(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.
Larry, Curly, Moe and the Dork!
Romney and Huckabee couldn't even beat McCain.....lol
Maybe Romney can get a prime time slot on FAUX News now too....
This is a rather bleak starting rotation. Jindal is the weakest of this rotation. Newt is the Tom Beringer of this Major League adaptation. Romney and the Incredible Huck are probably their best players. Palin is like Arod. Give her all that money for little production come playoff time.
Too early for the republican presidential candidatess to be lining up. All four are damaged goods.
That picture is a good representation of 'bad to worse'
The only guy on that pic that worried me was Newt. And even he doesn't stand a chance against Obama. Just like before, the repuglicans will be lambs led to the slaughter. They are unaware of fate that is to come and they might even have hope for the future. But, there is no hope for them.
Apparently already throwing in the towel...
What a pack of winners... In the name of Democrats, thank you GOP. You are making 1012 elections a walk on the park.
Thank god cause I don't see anyone out of those GOPers that could even come close bunch of losers like the rest of the GOP.
Mitt Roney belongs on HBO's Big Love, not in the White House.
It's telling that the Republicans are playing politics instead of trying to cooperate in solving the worst crises our nation has faced in almost a century. Who in their right mind would want them in power again? Especially this motley crew?
Please STOP talking about 2012!!!! We just finished 2 years of presidential election hell!!!!
. S. April 1st, 2009 4:05 pm ET
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
You should be RELIEVED that CNN isn't talking about the GOP budget. They're doing them a favor.
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!
All the Repiblican hopefuls are total clowns. Obama's reelection in 2012 will be another blowout. Believe it.
The picture says it all: That is a sad and sorry lot.
Well the Dems are in charge now, I suppose people had enough of the Neo-Cons and thier big-spending, and war-mongering. Now we have a Socialist with no Executive experience from the corrupt Chicago machine, who has spent more money in 3 months than Bush did in 8 yrs.
But just look at the postings from the Obama-bots below, true believers. It reminds me of hallway smack talk from high school, not intelligent debate by a long shot. Its a shame where our country is right now.
Looks like the circus is coming to town (again).
THAT'S the Republicans' idea of candidates for next time? Same old clueless people. That's ok...Obama still has my backing. As an independent I will never vote for a Republican again. Every day the Republicans are more obstructionist, more clueless, more lacking in intelligence and new ideas. And Jindal is not any smarter than Palin.
That photo looks like the starting lineup of the Washington Generals
I gotta say.......that's a messed up picture of Newt.....big frown, and all (LOL) .......
And I agree with an earlier poster.....Huckabee and Romney are the repub's best bet.......but I doubt either could beat Obama if the Pres is even moderately successful over the next 2-3 years ;-) .
Apparently, the only qualifier to be a Republican leader these days is how evangelical you are. We don't want a Theocracy, boys.
Well ,well, if it aint the Key stone cops , oh please bring them on.
Could CNN have found four less flattering photos of these people? I doubt it.
I've said this here before, but as a Democrat, I've got my fingers crossed for Palin in 2012.
I find it hysterical that Palin and Romney are giving it another go. They lot to Obama this past election!! They must like suffering