Often, who attends and who speaks is a preview of who will be running for President in the next election cycle. For 2012, many conservatives may think that Obama and the Ds are ripe for picking off...and they might be right. But, they'll only be correct if they run the right candidate. And that's where it gets difficult for the Rs. They really don't have anyone compelling enough, with new ideas and without significant personal baggage to beat out Obama - at least in my opinion.
For example, here are some leading conservatives thought to be pondering a run at the White House who are speaking at CPAC this week and why I think they couldn't beat Obama:
- Newt Gingrich - way too abrasive, not very good looking, draft dodger and TONS of personal baggage such as leaving his first wife while she had cancer for another woman (and that's just to get things started).
- Mitt Romney - rich, generally considered good looking, but wow...no new ideas, flip-flopper galore and to top it off he is a very boring speaker - not inspiring at all. Oh, and he's Mormon. A lot of Americans won't vote for him based on that alone.
- Ron Paul - perhaps his message more than any other will ring through in these "tea partying" days, but at some point people will realize that when he says "limit the Federal government," he's literally talking about doing away with services millions of Americans rely on daily...and I don't think that'll fly.
- Michelle Bachmann - she's a pandering, megalomaniacal right wing nut job who would be EASILY exposed as a dangerous fraud.
- Haley Barbour - fat, boring and ran the Republican party during the Clinton years...when they were beaten twice. I don't see it happening. Seriously, a fat white southern good-old-boy vs. Obama. Barbour might win that race if it were for Mississippi governor, but not the President of the U.S.A.
- John Bolton - a scary authoritarian who you may remember as the white-moustached, strange haircut guy Bush appointed as the U.S. ambassador to the UN. You think Cheney was not militant enough? You think Bush didn't spend enough on defense? You think Wall Street and big companies deserve bigger profits and less regulation? This is your man. And you will lose to Obama.
- Rick Santorum - nut job from Pennsylvania. Not electable.
Sure, there are some others who may run (Hukabee and Pawlenty for example)...and sure who knows what will unfold between now and election day 2012. But hey, from the clowns they have lined up so far, I just don't see it happening - no matter what you think of Obama at this point.