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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Potential ABBO2012 Candidates Have Interesting Weeks

Rankings by guest contributors can be forwarded to solly.forell@gmail.com or @Solly_Forell on twitter. For rankings submitted on twitter - initials will suffice.

List candidates in order of who can beat Barack Obama or who best represents what you are looking for as a replacement for the current POTUS.

* Contributors who Rank Candidates in the ABBO2012 Top 10 will not be identified or associated with their individual ranking unless specifically requested. ABBO2012 Top 10 editor reserves the right to refuse any submission that defeats the spirit of civility, courtesy and common decency.


Anybody But Barack Obama (ABBO) 2012 - Top 10
‘An American Poll of One, influenced by millions‘:

1 Scott Brown
Not much has happened to change my mind about Scott Brown. If he were pitted head-to-head against Barack Hussein Obama today - Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) defeats the sitting President and by a wide margin. His having been sworn in this week has taken some of the luster from his aura but he’s still in possession of the “it” that would allow him to overtake Mr. Obama.

American Politics is a complicated mechanism. It is possible but not probable that Senator Brown would be the Republican Nominee. That said - the field or one among them must try to overtake the relevant star power of the Junior Senator from Massachusetts.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Much has been written about Scott Brown’s historic campaign to win the Massachusetts Senate Seat held by Edward ‘Ted’ Kennedy in a recent special election. He bested the Democratic Candidate Martha Coakley and even an eleventh hour Command Performance by the Commander in Chief Barack Hussein Obama.

If you doubt the strength of Scott Browns political metal - consider that the eyes of the nation’s literate electorate were aligned ’for’ or ’against’ Scott Brown and the 41st Senate vote against Obamacare (aka health care reform). Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley, became that 41st vote and best of all - defeated the influence of the President’s Bully Pulpit. That’s got to be enough to give Scott Brown the national stature necessary to defeat Barack Obama head-to-head if they were pitted against each other today or three years from now in 2012.

With the country willing to vote 47% for a candidate other than Barack Obama for President as of the January 27 release of voter preference polling, Scott Brown has to be considered the candidate with the ‘star-power’ to chase Barack Obama out of Washington. Until someone establishes themselves as worthy of being included in a discussion about candidates able to defeat Barack Obama - Scott Brown sits atop this Top 10 ABBO 2012 list alone.

2 Colin Luther Powell
In my view, Colin Powell’s hold on the number 2 position in this candidate ranking is the same reason that Senator Scott Brown remains in the top position. His is a name I advance for debate with all takers who oppose the prospect of a Powell candidacy versus Barack Obama.

Whether it’s a spirited debate in a neighborhood barbershop about the appropriateness of two American Black Men running against each other or in the line at the Post Office where taxes and two wars are more prevalent issues, Colin Powell is a highly respected presidential prospect.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and former Secretary of State Colin Powell is my favorite ‘statesman’ to have never run for the Presidency. A few times in history, we’ve had two really bad choices to choose from in Presidential Elections. 2000 was one of those times. GB43 was the lesser of two ill-suited candidates for what we faced on 9/11 and afterwards. The good thing about George Bush, save for Donald Rumsfeld, is that he did assemble a cabinet that was at its core - competent and capable. A Gore Presidency would have featured Gore which would have been bad enough but he would have staffed his kitchen cabinet with the same mixed bag of nuts that Barack Obama assembled less Van Jones.

2000 was a year when Colin Powell would have won the Presidency in a landslide against any American Democrat on the Planet and would have beaten Bill Clinton head-to-head for good measure if necessary. Mrs. Powell stopped that bid and ruled out future Presidential bids for her hubby but stranger things have happened. I wrote General Powell at the Obama White House, imploring him to run in 2012 to help correct the mistake of the American Electorate having elected Barack Hussein Obama.

3 Sarah Palin
You can never say that Sarah Palin missed the opportunity to turn her 15 minutes of fame into money. Who can fault her for turning her name into a brand? Her week has included the disclosure that husband Todd was more involved in Alaska state government that most realized and delivering the keynote address at the Tea Party National Convention.

In my opinion, her remarks ran a little long but she is a major-league headliner right now.
While she can wield the influence that fills seats and coffers, it just makes sense to capitalize on the situation. The Presidency still seems to be a stretch for her at this point.

I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008. This would suggest that I believed Ms. Palin was ready to be President in the event John McCain was unable to complete his Presidency. This was not the case. Similarly, my prayer is that Barack Obama serves every hour of one term because a single hour with Joe Biden would be a predictable disaster.

As a an lone option against Barack Obama, I choose Sarah Palin. Given her star-power and role in the national debate she still belongs among the favorites.

Summary As of 1/31/10
I can see Sarah Palin as a lot of things but President of the United States is not one of them. That goes for today, three years from now and beyond. She has proven to me, without question, that she is better suited for commenting on how something was done or should have been done. Sarah Palin making a critical decision, however, is a less palatable scenario.
Her quitting the governorship of Alaska seems, in hindsight, to have benefited the Palin’s and Sarah more that the citizens of Alaska. On the whole, she nor Barack Obama were qualified to be President when they were one and two on opposing tickets. The good thing is that Sarah Palin didn’t become the 47th Vice-President of the United States. Obviously, the bad thing is that Barack Hussein Obama became the 44 POTUS. Still, Sarah Palin presents herself as a likeable, attractive, 40-something conservative political voice.

4 Mitt Romney
If the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary were a horse race, one would expect Mitt Romney to be running among the pack not wanting to flaunt being the favorite. There is little else for him to do now aside from raising money. With most attention on former Governor Palin and Senator Brown, former Governor Romney is better off blending in.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Steve Hayes, Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer view Mitt Romney as the front runner to be the Republican Nominee in 2012. The biggest problem with Mitt is that he couldn’t beat Barack Obama if the election were held today. The biggest upside to Mitt Romney is that his opponent’s poll numbers fall almost daily and time will only make the situation worse for the 44th Presidential Administration. Romney’s stock will rise inversely proportional to any health care reform bump Obama may hope to get later this year.

5 Newt Gingrich
The first week of February 2010 is a perfect example of the problems that Newt Gingrich will have in establishing Republican Presidential Nominee traction. He was in a commentary role major commentary role one or twice but nothing that rivaled Scott Brown being sworn in as a Senator or Sarah Palin Keynoting the Tea Party National Convention and dominating the tabloids with compelling spousal stories.

Newt Gingrich lacks what the top prospects have in abundance and that’s star-power. He’s not exciting and only presents well when sitting or at a podium. The first time he is seen walking across a stage or entering a venue looking jolly - his candidacy will be all but over on appearance alone.

Head-to-head against Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich fairs about the way Bob Dole did against Bill Clinton.

Summary As of 1/31/10
If I wanted to take a course on American History, Newt Gingrich would certainly be an instructor I’d be interested in signing up for. If Newt Gingrich were the only candidate on the ballot against Barack Hussein Obama for the Presidency of the United States in 2012 - Newt Gingrich would certainly have my vote. That said, there are at least 5 Republican potential candidates for 2012 that will likely be ahead of Gingrich by the 2010 elections.

The problem with a Newt Gingrich candidacy is that his opponent would be an incumbent Barack Obama. The 18th Anniversary of the Contract With America will be celebrated in 2012 but who could give the architect of that movement good odds against the modern day Master Communicator.

6 Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee is a talk show host. This is a good role for him.

Head-to-head against Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee would lose badly.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Without pulling any punches, I can’t say that Mike Huckabee inspires me as a potential POTUS. He’s portly, somewhat jolly and reminds me more of Mr. Weatherbee from the Archie Comics than someone I’d like to see sitting across from Vladimir Putin, Gordon Brown or any world leader for that matter. Being brutally honest, I don’t believe the American People would vote to replace Barack Obama with Mike Huckabee. If the election were held today and Huckabee were the GOP nominee I would likely sit the 2012 Presidential Election out as would many others I imagine.

7 Tim Pawlenty (Gov. MN)
Last week, Governor Pawlenty was among the Honorable Mention but following a strong showing this week, he replaces Ron Paul as a more viable candidate to be listed among the Top 10.

2/2 tweet
Tim Pawlenty's quote "Ponzi Scheme on the Potomac" good enough 4 spot N the #ABBO 2012 Top 10 http://anybodybutbarackobama2012.blogspot.com/

Summary As of 1/31/10
Tim Pawlenty- Saw Governor Pawlenty on Fox several times this week and he pointed out several Obama Policy flaws that were easy to follow. He will undoubtedly crack the Top 10 in the coming weeks.


8 Rudy Giuliani
The Mayor is really not a part of the discussion about potential Republican Nominees. He may feel differently so for the time being he’ll hold this spot.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy. What to make of you is quite a complexity. You’ll never be elected President and I might not be able to explain this assertion in 1,000 words but some things you just know if you know things. As a matter of fact, I see you not holding this 8th spot on the ABBO 2012 Top 10 for very long if beyond this initial January 31, 2010 posting.

9 Michael Bloomberg
Most noteworthy position is as an opponent of DOJ’s plan to try KSM in lower Manhattan. Amazing how tunes change when cost becomes an issue.

Position may be better filled by more likely candidate.

Summary As of 1/31/10
Mr. Michael Bloomberg of Bloomberg Financial and Mayor of New York has a very attractive skill set for the Presidency. He is a money man and this is a money nation. With a gift for negotiation and an ability to assemble a National Security team and strategy, he could most certainly extrapolate everything in between.

As one of my two outsiders for the Presidency, Michael Bloomberg could be a factor in the 2012 race for the White House.

10 Robert Gates
Things didn’t go so well for Mr. Gates this week on Capital Hill. His comment about when - not whether - Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would be repealed was correct by Senator John McCain.

Position may be better filled by more likely candidate.

Summary As of 1/31/10
To hear Barack Obama tell it, everything about the George W. Bush Presidency was a complete disaster save for one shining star - Robert Gates. The last two Presidents have seen fit to entrust the leadership of the Defense Department to him during the execution of two wars. That’s got to be a confirmation that if nothing else, Robert Gates is a man qualified to be President by modern standards.

As he is certainly not running for the Presidency in 2012, it is fitting that Robert Gates hold the tenth spot as my second outsider.

Honorable Mention:

Bobby Jindal- When the 2012 Presidential Nominee is decided, Bobby Jindal will still be no more than an Honorable Mention in this and every other relevant poll. It will take several years for folks to forget his response to Obama’s first address before Congress. He was less than inspiring and looked more like the maitre d’ at a fancy restaurant. He is also quite slight in appearance for the office of the Presidency.


x7 Ron Paul (R-TX)
Now that his son is getting more headlines than his dad, it’s time to exclude Ron Paul from the discussion.

Summary As of 1/31/10
If there ever comes a time that America is desperate enough to elect Ron Paul as POTUS, I’ll run myself. Can’t get the image out of my head of him sitting alone in a room on a folding chair in a cheap blue suit, even cheaper accessories and a pair of shoes I wouldn’t be seen plowing in. Pathetic. He must never be allowed to leave the United States as a lone representative of this country.

Appearance aside, his countenance is that of an uptight librarian; a bit of a nuisance to have to listen to. You know he’ll never be accepted by the masses though his message is well thought out. Some people and some messages are summarily dismissed because the source is so uninspiring whereas Barack Obama is the opposite - an inspiring source with a ridiculous message. Unfortunately in 2008, the masses went for the ridiculous message.

Regardless of the landscape in 2012, Ron Paul will be little more than a nuisance trying to be heard.

Paul Ryan as an outside chance candidate per Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard (1/29 Fox ‘Special Report’ with Brett Baer). Undoubtedly destined to the Top 10 in coming weeks. As of this 2/7/10 posting, still don’t know Paul Ryan.

Jenny Ryan as an outside chance candidate per Kirsten Powers of the New York Post (1/29 Fox ‘Special Report’ with Brett Baer). Not on any radar that I monitor but that’s not to say she won’t become more prominent in the discussion at a later time.

General David Patreus as an outside chance candidate per Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post (1/29 on Fox’s ’Special Report’) because Patreus won’t be running against the sitting Commander in Chief and his boss. He is described as a potential candidate for the presidency in 2016. As of this 2/7/10 posting, still don’t know Jenny Ryan.

Someone that should have make this list did not and I am sure I’ll hear about it.
Check back on Sunday nights just after midnight for updates.
Follow me and the running commentary on twitter @ Solly_Forell or contact me directly at solly.forell@gmail.com.

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