The 2012 Presidential Campaign Has Begun!

It is hard to believe, but the 2012 Presidential campaign has begun, just a week after the Presidential election of 2008!

The GOP Governor’s Conference held in Miami this past few days has been the focus of several Republican governors who fancy themselves as possible saviors of the Republican party after the disastrous defeat  of John McCain and Sarah Palin by President-Elect Barack Obama on November 4. 

The Republicans are in sad shape after having lost the suburban vote, the Hispanic vote, the young vote, and the new voter categories in last week’s election.  A massive struggle is beginning for the soul of the party between social conservatives and moderates who see the need to compete for the above voter categories who do not wish to see the control and influence of the Religious Right which turned many groups of voters off and led many to abandon the GOP, when in the past many had found the Republicans appealing.

Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota seem to understand the need for the Republican party to adapt their appeal based on the poor performance of McCain and Palin.  On the other hand, Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Governor Sarah Palin seem to be willing to continue the fight based on the conservative principles that have led to this rapid, sudden decline of the Republican appeal to many groups of voters.  Sarah Palin tried to rehabilitate herself through numerous interviews with the major media that she avoided during the Presidential campaign, and seemed to be trying to erase the bad "first impression"  that she made during the campaign, which led to a majority of Americans in polls late in the campaign declaring that she was ill-qualified to be President or Vice President of the United States.  It will be interesting to witness whether Sarah Palin will be able to become a major factor in the 2012 race, but my suspicion is that it is more likely that Crist, Jindal or Pawlenty will have a better chance to accomplish what I consider is the major need of the GOP to become competitive again–that is, promote MODERATION rather than conservatism and move the Republicans back to the center of the political stage. 

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