This All They Got?

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January 5, 2011 5:16 a.m.

I sat down last week to start planning our coverage of the 2012 GOP primaries. One of the first orders of business was assigning specific candidates to each of our campaign reporters, so I drew up a list of all the prominent GOP contenders, hopefuls, wannabes, etc. It wasn’t until I had that list in front of me that it truly hit me how weak the Republican lineup is for 2012:Mitt Romney
Mike Huckabee
Sarah Palin
Tim Pawlenty
John Thune
Ron Paul
Haley Barbour
Mitch Daniels
Mike Pence
Newt Gingrich
John Bolton
George Pataki
Rick Santorum
Michele Bachmann

Fully half of those names have no legitimate shot at putting together a national campaign. The rest, each for their own reason, carry more political baggage than a Sherpa could carry. This isn’t a new observation; but until I reviewed the list, it hadn’t hit home. I think it explains in part why a trial balloon like the one over the holiday weekend about Jon Huntsman gets so much traction.

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