The potential rivalry between Palin and Bachmann could give the 2012 race the flavor it’s missing. Neither of those horses can beat Obama, but it sure would be a political junkies dream to watch them circle the track side by side.

Two of the better known names not to have said yes or no to a 2012 run for the White House are showing signs of jumping into the race this week.

Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin would add some badly needed star power to Republican primary battle, but both are candidates that have some serious flaws to contend with.

Do either of them win the nomination? Do either of them have a chance against Obama?

National Journal:

Gov. Mitch Daniels is a lot of things to a lot of people, but to President Obama’s political team, the Hoosier was the most credible Republican spokesperson on economic recovery, the man whose results as Indiana governor would compare most favorably to the man in office. Now that he’s not running, the Republican field lacks a credible Obama antithesis.

Read the rest.

Curious what race fans think of the new book by Frank Bailey, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years

Is it just a disgruntled former staffer with an axe to grind? Or is it a problem should Palin decide to mount a campaign?

Helen of Troy was once described as the woman with a “face that launched a thousand ships.”

Today, Tim Palwenty made the announcement that launched a million yawns, as he formally began his campaign for the GOP nomination in 2012:

“We live in the greatest country the world has ever known,” Pawlenty said in Des Moines, Iowa. “If we want a new and better direction, we’re going to need a new and better president.”

I guess I should be nicer to T-Paw, considering he’s probably one of the best known candidates currently running for the nomination, which doesn’t speak highly of the field. I still just don’t see the appeal.

no one knows

Tough weekend.

I received this note from a good friend who’s a heckuva lot smarter than I am. (I’ve been trying to talk him into running for office for years.)

Agree or disagree with his idea?

You know, if the Republicans wanted to get out in front on the issue of Libya, they would draft up an approval for President Obama and the actions in Libya.

And they would name it something like, “America’s Defense of Freedom and Democracy in Oppressed Libya”…

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has joined another longtime ‘whisper candidate’, Haley Barbour, by announcing he’s not going to seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. You can bet these horses aren’t skipping the race because of Ron Paul or Herman Cain.

Interesting take on Ron Paul:

Michael Medved: Ron Paul, Hookers, and Heroin

Businessman and radio host Herman Cain says he will run for the GOP nomination for president. As reported in the Des Moines Register:

“Keep reading,” he said. “Don’t stop at life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.”He vowed the GOP will retake the U.S. Senate and the presidency, just as it regained control of the House in 2010. “We will take them back because you and I do not want this nation to become just another mediocre nation,” Cain said. He said the nation needs to refocus on free-market principles.

Does he have a shot?

Texas governor Rick Perry, who has denied his interest to enter the 2012 Presidential race more often than Ralph Nader has actually run for President, is quietly having his people sniff around the possibility of running in an increasingly weak field.

A Texas pol who is close to Perry has been telling a few key strategists that the nation’s longest-serving governor sees a vacuum and is waiting to be summoned into the race. This source believes that could happen by late summer. Without fellow Southerners Haley Barbour or Mike Huckabee in the race — and with Newt Gingrich’s early troubles raising further doubts about the current lineup — there could be a glaring niche for Perry to fill.

The fact of the matter is, no matter what your opinion of Rick Perry is, he would be a formidable candidate in the GOP primary battle.

So who exactly would be the person to “summon” Rick Perry to the race?

CNN: Bachmann 2012 announcement, sooner rather than later?

If anyone on PD can make a convincing argument that she can win, I’ll send you a free book of your choice from my private stash.

And for me, it’s the same reason Obama won in 2008.

Money.

Lots and lots of money.

A call-a-thon landed the not-yet-announced Mitt Romney campaign over $10 million dollars yesterday.

Romney’s reaction?

“That’s a terrific start,” Romney began, in typical expectation-setting mode, before catching himself: “Actually it’s more than just a start — it really gives us the boost that we need at this early stage in my effort.”

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After Newt’s surprising comments over the weekend, Charles Krauthammer thinks so: “He’s done. He didn’t have a big chance from the beginning but now it’s over.”

Let’s make a few assumptive statements up top to establish the background for this discussion. First, most voters only begin to pay close attention to Presidential elections after Labor Day of the election year. If that is true—and it likely is—then we’re still over 15 months away from the point where candidates are getting close scrutiny from the general electorate, as opposed to just from the ‘political junkie’ set.

Second, Presidential elections are decided by the middle 20% of voters. The Liberal base will pretty reliably give the Democratic candidate their 40% and likewise, the Conservative base will give the Republican candidate their 40%. The battle is over that middle 20% group.

I call this group the “mushy middle,” because they are generally inattentive to the ins and outs of everyday political happenings and only drop into the process in the few weeks immediately preceding the election.

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In what could be the biggest surprise of the 2012 campaign, Donald ‘The Ego’ Trump has just announced he will not seek the GOP nomination:

After considerable deliberation and reflection, I have decided not to pursue the office of the Presidency. This decision does not come easily or without regret; especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country. I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector.

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Newt is going off:

White House hopeful Newt Gingrich called the House Republican plan for Medicare “right-wing social engineering,” injecting a discordant GOP voice into the party’s efforts to reshape both entitlements and the broader budget debate.

In the same interview Sunday, on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Gingrich backed a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance, complicating a Republican line of attack on President Barack Obama’s health law.

So Gingrich is clearly working to position himself as a moderate, which would serve him well in the general election. But who can support such a slimy career politician?

Not much. Insiders have been saying for months he wasn’t taking any steps to mount a campaign. He hadn’t laid the groundwork, hired the consultants, and beat the streets in early states like Pawlenty, Romney and the other contenders. They might be relieved he’s not running, particularly given his steady performance in the polls, but they’re not surprised.

What do you think? Will he endorse someone? Will it make a difference?

Seems only fitting this ad get re-circulated if the Huntsman, Pawlenty and Romney clips are being resurrected.