April 1st, 2009
03:30 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Spring training for the next presidential race

Who is on deck to lead the Republican Party?
Who is on deck to lead the Republican Party?

(CNN) - It's spring training, when hope springs eternal for the coming season. That's true for baseball players and for political players.

The scouts are out there, eyeballing hot prospects for the next Republican pennant race. Right now it's wide open.

"We don't have one spokesman right now. That's just one of the features of not having either house in Congress or having the White House. You don't have an official place to be heard," former Massachusetts Governor and former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told CNN's Larry King recently.

Romney's the Republicans' power hitter. Republicans have a history of nominating candidates who ran and lost before - Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole, John McCain. Romney ran in the last presidential campaign and did pretty well.

He wins straw polls of conservative insiders all the time, including the 2007 Iowa straw poll and the last three straw polls taken at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

"This is the time to pare back government spending. It is not the time to fulfill every liberal dream and spend America into catastrophe," Romney told CPAC in February.

Romney's all over television, and this week he's addressing a national Republican fundraising dinner. His interest in the next race?

"That is too far to speculate on," Romney told CNN"s John Roberts on American Morning.

That's the political equivalent of, `"Aw, shucks."

Sarah Palin got a late season call up last year. She recently urged a dinner of Alaska Republicans to keep the conservative faith.

"Sometimes, the middle of the fence is really the most uncomfortable place to be," John McCain's 2008 running mate told Republicans at the Anchorage Lincoln Day Dinner.

Palin has declined an invitation to address a national Republican dinner in June. She'll be replaced by the party's leading pinch hitter, Newt Gingrich. Is the old timer looking to make a comeback?

"I am not undertaking any steps at the present time to do anything about a presidential campaign," the former House Speaker said last month after an appearance on the Sunday talk shows.

Try taking that to the bank.

Mike Huckabee's the Republicans' position player. He ran last time and got most of his support from southern Republicans and religious voters.

"My conservatism is rooted in my understanding of the scriptures," the former Arkansas governor told CPAC last year.

The leading rookie prospect? Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who created a stir when he spoke to a Republican dinner last month here in the nation's capital.

"Do you want the president to fail?" Jindal asked himself. His answer: "It depends on what he is trying to do."

Is it too early to start the next pennant race? Well, you might say the 2008 Democratic race started four years before, when an unknown player was selected to make a speech at a party event. That was a rookie by the name of Barack Obama.


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Vickie 4 Obama now & beyond

    Each of them can put their hat in the ring but if they don't change there message it just won't happen for the GOP – People voted for change because they are truly tired of the same old politics and tired of false promises. Obama isn't perfect but most would say he is sticking to his game plan and that's what the Republicans need to do if they have any hope of taking this away from Obama....

    April 1, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. shucks

    What a line up. Can't wait to see who the real defacto leader of the republican party Rush Limbaugh endorses.

    April 1, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. J. S.

    Where's the out cry about Katheen Sibelius? not paying her taxes? She's a nominee for President Obama's cabinet and the American public needs to know.
    Where's the posting of the budget the Republican Party submitted today? It shouldn't just be dismissed by the leberal media–some of the AMERICAN citizens would like to read it

    April 1, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Rob

    It's not that there isn't a place for the GOP to be heard. It's more that people are tired of hearing lies and simply aren't listening to the GOP anymore...

    April 1, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. weneedachange

    Every last one of them looks like a joke!! Repudys is the best you can do?

    April 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. arithmetic is liberal

    Those four candidates spell F-A-I-L.

    Could someone please carbon date for us the rock from which the Republicans are currently excavating Gingrich?

    Apparently, the economy isn't the only thing going back to 1994 levels!

    April 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Flex

    Why are Republican religious politicians all about their religion? If they get so much out of it, why do they need to talk about it in public?

    They sound stupid, and self righteous!

    They weren't born religious!

    April 1, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. RealityKing

    Anyone will do after this kind of incompetence...

    April 1, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Zach Stewart

    Zach Stewart April 1st, 2009 4:10 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Here's my prediction. Romney – Huckabee vs. Obama – Biden. Romney is the only Republican that could beat Obama in 2012. If he has Huckabee as his running mate, they could give Obama and Biden a run for their money.

    April 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Glo Gartner Taos NM

    If ever there were a picture of a motley crew....this is it!
    GOP....think progress!

    April 1, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Jim B

    Note to Mr Romney – the republicans have already spent us near to catastrophe. Typical republican ploy: they borrow to the hilt when they are in office and say "the deficit" doesn't matter. Then when they are out of office, they suddenly look at the deficits they left behind and say they do matter. Bunch of hypocrites if you ask me.

    In addition, republicans are big on talking tax reduction but woefully short on proposing cost reductions in the federal budget. The public is tired of their failed economic policies – who would listen to them given the state of the country?

    April 1, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Allan

    This batch of candidates isn't even ready for AAA, let alone the big leagues. Looks like Obama's going to be a two-termer.

    April 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Jackie in Dallas

    Of course, it is policies that Romney supports that put us in this position - he's always been a proponent of big business deregulation and letting them do what ever they want (including giving his campaigns big money).

    Ho, hum. Palin, Jindal - not a chance, no change. Newt and Mitt, pathetic and worn out. It is about time that the GOP started doing some real recruiting of some real NEW possibilities. Their best chance of getting back in the race is with moderates with a conservative bent, not more of the same old crap they always do. Dropping the proven unworkable trickle-down economics would help, plus dropping their usual cutthroat, take no prisoners campaigning.

    Jindal and Palin probably should devote some time to actually doing the jobs they are being paid to do - like attending legislative meetings and attending to critical needs of their respective states. Bet Jindal regrets the whole "we don't need volcano monitoring equipment" statement, now that one of Alaska's blew up and has been affecting air traffic and commerce in that state.

    April 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. Brian Crooks

    I love how whenever we spend money here to make our country better it's reckless liberal spending, but whenever we spend money to fight wars overseas it's patriotic and shouldn't even be questioned. That's why for 6 years, every dime spent in Iraq was "emergency spending" but 47 million Americans without health care isn't an "emergency." It doesn't matter which one of these jokers they nominate because their ideas are stale and outdated.

    When the top tax rate was 70%, the tax cut argument made sense. When the Soviets were aiming nukes at our coast and performing military operations in open waters every day, rampant military spending made sense. But now, the top tax rate is half of what it was in 1979 and the Soviets are GONE. But the Republicans want to stick by the golden oldies and keep cutting taxes for the wealthy and keep producing the F22, a fighter designed to go into battle against the next generation of Soviet MIG. Well guess what? There is no next generation of Soviet MIG. We could do just as much, if not more, with the F15 but the Republicans want to spend unlimited money on the military so I guess we should just pay triple for more F22's RIGHT?!

    April 1, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Bankrupt

    Gingrich / Vitter should run on a family values platform with Larry Craig as campaign chairman/spokesperson

    April 1, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. alvino

    RealityKing must be referring to the incompetence of the little fella from Texas, who tried to destroy the country.

    April 1, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. munchmom

    Please no, not election junk again–we just finished one I would like to forget.....

    April 1, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Brian Crooks

    April 1st, 2009 4:14 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I love how whenever we spend money here to make our country better it's reckless liberal spending, but whenever we spend money to fight wars overseas it's patriotic and shouldn't even be questioned. That's why for 6 years, every dime spent in Iraq was "emergency spending" but 47 million Americans without health care isn't an "emergency." It doesn't matter which one of these jokers they nominate because their ideas are stale and outdated.

    When the top tax rate was 70%, the tax cut argument made sense. When the Soviets were aiming nukes at our coast and performing military operations in open waters every day, rampant military spending made sense. But now, the top tax rate is half of what it was in 1979 and the Soviets are GONE. But the Republicans want to stick by the golden oldies and keep cutting taxes for the wealthy and keep producing the F22, a fighter designed to go into battle against the next generation of Soviet MIG. Well guess what? There is no next generation of Soviet MIG. We could do just as much, if not more, with the F15 but the Republicans want to spend unlimited money on the military so I guess we should just pay triple for more F22's RIGHT?!

    April 1, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. alvino

    Where the heck is Joe the unlicensed plumber? He is a lot brighter than the Mitt wit.

    April 1, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Los

    I respect Romney, even if I disagree with his politics. The other three are a complete joke.

    April 1, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Independent White Woman

    Who is on deck to lead the Republican Party?...none of the above

    April 1, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  22. alvino

    These four look like they should be on a post office wall.

    April 1, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. alvino

    Of the four, I think Sarah is the smartest. What ever that means.

    April 1, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Jacksonville/Democrat

    Zacy Stewart where were you doing the primary. Romney-Huckabee couldn't beat their our primary. So why do you think they will beat President Obama and Vice President Biden? LOL, what a joke. All four of these Republicans. Doesn't matter who the Republicans choose to run; we (democrats and everyone who voted) for President Obama will give them a run for their money. Get ready because here we come again.......Two terms.

    President Obama/Biden 2012

    April 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. greg in florida

    people really need to understand that their are more than one type of conservatives.. even conservatives need to refresh their memories as well as the republican base...

    fiscal conservatives and social conservatives .. are in essence apples and oranges... someone can be one or the other and sometimes both.. but not always.... know who your choices are before you make your decision.. or else, you will think you are electing a social/fiscal conservative, but you end up with a neo-conservative, which cares neither about social issues or small government, just making money at any and all costs...(cough cough.. george W,,,, boy did he fool republicans and totally make them look stupid and ruined their judge of character, lol)

    sincerely,

    a progressive democrat

    April 1, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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