Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Republicans afraid to commit to 2012?

Republicans seem to be dragging their feet to declare a 2012 presidency campaign against Barack Obama. Obama formally announced his plans to run for reelection at the beginning of April. However, many of the big names for GOP potentials are still testing the waters.

Obama’s campaign is speculated by The Washington Post to become the first billion dollar presidential campaign in history. As of now, the list of his confirmed opposing candidates is measly: Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; Fred Karger, political consultant and gay rights activist; Tom Miller, a career flight attendant; and Vern Wuensche, businessman.

Where’s attention mogul Donald Trump? What about 2008 veterans Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney? These so-called GOP stars are among the long list of figures hesitant to officially announce intention to run.

Potentially even more striking is the list of Republicans who have outright turned down the 2012 ballot. Some of these big names include governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour, South Dakota senator John Thune, governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, former governor of Florida Jeb Bush and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.

The New York Times identified several reasons why the response has been so timid. These include financial burdens, the economy status and internal struggles from the Tea Party movement. This powerful position is one that comes with heavy responsibilities and commitments.

One of the factors that may be discouraging candidates is the gaping lack of privacy, which has been prevalent in the Trump stunts to have Obama’s birth certificate publicized, leading to Trump’s agreement to release his tax returns. What’s next, college transcripts? Oh, wait …

It appears that the Republican party is not just shy, it’s in trouble. According to a New York Times/CBS poll, almost 60 percent of surveyed Republicans can name a potential candidate they are enthusiastic about. Out of the top contenders, only Huckabee and Sarah Palin are viewed favorably by more than half of Republican voters.

So, maybe it is the finances and media spotlights that’s keeping the Republicans out of the ring. Or, perhaps it’s because none of them have a strong chance. So far it seems like the American people aren’t too impressed by the potential competitors. That feedback just might be what’s holding these politicians back from devoting their time and money into a campaign.

Kirstin Cook
Communication Studies
Wilkes 2013

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