It’s no surprise that a number of Republican presidential prospects have been coy about whether they want to get into the 2012 race. Leading the field are a number of 2008 retreads like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and the large media presence of Sarah Palin, with former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels playing the newcomers in the mix. Nor can we forget other names like former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, current Senator John Thune, current House member Mike Pence, or former Senator Rick Santorum. There are even some trying to draft New Jersey’s Chris Christie into the fray.
But the first GOP candidate – or at least the first one who’s at least remotely on the radar screen – announced yesterday he’s forming his exploratory committee. (Unless you’ve heard of Fred Karger? Neither have I, as his biggest claims to fame are being a longtime political consultant and the first openly gay candidate in recent memory.)
Herman Cain, who’s best known as a radio host but has had business experience as CEO of Godfather Pizza, decided to throw his hat into the ring and lead off the process. He’s a TEA Party favorite who could score points as a black Republican candidate. And as he notes on his website:
The American Dream is under attack. In fact, a recent survey found 67% of the American People believe America is headed in the wrong direction. Sadly, this comes as no surprise to those of us who have watched an out-of-control federal government that spends recklessly, taxes too much and oversteps its Constitutional limits far too often.
Obviously that helps to establish Cain’s conservative bonafides. But does he stand a chance in a high-powered field littered with those who have years of political experience, many of whom were veterans of previous national campaigns?
Time will tell. But in the meantime, he could be the domino which starts the other major contenders either jumping into the race officially or taking a pass.
And it means I’ll have to start studying up on how the challengers feel about the issues as they race to unseat President Obama. Looks like over the summer I’ll have to resurrect my “who will I support?” series from 2007, with the same topics but perhaps in a little different priority order.