(CNN) - It's impossible to know how the Republican presidential field will stack up three years from now, yet former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says one candidate in particular may have a big head start.
Speaking at an event Monday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Gingrich said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's continued popularity among the GOP's base would give the former vice presidential candidate an instant boost in Iowa - the state whose caucuses, dominated by rank-and-file conservatives, kick off the primary season.
"Palin starts in Iowa with a substantial base," said Gingrich, who also noted how important the Iowa caucuses have proven to be in presidential campaigns.
He said Palin is "very formidable," and suggested the Alaska governor spend time developing "fairly sophisticated positions" on a range of issues.
Still, Gingrich said it's entirely too early to handicap the 2012 GOP presidential race, since it remains unclear which Republicans will run, and what the state of the economy will be.
"Nobody knows today who is going to fill the vacuum," said Gingrich.
Gingrich, who weighed his own presidential run last cycle, didn't hint at whether he might be interested in mounting his own bid in 2012.
i agree with Bill...McCain lost my vote when he selecte you. I am supporting Obama now and probably will in 4 years if he stays the course and do what is right for America. So far, he is off to a good start.
Obama, quit giving in to the Republicans on the stimulas pacakge. I stronly oppose thier tax cuts, the last eight years of tax cuts got us here.
BEFORE THE YEAR IS OVER , YOU MAY BE WISHING YOU HAD HER NOW , NOT LATER .
YOU SEE IN THAT STIMULUS BILL, THEY WANT TO ADD 5.2 BILLION FOR ACORN . OR HAVE YOU ALREADY FORGOTTEN THEY WERE THE ONES THAT GOT ALL THE ILLEGALS AN WOKE UP THE DEAD TO VOTE .
Fantastic! I'm elated that this wing-nut is ahead. More comic relief.
I think she should spend the next four years in college learning the ABC's of politics. Her absolute lack of knowlege on the world stage as seen in her interviews prevents her from being a serious candidate.
I did not thing the Republicans could find someone more inept than Bush but by golly and by gosh they have in Palin.
Let's hope Newt is wrong because there is no doubt that Palin is!