Should probably pace myself on the 2012 talk, but what the heck, we need something to get excited about: Chris Cillizza of "The Fix" offers a blog post on the top 10 contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. And wouldn’t you know it, two Hoosiers are right there in the mix:
9. Mike Pence: Pence’s decision to step aside as the fourth ranking Republican in the House makes clear that he has his eye on a bigger prize. His allies cast him as the only candidate in the field who can unite social and fiscal conservatives and, in the early cattle calls, Pence has performed well. Still, as a House member, he has to overcome a perceived stature gap as well as show he can raise the money to be competitive.
7. Mitch Daniels: The Indiana governor is term limited out of office in 2012 and, despite saying he would never run for another job, certainly seems to be weighing a presidential bid. Daniels ran and won as an outsider in Indiana and had built a record over the past six years in office that makes fiscal conservatives smile. Daniels’ problem? He doesn’t have much interest in the cultural wars that are so important to social conservatives. Can someone focused almost exclusively on fiscal issues win a Republican primary for president?
And this is a stretch, but … on the other side, this op-ed was published in The Washington Post Sunday, arguing that Obama would benefit his party, himself, and the country most by not seeking re-election. Doubtful, but it’s an interesting argument. Should he heed this advice, one wonders if it may open the door for a more centrist Democratic candidate in 2012 — perhaps a certain former governor/soon-to-be former senator. Time will tell.