Then there were two Republican Presidential Candidates: Good bye Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum-- May their campaigns RIP

Palin, Daniels, Christie and Ryan opted out early in the game

Earlier this year, the big Republican names took themselves out of  the running: (1)  Sarah Palin, the former Alaska Governor and 2008 McCain running mate who had more charisma and less gravitas than was good for her, (2) Mitch Daniels, America’s and Indiana’s governor, with  solid Midwestern values and pro-growth credentials, but perhaps a wife with a few too many skeletons in the closet, (3) Chris Christie, America’s up and coming Governor, with a tough, no-nonsense reform reputation and demonstrated appeal to independents and Democrats that propelled him to victory in New Jersey  (but perhaps some not too conservative views in his quiver, and impatience for what he called the “crazies.”), (4) Cong. Paul Ryan, America’s congressman from Janesville, Wisconsin, and the brains behind the Republicans’ House Reform Budget on Medicare, Social Security and everything else  (perhaps he chewed up some good will  by being too up front and personal with his reform proposals.

Then there were nine.

That left the field for Republican Presidential candidates to include Mitt Romney, an experienced  presidential candidate with money, organization and message (“MOM”), and a solid, albeit moderate, reputation as a governor of a big state, Massachusetts, and a good performance as head of the Winter Olympics, with his Mormonism perhaps thought to be his Achilles heel; Cong. Ron Paul, the consistently, logical libertarian candidate  from the State of Texas with some hard to swallow foreign policy views; Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the thrice married, brilliant tactician and idea man from Georgia who led the Republicans to a majority in the House in 1994 after  wandering in the wilderness as a minority for a half a century; Governor Rick Perry, the three term, thought to be solidly conservative Governor from Texas who speaks a little too much Texan; Rick Santorum, the former two-term, family values Senator from the blue-collar swing state of Pennsylvania; Michele Bachmann, the five-term, conservative  Tea Party backed congresswoman from Minnesota who had more intellectual heft but less charisma than sister Palin; Herman Cain, the African-American free market oriented businessman, who preached self reliance, a 9-9-9 tax plan, and positive mental attitude;  Jon Huntsman, the former two-term Mormon Governor  of Utah, with good looks and a reputation for being a moderate conservative and a thinker, having worked for Reagan and both Bush Presidents and served as Obama’s Ambassador  to China; and Tim Pawlenty, the mild mannered former Governor of Minnesota who had a reputation for being a solid conservative and was the person most likely thought to be McCain’s VP pick in 2008 before McCain went with Palin.

Then there were five

First to exit the field was Pawlenty, after a poor performance in the Iowa Caucus Straw poll last summer.  Then Herman Cain was forced out when a bevy of women stood up and accused Cain of sexual harassment, going back to fifteen years ago.  Michele Bachmann said she had “to stand aside,” after coming in last place a few weeks ago in the Iowa Caucus. This morning Jon Huntsman will drop out, narrowing the field to five, when he acknowledges he has no path to victory.

Huntsman, the most over-rated of the nine candidates. 

Huntsman, 51, who dropped out of high school to join a band, and then left University of Utah to graduate from Penn, is perhaps the most over-rated of the candidates. He was a popular former Governor of a small state, with meager accomplishments. Spending exploded under his tenure (increasing by about 40% in 5 years), but he did some tax cutting. He was good on school voucher-school choice legislation, but perhaps rode the shoulders of others on that legislation. He was pro-life with exceptions for the life of the mother, rape and incest, but seemed incapable of even trying to explain, at a forum in South Carolina a few nights ago, why he would allow exceptions for rape and incest if he valued life as much as he said he did.  Huntsman viewed himself as the lone moderate candidate in the field, but he was facing a primary electorate with little appetite for a candidate with such a label.

Huntsman also touted himself as a businessman, but his only experience in that endeavor was sucking wealth out of his father’s business for a few years, while building up his own net worth. His main work experience was in government, toiling in relatively low level positions for Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush, with somewhat higher positions for W and Obama.  It seems much of Huntsman’s political success was due to his father’s business connections and wealth, and his father’s contributions to a Super-Pac would have to carry Jon Huntsman financially, if he were to continue forward after South Carolina.  However, nobody likes to finance a loser, not even your dad.

The real VP picks for Romney

Huntsman’s best bet at this point was to bail from the Primary race, hoping Romney will have him and perhaps make use of his talents in his campaign. Huntsman is reasonably smart, speaks well, looks good, and might be a good liaison for Romney to moderate Republicans, with an emphasis on economic growth.  Huntsman might think he has a shot in the VP pool, but unless he can promise Mitt more than Utah, it is hard to see why Romney would go with Huntsman.  Names like Senator  Marco Rubio, who  could bring Mitt Florida, or Senator Rob Portman, who could bring Mitt Ohio, or even  former Senator Santorum, who might bring Mitt Pennsylvania, would seem to have a leg up over VP Huntsman.

Perry and Santorum to exit, stage right, by the end of the month

Look for Rick Perry, 61, to follow Huntsman out of the race soon, probably right after the South Carolina Primary election on January 21, 2012.  Perry, who has been a career pol most of his life, is likely to come in last place in the South Carolina Primary and like Huntsman, Perry is unlikely to be able to visualize a path for victory in the Presidential race. As Ann Richards used to say in Texas, you can stick a fork in Perry, he is “done.”

Perry, with a degree from Texas A and M  in husbandry science, and now finishing in last place  in this fun run, should be ready to return to Texas to complete his  third  term as Governor.  Rick Perry, based on his performance at debates and forums, seems to lack the requisite smarts, background, polish and finesse to be President. Why anybody thought it was a good idea for Perry to get in the race is beyond comprehension. The only people benefitted by Perry’s run would be his consultants who probably were the one who advised him to enter the race.

Then there were two

By the time we hit the Florida Primary at the end of the month, Santorum might have to face the reality that he cannot raise the funds to continue to finance a national campaign. With Santorum dropping out, that would take the race to three.  Cong. Ron Paul would have the money to continue to have a presence in the primaries to advance his libertarian views. However, the debate sponsors might then limit the entries to Romney and Gingrich.   If Gingrich Super Pacs can continue the funding of ads that essentially promoted Gingrich,that might mean a true one- on- one race between Romney and Gingrich. That could be a real fun run.  If Newt picks up most of the Santorum vote in Florida, that would mean Newt and Romney would  be about even at about 38% each, with Cong. Paul getting about 5% of the vote, and the  rest to be determined.  Now, that’s what we call a horse race.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Yes, then there were two: Paul and Romney. You guys are kidding about Gingrich, right? Paul came within 2 percent of a first place tie in Iowa, beat everyone but Romney in New Hampshire and is not polling second or close third in South Carolina.
    You simply can not be trusted.

  • Really Berkowitz? For real? I think you have been smoking the Neo-Con angel dust pipe to think that Ron Paul is going to vanish off the scene after SC.
    You wish. You see Dr. Paul may not win the nomination, but the message is only beginning to ignite in the minds of millions. Soon enough we (the citizenry) will eradicate you Trotskyite tools from the corrupted political & MSM machine. I can hear the sound of the toilet flushing as you and your ilk begin to circle the bowl.

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    A race between between Gingrich and Romney would be as much fun as me grabbing a hold of my scrotum with vice grips while having Dana Bash pluck out my eyebrows.

    Paul vs Romney would be way more fun to watch.

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    "and then romney declared...me as his running mate, vice president berkowitz. and i declared every may 3rd jeff berkowitz day!"

    hey, jeff berkowitz, 'wishful thinking' doesn't count as a source.

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    Hmmm.... I'm not too familiar with Mr. Berkowitz, perhaps he's one of those 'paid per click' writers who makes money only by publishing the most derisive, off the wall article he can. That's the only viable explanation for ignoring the polls, votes and internet chatter and claiming Ron Paul is already out of the race. I'd like to see the media try to ban Dr. Paul from a debate; if Dana Bash thought the outcry against her yellow journalism was bad, imagine what Ron Paul backers would say to ignoring a second-place contender with the support and the funds to make it all the way to the convention.

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    Well, I already knew what kind of corrupt whack jobs came from Chicago, but this author has proved just how alienated from reality he really is. Gingrich is wishful thinking. His continued "dickish" behavior has made his presence unsavory. Good thing he won't survive this weekend.

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    Gingrich? You mean that guy in fourth place who has lost half his support in the last 3 weeks? I suppose he might have a chance to win some delegates.

    I think you meant Romney and Paul, the first and second place candidates by votes, respectively. Please check your sources.

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    Ron Paul is consistent & honest and has my vote. I'm hoping for a strong finish in South Carolina and polls seem to show him surging somewhat. He did great in the debate tonight, again, and more Republicans need to consider him as a serious candidate.

    http://www.whatthehellbook.com/2012/01/05/fired-for-not-believing-in-hell/

    http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

  • Latest newsflash: Rick Santorum has not dropped out of the race, in fact he's gaing momentum having winning the last three contests. Now there are 3 and soon there will be 2: Romney and Santorum.

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