Here's an interesting topic for discussion on a Friday: What's the likelihood that any of the 22 Republican governors ever reaches the White House? Ken Rudin handicaps the odds over at NPR's Political Junkie. Let me add my take. Now that Mark Sanford has voluntarily/involuntarily withdrawn his name from 2012 consideration (and who's to say a future comeback isn't possible?), the line between those who realitically have a shot and those who don't can currently be drawn just after Rick Perry. And if that is the case, what can we make of the ordering of those top 8?
The common thread among this group (with maybe the exception of Rick Perry) is that all have been mentioned in one way, shape or form in connection with the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for president. [Of course, there is at least one person out there who sees Sanford's loss as Perry's gain in regard to 2012.] The order of that top eight, then, would be dependent upon who throws their hat in the ring in 2012 and by their subsequent performances in the primaries and caucuses to follow. Pawlenty, Palin, Jindal, Crist and Perry can't all be rising stars in terms of the presidency. Each affects the other if they all enter the race. How each finishes, then, essentially handicaps any future race for the nomination. And that affects the likelihood that those on the bottom half of the order reprise their nomination run.
Let's illustrate this with some examples. Both Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee helped themselves for future runs by doing "well" in the 2008 nomination race. No one, for instance, is talking about Fred or Tommy Thompson or Sam Brownback running again in the future. [You could make the argument that Brownback is running for governor in Kansas as a means of positioning himself for another run at the presidency down the road. I'll grant you that. However, would he cut a second term as the Sunflower state's chief executive in 2016 to run or would he wait out a prospective second term and run in 2020 when he'll be 67? At least his 2008 run will be a distant memory by then.] In 2008 John Edwards was helped in a way similar to that of Romney and Huckabee because of his performance in the 2004 Democratic primaries and resultant VP nomination. Meanwhile, Bob Graham essentially wrote his own obituary for national office when his candidacy didn't take off.
The lesson is that, well, "this town ain't big enough for the [lot] of us." If all of those eight enter (and they won't) there will be winners and losers in terms of future presidential prospects.
Of course, the odds of making it to the White House on anything other than a tour stop are pretty long anyway.
The Answer is Yes
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