Thoughts on the 2012 Republican field
I was very disappointed when Indiana governor Mitch Daniels decided he would not run for President in 2012. Many Republicans thought that Daniels - who was re-elected with nearly 60% of the vote the same day that Barack Obama became the first Democrat to win Indiana since 1964 - would be the best chance to defeat Obama next year.
That said, I cannot see why Republicans are so pessimistic about our chances of getting rid of Obama next year. There are even whispers that Republicans should focus on winning the U.S. Senate instead of defeating Obama.
I don't get the pessimism. I just don't get it. Look back at 2008. John McCain was a pathetic loser of a candidate, the GOP base was depressed, the Democratic base was energized, the economy collapsed right before the election, and people were sick of George W. Bush.
Even with everything breaking in his favor, Obama still got only 53% of the popular vote nationwide. He should have gotten 60% in that environment, but he didn't. That demonstrates to me that Obama's support was a mile wide and an inch deep. That support evaporated in 2010, and that election was a rebuke of Obama.
There are some good candidates who have decided not to run. There are good candidates remaining, however, as well as some good options who have not yet entered the race. I believe any of the Republicans listed below, with the exception of Ron Paul, could defeat Obama. This is not to say any of them are perfect, because some of them (specifically Romney, Paul and Gingrich) have significant flaws. If any of these people won the Republican nomination in 2012, I would cast a Republican ballot, though I would be more excited about some than others.