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ROBB AUSTIN'S TURN

2012 Republicans Get Ready for the Big Race

March 6, 2011

The 2012 Presidential campaign is already heating up and potential Republican candidates are jockeying for position in an effort to get off to a good start.

It’s early in the process and the candidates need to stay in the public eye but still be seen as someone who voters will trust as leader of the free world. Balancing exposure against the problem of early overexposure is a tricky process.

The 2012 group of Republicans have their own unique set of pluses and minuses and political analysts and operatives are busy expounding their opinions on a daily basis.

It is no surprise that the one candidate Republican voters seem to really like is the one not running – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The political process is not a science – it’s an art – and it can be likened to the early process of a typical romance. Wooing a voter is like wooing a girl – the more unavailable you remain – the more they seem to like you.

Governor Christie says he’s not running for President under any circumstances, and the result is voters want to see more of him, and many want him to make the run.

The Christie effect aside, frequent television appearances by other potential Republican candidates are not having much of an effect on voters. Some candidates are risking being overexposed, too early, and that’s not a good thing, either.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Sen. Rick Santorum recently severed contractual obligations with Fox News as regular contributors because they are actively making plans to run for President.

Former Governors Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are also regular contributors to Fox, and both have to make a decision soon whether they will enter the presidential race as well.

There is a thought that both Governors Huckabee and Palin will forgo a presidential candidacy, and continue to further their media careers, which are said to be quite lucrative.

Many remember the overwhelming support for Governor Palin when she was initially picked as the vice presidential running mate of Sen. John McCain. Voters were infatuated with her, and the idea of her being on the ticket. They liked the way she looked, her youthfulness, and the fact that she was a new and different politician.

A lot has changed since those days, and we now know a lot more about Governor Palin, and her family, and while many voters remain big fans, the infatuation has long worn off.

There are other Republican candidates who could garner the same kind of voter craze that surrounded Governor Palin. One of them is New York developer Donald Trump. His ability and style as a campaigner is unknown, yet he might be seen as refreshing and different.

Trump is a macho can-do kind of guy who recently came in first in a Republican presidential preference poll that included  frontrunner and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Another presidential newcomer could be Minnesota U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. She is smart, talented, different, and ambitious, and someone that voters may see as an attractive and acceptable alternative to Governor Palin.

Ms. Bachmann delivers a strong conservative message that will be compelling in a Republican primary, and unlike Ms. Palin, no one can question her smarts.

The other candidates are lining up support in early primary states, and thinking ahead about the timing of their official announcements. Republican voters will be looking for someone different, someone who can authoritatively challenge President Barrack Obama, and someone who believes in a deficit-cutting agenda.

Primary campaigns serve to weed out the field, and the process helps to sort out who the candidates are, and who might make a good President. Those who can’t cut it always fall by the wayside somewhere during the process.

It’s impossible to say who will ultimately capture the Republican nomination as it’s a long way until that will be decided.

History has shown that voters will have more than a few surprises as they ponder the choices of those who make the run.