Shakeups in the GOP 2012 lineup are in the cards!
Strike Two for Newt
It's been a busy week for GOP presidential hopefuls. First, the bad news: Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich suffered another major setback with the resignation of much of his top campaign team. It's something of a mass exit including his campaign manager and spokesman. Newt still suffers from an earlier strike made after he appeared to attack the Paul Ryan plan. This is his second strike. One more and he's out.
Pawlenty Picking Up?
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the first beneficiary of the latest Newt meltdown scoring the support of former Georgia Governor Sunny Perdue who had been a co-chair of Newt's campaign. On Thursday, Perdue switched his support to Pawlenty.
Another beneficiary to the Newt meltdown is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Many of his top political aides went to work for Newt but have quit at the same time Perry is leaning towards making a run. Perry would be a sound, conservative choice that would appeal to establishment GOP voters as well.
Word is that former NY City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is considering getting into the race. He flopped bigtime in 2008 after cutting and running from early contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina hoping to win big in Florida. He didn't. Those who went out on a limb for him in those early states may be a bit cautious about giving him a second chance to leave them high and dry.
Bachmann Hires Rollins who Disses Palin
Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) recently hired political pro Ed Rollins (former Huckabee campaign manager) to work on her as yet unannounced campaign. In a radio interview on Tuesday he took a shot at Sarah Palin calling her unserious. That might not be a wise move if Bachmann wants to pick up Palin supporters if the former Alaska Governor decides not to run.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who remains at the top of most early polls (which frankly aren't worth much) seems to be the man to beat. And for those looking for an alternative to Mitt there seem to be plenty of strong candidates including those mentioned above. Romney has announced he will skip the Iowa Straw Poll in August, which is a traditional early test for nominees, and has hinted he may downplay campaign efforts in South Carolina. None of that will sit well with conservatives in those states who are already concerned about the Massachusetts health care law Mitt signed or his stand on global warming.
Though the GOP has the often unfortunate tradition of nominating the guy who came in second the last time, it's possible that a strong "Stop Mitt" movement is able to coalesce around one or two of the top contenders. Rudy, Perry and Pawlenty would all appeal to establishment GOP voters who are not comfortable with Mitt. Of those three, Perry is the most conservative.
The fun is starting and it's only June. Stay Tuned!