With the Republican campaign season really heating up, and still no strong candidate in the race, there is a strange energy around the whole thing. The rank-and-file voters are disillusioned, wondering "is this the best we have?", while the party leaders plaster on fake smiles and continue to thrust possibilities at us, hoping one will catch fire with the electorate. So far - nada...
All of the candidates in the race thus far have emerged as the Great White Hope of the race, shooting up through the miasma, only to disappoint and fall back to earth. The race is populated by a junkyard of broken toys, all hoping to be pulled from the pile, polished, and played with again.
Perry is still trying to strong-arm his way in. He is attacking the other erstwhile front-runner Romney, painting him as an Obama enabler
"As Republican voters decide who is best suited to lead this country in a new direction by stopping the spending spree and scrapping Obamacare, I am confident they will choose a nominee who has governed on conservative principles, not one whose health care policies paved the way for Obamacare," Perry says, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press.
Despite a lot of bluster, his lack of intelligence and outright belligerance is turning off the voters. Party leaders in Iowa - a crucible state for campaigns - say support for him is weakening
A poll of likely Republican caucus-goers released Thursday by the American Research Group has the Texas governor in third place with 14 percent, trailing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 21 percent, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) at 15 percent. Perry saw little increase among Tea Party supporters: Fifteen percent backed him, with 19 percent supporting Bachmann. The poll was conducted Sept. 22-27, encompassing the period after Perry’s last debate performance.
Another article describes the party reluctantly supporting Romney
"I'll probably wind up with Romney because, more than anything, what I want to do is to defeat Obama," says Doyle Thomas, a 70-year-old retired attorney from rural Cross City, Fla.
Not that he'll be happy about having to vote for the former Massachusetts governor.
"You can't tell me that Romney is a conservative and was able to be elected in Massachusetts," Thomas adds, shaking his head. "If he were a conservative, there's no way he could have won."
Interviews with more than two dozen Republicans who met here recently to hear the candidates speak at a conservative forum underscored the challenge Romney has faced since he entered the race as the GOP front-runner this spring: People just aren't excited about his candidacy.
And six months later, they're still not.
Wow - that's a passionate endorsement (not). You can almost picture the voters trudging to the polls on election day with a small grey cloud over their heads following them the whole way. Gingrich and Cain have both excited a small segment of the party, but neither one have the support to win. Perhaps if they could be combined
somehow... (yes, the picture at the link is creepy).
It's gotten to the point where the party is begging people to run. NJ Gov. Chris Christy is one of those. Because of all the prodding, he has had to come out and state categorically that he is NOT going to run for president. He has not, however, said anything about vice-president
More than a year out from Election Day, all sorts of Republicans are making a point of keeping themselves in the national spotlight, stoking speculation that they're positioning themselves as potential running mates for the eventual GOP presidential nominee.
It's too early to know who's really interested and who's just savoring a little extra attention. But it's clear there is no shortage of ambitious Republicans.
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has a new book out. Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley also are writing books. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell raised eyebrows by speaking in politically important New Hampshire, Rubio and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by popping up at the Reagan Presidential Library in California.
And a number of Republicans are stepping forward to endorse one GOP presidential candidate or another: former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the presidential race in August, has been campaigning for Mitt Romney. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval came out for Texas Gov. Rick Perry. So did Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
That's the real ticket, isn't it? As the VP candidate, you don't undergo quite the same scrutiny, and don't have to bother with primary campaigning. If your running mate wins, you are automatically set up as the candidate for your party in 8 years.On top of that, if the candidate doesn't win, then you are the assumed candidate in 4 years. It's a no-lose situation. How hard did Sarah Palin have to work to get that position? Despite all the revelations about her, she was still assumed to be the first choice for this season's campaign.
The window for another Cinderella Story candidate coming in at the last minute is quickly closing. Will someone else come in and energize the party, or will the voters slouch through a listless campaign with a less-than-likeable candidate? Stay tuned!