself the way most of the other likely GOP contenders do. But, Romney has one large problem. The Commonwealth Care reform that gave the state of Massachusetts health care for practically all is very similar to the Affordable Care Act that Republicans hate. That will pose the biggest hurdle for Romney. Other problems could be that he is too “elite,” he is from New England, and he is Mormon—all things that the Republican base doesn’t really like.
Also, the list must include Donald Trump. That is right, The Donald is pretending he might run. Trump recently spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference suggesting that if he ran and won, “America would be respected again.” Trump, like so many others in this wide open field, says he will make his decision in June. In a March WSJ/NBC poll, Trump had “an approval rating higher than better-known political quantities Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty.” That makes two reality stars possible GOP contenders.
Speaking of Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota is also on the long list of possible presidential GOP nominations. Pawlenty, like the others, has given no indication either way whether he will run or not, but he may be closer than most. Just this week, he announced his intention to form an exploratory committee. His website also has Pawlenty for 2012 all over it. He did not seek a third term for governor of Minnesota, leading many to speculate that he will mount a presidential bid. In January 2011, Pawlenty told the College Republicans group at The George Washington University “If I decide to run it would be for president, not vice president.” Pawlenty has been making some trips to Iowa, also leading more to believe he will likely run for president. Pawlenty, like Romney, is good at not making headlines. The biggest problem with Pawlenty is that he is boring. No one is excited about him. The party may settle for him, but no one is enthusiastic about his candidacy. That doesn’t count him out though. No one was very excited about McCain either.
There are still even more possible candidates. Check out part four in this series for other primary potentials.