GOP '12 Notes

Here are a few items of interest about some of the folks on my latest Top 25 ranking of GOP 2012 Presidential Nominees. (Also, please note that my latest rankings cleverly included two #18s, but no #23. Oops. Please mentally renumber to compensate.)

--USN&WR's Washington Whispers informally surveyed Republican leaders for long-shot 2012 nominees, and gave a top four of my #1 Tim Pawlenty; #3 Mark Sanford; #7 Jon Huntsman, and #13 Eric Cantor. Also mentioned: #5 John Thune, #21 Jeb Bush, and unlisted Richard Burr.

--#2 Jim DeMint and #10 Rick Perry held what they dubbed "Tea Party 2.0," via teleconference yesterday... which is kind of like if the colonists had protested by sitting in their homes spilling tea on their floors.

--#6 Mitt Romney and #15 Haley Barbour are both speaking at the Celebration of American Values Leadership Forum of the NRA's annual convention this afternoon, in Phoenix. America, values, leadership, and guns all in one place!

--#9 John Ensign not only visited Iowa, as I had mentioned, but he extended his visit to do extra events in GOP-heavy western IA.

--#12 Mitch Daniels pens a WSJ op-ed today complaining that cap-and-trade is "imperialism." Specifically, it is "wealthy but faltering powers -- California, Massachusetts and New York -- seeking to exploit politically weaker colonies." I hate when our colonies get all rebellious like this. Anyway, to assert his apolitical credibility, Daniels (in his final term as governor under term limits) gratuitously tosses in: "I'm not a candidate for any office -- now or ever again." Any office? Ever? Strong words, Mitch, but I'm not sure I believe you.

--#14 Jon Kyl used the term "Sisyphean" correctly in a sentence.

--#16 Bob Corker is keynoting the South Carolina GOP Silver Elephant Banquet tonight. This is the kind of thing future Presidential candidates do. Oh, and BTW, this weekend the SC GOP will reportedly choose Karen Floyd as its new chair, which might not bode well for #2 Jim DeMint, who endorsed someone else.

--#18 Tom Ridge declined to run for PA Gov.

--#19 Mike Huckabee led a new Pres. '12 preference poll among Republicans, with 20%, followed by #6 Romney, #17 Newt Gingrich, #23 Sarah Palin, and unlisted Rudy Giuliani.

--#22 Charlie Crist declared for Senate in 2010... and immediately signed the Grover Norquist "I will never, ever, vote on anything that can be thought of as a tax increase, ever, anyhow" pledge. This is the start of a rightward move to beat Marc Rubio in the primary.


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