Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lily Livered of the Field

The GOP has a problem. The 2012 silly season is overdue for a start, but most of their potential candidates are still playing it coy and refuse to officially declare. Tea Party darling, Michelle Bachman came close today and her recent tour schedule in early primary states certainly quacks like a crackpot candidacy, but she can't quite find the guts to make it official.
"I'm in for 2012 in that I want to be a part of the conversation in making sure that President Obama only serves one term, not two, because I want to make sure that we get someone who's going to be making the country work again. That's what I'm in for," Bachmann said.

"But I haven't made a decision yet to announce, obviously, if I'm a candidate or not, but I'm in for the conversation."
Romney is out chasing money but is playing the same game. Newt has come the closest but his "big announcement" was creating an exploratory committee to explore whether he wants to officially start an exploratory committee. This may explain part of their reticence:
Most of the big time donors who have given to past GOP presidential candidates are still sitting on the sidelines, further exemplifying the uncertainty surrounding the Republican primary. A USA Today report this week showed that only about 60 of the 530 large donors, or “bundlers,” who raised money for Republican nominee John McCain in 2008 have given to any of the potential 2012 candidates.

...About a third of these people support Romney, the operative said, but much of the rest of the group is waiting for an alternative candidate to emerge.
It seems none of the apparent contenders are likely to pass the Tea Party purity tests, nor are they really exciting the base. And with only five weeks to go, it appears the current big GOP names are afraid to attend the first official debate.
Conversations with Republican operatives this week suggest that there is deep skepticism in the camps of several potential candidates about jumping into a televised debate so soon after getting into the race.
The bulk of the field appears to prefer a fashionably late arrival to the games, a la Fred Thompson. And of course, no one has forgotten that Sarah Palin managed to successfully avoid media exposure for most of her VP candidacy. But both Thompson and Palin were ultimately harmed when the media klieglights illuminated their true vacuity.

Judging from the mutterings about a late arrival dark horse candidate and Rove's interesting observation that it's never too late to declare until December, I'm guessing the GOPers are hoping to avoid an intercine bloodbath for as long as possible and then wage their campaign with a Citizen United enabled attack ad blitz at the very end.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Diane said...

There is also the matter of reporting requirements under even the gutted election laws post Citizens United. As long as the candidates haven't even formed a formal exploratory committee, they don't have to file any reports and can collect donations.

The candidates are not just being coy, they are delaying having to say who is paying how much for their candidacy.

6:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Exactly Diane. Have a bad feeling 2012 is going to be ugly beyond anything we've seen yet.

7:29:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home