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

Schneider: Spring training for the next presidential race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/01/art.gopers.cnn.jpg caption="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. Shawn

    Wow...with clowns like this as the competition, Obama will sail to reelection 2012. Believe it.

    April 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    ok, I can't resist, so take this in context of the past couple weeks:

    More like spring training for the GOP's special olympics!

    tah dah! thank you thank you, I'll be here all week...

    April 1, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Tim

    Very appropriate posts for April Fools Day. First the GOP Budget and not this!!!

    April 1, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    And the first one of them that admits the GOP's budget proposal is a gigantic farce will eventually win the primary.

    April 1, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Once you vote black

    The GOP have got to be putting these 4 up front and keeping their real hope a secret because they have to have someone better then this. I bet in the last two years of Obama's presidentcy they will unvail the reall peopele they hope to elect.

    April 1, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. true daughter of the american revolution

    OMG – shannon, who thinks GWB won the 2000 election fair and square – take that hook out of your mouth and learn to think for yourself.
    the recount was well underway when the supreme court intervened.
    the jury is still out on whether or not that was legal.
    but daddy Bush still has a lot of friends, and so did Cheney; and yet you seem to think the electoral process was not sabotaged?
    can you imagine WHY bush (grandson of prescott bush, who founded the federal reserve – hello!) wanted his son in there?
    do you wonder why the supreme court stepped over their bounds and made that decision?
    and, why Al Gore stepped away? you think he had a choice?
    GWB was going to be the president, whether WE wanted/voted him into the office or not – whether HE wanted it or not.
    and what a lousey job he did – especially the last year.
    how much of this "crisis" we're in now could have been averted if he actually had the good of the american people first in his mind?
    it's hard for me to believe anyone actually thought the 2000 election – or 2004 for that matter – was a Bush victory.
    gimme a break.

    April 1, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. John in VA

    None of them.... please.

    April 1, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. john

    they should not waist their money the GOP is on a run away train, they don't have a chance in 2012

    April 1, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. The Last Patriot

    A solid group of Americans. Now here come the liberal haters...

    April 1, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. shannon chapel hill

    true daughter, watch out I thought I heard a helicopter.

    April 1, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Ballot Box Babe

    The GOP won't go for Mitt: its the Morman "thing" ya know... Bobby didn't do too well with his public rebuttal, Newt has the cheating on his wife "family values" millstone and you can dress Palin up but you'll never make her intellectually curious ... you could run Tina Fey and no one would know the difference!

    April 1, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Susan in NC

    Three Sarah Palin articles just today on CNN's Political Ticker - could you be a bit more obvious.......enough Palin already! She will never be elected to national office in this country.......will not happen!

    April 1, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. tedious898

    RealityKing, you are a complete putz! What defines incompetence to you? Your lack of objective reasoning or simply the failure of the little doofus from Crawford during the last 8 years. I bet you cheered everything he did.

    April 1, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. SMDH

    Where's limbaugh? Everyone knows he's leading the ticket!

    April 1, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. Tony

    Wow that's an impressive A-team.

    April 1, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. Joe

    Enough already! We just had a two year long election. The new president has only been in office for two months. Let's focus on the problems we have to solve now instead of perpetually obsessing about the next tedious boring aggravating election.

    April 1, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. RutyYou

    What a SAD looking bunch. God help us.

    April 1, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Andi

    wow. just wow.

    Is that the only image CNN has of Jindhal? That picture gives me the heebie jeebies

    April 1, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  19. TjayeInLA

    Hmmm...I bet they choose the old white guy.

    April 1, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  20. Casey

    Reomney better be careful about when he says "we don't have one spokesman right now" - Rush might smack him down!

    April 1, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  21. Casey

    @Ballot Box Babe

    Hey, I'd notice the difference if they ran Tina Fey... she would actually be funny.

    April 1, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Larry, Mo, Curly and Shemp. You decide which one's which.

    April 1, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
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