16 Republican Presidential Hopefuls Silently Test the Waters and Let Palin Sink or Swim

Posted on September 26, 2010

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claims there are at least 17 Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012.

The A-Team Nine

– Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner, largely because he was the runner-up to Sen. John McCain in 2008.

– Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has recently made a name for herself by endorsing winning Tea Party candidates.

– Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a social conservative in his second term.

– Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a fiscal conservative in his second term.

– Mike Huckabee, a Fox host and former 2008 presidential candidate

– Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

– South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a conservative and darling of the party for defeating former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004.

– New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose budget cutting in his first year has impressed many in GOP ranks who want him to apply his touch to Washington.

– Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, already running and showing his conservative side.

The Eight Long Shots

– Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, a hero to fiscal conservatives.

– South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a Palinesque conservative who’s helped steer the U.S. Senate to the right.

– Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the gadfly 2008 candidate who kept a very loyal following.

– South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, who hasn’t even won yet but is being heralded as the new Sarah Palin.

– Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush who has rejected a run but who still gets kudos for being the “smart Bush” for his successful two terms in Florida.

– Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who’d be the social conservative in the race.

– Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, a foreign policy hawk who conservatives adore.

– Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal whose effort to protect his shores from the Gulf Oil Spill won him notoriety lost when he gave a lackluster national political address in 2009. [usnews]

By all accounts Sarah Palin is currently the front-runner but not to worry, she will take care of the misconception that Romney is somehow the one.  Currently, she is the only one among the 9 who consistently and frequently speaks out on the issues.  She has dived into the local primaries and seen her choices win in race after race.

If the other individuals on the Barbour list don’t become more involved, they will not have a chance.  Palin has her finger on the pulse of the American body politic and knows how to move to meet expectations.  She knew she needed to begin to build confidence in her words and deeds early on and so took the step of leaving office in Anchorage two years early.

When the other prospective candidates finally do speak up on the issues and formally enter the race, it will be difficult to divorce the American people who support Palin from the idea that anyone else could fit the bill.  She was not out of the gate too early.  They are too late.  Forget the fact that she is undeclared, there is a groundswell that will overrule any doubts Palin may have that she is a candidate.

Sorry, Haley.  This isn’t your father’s 2008 race.  Romney is not next in line after McCain.