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2012 Odds and Ends

I take a great interest in primary fights and how they help define our party. This is certainly the case with the 2012 fight. However, not every little thing I read is going to lend itself to a full post, and sometimes I’ll post a compendium of recent news from the various contenders. This is one of those times.

–Former PA Senator Rick Santorum told ABC News yesterday that he is “absolutely” looking at running in 2012. I still believe that Santorum is not the candidate we need right now, but he will certainly shake the race up for social conservatives if he gets in. However, he also mentioned fiscal issues as part of his “traditional values” platform:

“I think I’ve been very clear that you know, we need to stand foursquare on the traditional values. When I say traditional values people think, ‘Oh that means, you know, social conservatism and the family. It also means the free enterprise system and that government shouldn’t be large and controlling things — I mean, those are all core Republican principle.

–Sarah Palin signed books in Fairfax (a county where she and Senator McCain were clobbered in 2008), and the enthusiasm that has been noted at previous stops continued in full force. From the WaPo:

Palin fan Greg Williams, 46, of Springfield said he hasn’t felt so strongly about a politician since Ronald Reagan. He spent Friday night in a tent rigged with a tarp to keep out the rain, to make sure he got his chance to see her Saturday. He joined several other campers until about 7:30 a.m., when Fairfax County police made them break down their tents so people near the front of the line could cross the street and stand closer to the store entrance.

One has to wonder how Palin would have been received at the Advance. As Chairman Mullins pointed out, though, this past weekend was for Virginia, though two names that have been floated for 2012 spoke: Minority Whip Eric Cantor (and as even he’ll say, far too prematurely) Bob McDonnell. However, I expect we’ll see her raising money for a Virginia politico very soon. Palin also experienced a good weekend in the polls. CNN has Palin at 46% favorable to 46% unfavorable. This is up from 42% in mid-October.

–Mitch Daniels was in Chicago raising money for Indiana pols. That prompted Race42012 to right this about the burgouning My Man Mitch movement:

While Public Policy Polling has yet to post the results of its online poll of second-tier Republican candidates from earlier this week, Daniels was coming in a strong second just before the polls closed, beating better-known Republicans like Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani while only Pawlenty edged out Mitch for the top spot. Daniels’ assumed, effortless conservatism combined with his ability to apply his philosophy to the issues of the day, all packaged in a personality that provides voters with a stark contrast with President Obama, may mean that Mitch Daniels is in the perfect position to re-assemble the Fred ‘08 movement, only this time led by a candidate who can actually go the distance.

–Finally, outgoing Minnesota Governor and 08 Veep mention Tim Pawlenty has hired a finance director. Pawlenty would certainly make for a solid choice policy wise, but does he really have the charisma for the national stage? One can make a case that Daniels would make it because of his down to earth nature and modesty that real people can relate to. Pawlenty, though, seems to have the ambition and policy chops without a real defining character trait–probably the reason he was passed over for Palin in 2008.

–Finally, Race for 2012 has a chilling recount of Huckabee’s clemencies as governor, including an unusual 12 murderers. In his time in office Huckabee granted more clemencies more than every surrounding state combined.

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