2012 Campaign Starts in 3, 2 . .
Today’s meeting of the Republican Governors’ Association has, not surprisingly, been greeted with speculation that the party’s 2012 presidential nominee is likely in the room.
Facing the prospect of being out of power at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue for the first time since 1992, Republicans are looking to their governors to fill the leadership vacuum. Speculation has centered on the telegenic Palin despite her tumultuous two months on the national political scene. She likely would have competition for a possible 2012 bid from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — all in attendance at the three-day meeting.
Alaska’s once-again full time governor, Sarah Palin, for one is trying to tamp down talk that she’ll be among the contenders.
In a series of national television interviews, Palin did not rule out seeking the presidency, saying, “It’s crazy to close a door before you know what’s even open in front of you.”
Asked about the 2012 talk at a news conference Thursday morning, Palin said, “I, like all of our governors, we’re focused on the future. The future for us is not the 2012 presidential race. It’s next year and our next budget, and the next reforms in our states and in 2010 we’re going to have 36 governors’ positions open across the U.S. That’s what we’re focused on.”
The most sensible reaction:
“Anybody here tonight that has thought about the 2012 presidential election needs to keep their eye on the ball,” Barbour, a former Republican Party chairman, told a reception for the governors and their supporters. “We don’t need to talk about 2012.”
Although, sadly, fundraising probably needs to start no later than February.