Many Republicans Want Dark Horse Candidate to Surprise Them

Posted on October 21, 2011


Hello – this isn’t Christmas and yet many Republicans want Santa to leave them a dark horse candidate under the tree.  I’ve heard it from friends, fellow Conservative bloggers and I have noted the articles about it when I google “Republican Dark Horse.”

Can you blame us?  Aside from perhaps Newt Gingrich, not one could either take on Obama or keep his/her cool AND sense of humor.  Now there appears to be the stirrings from the camp of one possible dark horse.  Observe:

From the UKs Telegraph:

Dark horse Republican candidate Paul Ryan considers running for President

Paul Ryan, the Republican congressman, is considering a run for the White House after being encouraged to stand by party heavyweights.

Dark Horse Republican candidate Paul Ryan considers running for President

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) talks about the bipartisan debt ceiling compromise legislation during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol August 1, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP/GETTY
Toby Harnden

By , Washington

8:44PM BST 18 Aug 2011

The 41-year-old congressman is viewed as one of the Republican party’s brightest young stars and the brains behind congressional plans to slash government spending.

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who decided not to run himself, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and brother of former President George W Bush, are among the leading figures pressurising the young member of the House of Representatives to run.

According to the “Weekly Standard”, a well-connected conservative magazine, Mr Ryan is spending a family holiday in Colorado deciding whether to make a dramatic late entrance into the race. Sources told the magazine that his wife Jana was “on board” and her support was a “very big deal”.

At the same time, there has been renewed speculation that Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey might decide to stand. His spokesman denied a report that he had been conducting focus groups with a view to running while Mr Ryan’s camp also said he was happy with his current job.

The push by some senior Republicans to get another major candidate in the race reflects the continued worry that Mitt Romney, the party’s front-runner in the battle to win the right to face President Barack Obama, is a flawed candidate.

At the same time, many establishment politicians have been dismayed by comments made by Governor Rick Perry of Texas, who announced his candidacy last weekend and immediately ignited a storm by suggesting it might be “treasonous” for Ben Bernanke, chairman of the federal reserve, to print more money.

A Rasmussen poll, the first after Mr Perry’s high-profile entry, put the Texas governor on 29 per cent, ahead of Mr Romney on 18 per cent, and Republican Michele Bachmann, winner of last weekend’s Iowa Straw Poll, on 13 per cent.

Launching a presidential bid at this stage, however, would be highly problematic. Mr Perry is racing to catch up in terms of money and organisation and he spent more than two months building his campaign before announcing.

Mr Daniels, who might well have been the front-runner if had had decided to enter the race, told the magazine: “If there were a Paul Ryan fan club, I’d be a national officer.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that he was strongly encouraging me to try. I’ve been strongly encouraging him to run as well. He has all the qualities our party needs to be emphasising in these elections.

“He can explain – and is willing to explain – in plain English why today’s policies are a disaster for the middle class, and he has the smarts to go toe-to-toe with the people who are saying misleading things about the proposals that he’s put out there.”

Mr Bush also said that Mr Ryan should run. “Paul Ryan would be a formidable candidate. I admire his substance and energy. Win or lose, he would force the race to be about sustained, job-creating economic growth and the real policies that can achieve it.”

Most Republican strategists are sceptical, however. Mr Ryan is a strong social and fiscal conservative from a swing state, Wisconsin, but his youth, slender frame, cerebral manner and lack of executive experience would make it relatively easy to portray him as the Republican version in 2012 of Mr Obama in 2008.

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