It’s hard to keep track of who is running for president in 2012 among the Republicans. In part because there seem to be so many of them, but also because these days there are a dozen stages of announcing your candidacy before you actually announce your candidacy.
And to think we have 19 months to go! Just this week, the slate of candidates and maybe-candidates have been in the news more for their wacky ideas and missteps than for any policy proposals. Let’s take a look:
They say that Newt Gingrich isn’t giving up, even though his entire staff walked out on him. According to ABC News in this story, Newt will soldier on. One month into his campaign, and he’s already “re-booting.”
Then there’s today’s news about Michele Bachmann. Turns out she spent $3700 of taxpayer money to rent a sound system for one of her appearances at a Tea Party rally. She was there to rail against — you guessed it — the abuse of government power and how much it costs.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is also in the news — for something he didn’t do: Romney didn’t sign a “pro-life” pledge, a promise to only nominate ideologically-bound judges to the federal bench. But it wasn’t the Democrats who criticized him, it was Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. And that’s the best press Santorum’s had since he launched his campaign.
Texas governor Rick Perry hasn’t even said he’s running for president, but media outlets are acting as if he is. Not too long after describing himself as a prophet, Perry was the subject of this interesting piece from The Atlantic, 12 Things Texans Know About Governor Rick Perry That You Should Know, Too. Not even a candidate and we’re being told to look out for this feller.
Herman Cain‘s campaign made the news because of one of the more ridiculous promises ever made in presidential politics: Cain promised he won’t sign any bill over three pages long. I’ll bet after he’s president he breaks that pledge with some lame excuse that he never said how BIG the pages should be.
Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah, is expected to announce his candidacy tomorrow. He’s already got a tough row to hoe. Having served as President Barack Obama‘s choice as U.S. Ambassador to China, he’ll be associated with the one thing the other Republicans are united against: That Man In The White House. On top of that, he’s been a regular LeBron James when it comes to the announcement of his candidacy, letting everyone know a week ahead of time when he planned to announce. Such a strategy has already brought a satirical stab from Utah Democrats.
Sigh. As I say, it’s going to be a long 19 months.