Who Else Will Enter GOP Presidential Race?

Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, George Pataki, and Paul Ryan have all either been encouraged to run, or are considering a run, for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. The speculation reveals a dissatisfaction among Republicans with the current field of candidates.

“She Will Run,” reads the headline of a Monday article on National Review Online about former Alaska Governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Political organizer Peter Singleton said that Palin is scheduled to deliver a “major, major speech” on September 3 in Iowa.

Palin has been spending a lot of time in Iowa, the nation's first caucus state for the presidential nomination, recently. She was at the Iowa Straw Poll and the Iowa State Fair. After her visit to the fair, a video of her at the fair appeared on her Facebook page. The video ends with these words, “Thank you, Iowa! See you again September 3rd.”

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Karl Rove, former campaign adviser to President George W. Bush, also thinks the odds are better than 50/50 that Palin will enter the race.

“I'm not much of a gambler, but I'd put more money that she gets in than she doesn't because the schedule she's got next week in Iowa, it looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity,” Rove said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Palin's entry into the race would likely impact Rep. Michele Bachmann's candidacy the most. Both candidates draw support from social conservatives and the Tea Party movement. Palin's entry into the race would likely, therefore, diminish Bachmann's chances of winning the nomination.

Former New York Governor George Pataki is also likely to enter the race, according to the New York Daily News.

Pataki's liberal stances on abortion, gay marriage and labor unions would make him the most liberal Republican in the race. If former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were to also enter the race, however, he would have some competition for that distinction.

Some Republican Party elites have reportedly been encouraging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to enter the race.

Christie has been praised for his pugnacity and his blunt defense of conservative values. He has effectively tackled his state's budget woes and challenged public-sector unions with a Democratic-controlled legislature. Christie, however, has repeatedly and staunchly denied that he has any plans to run for president.

One reason Christie frequently provides for not entering the race is that, as a one-term governor, he is not qualified to be president. He has also criticized Obama for being unqualified, as a one-term Senator, when he entered the race.

The Weekly Standard ran a story last week on its website, which will appear in its August 29 issue of the magazine, noting that several Republican operatives are encouraging Ryan to enter the race, and Ryan is seriously considering it. Ryan and Christie are both concerned, according to the article, that “the Republican field is not addressing the debt crisis with anything beyond platitudes.”

Christie, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and former Reagan administration official (and personal mentor to Ryan) Bill Bennett, have all reportedly encouraged Ryan to run.

Ryan himself has expressed dissatisfaction with the current field of candidates’ ability to articulate a conservative vision for the nation's future.

“I just have yet to see a strong and principled articulation of the kind of limited government, opportunity society path that we would provide as an alternative to the Obama cradle-to-grave welfare state,” Ryan said during a radio interview on August 12.

In a statement released on Monday, however, Ryan said he will not run for president. "I remain hopeful," Ryan stated, "that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation."

Pollster Frank Luntz said on ABC's “This Week” that dissatisfaction with the current field has to do with “the three P's – principle, politics, and a plan.”

Republicans “want to choose somebody who they are sure is going to defeat Barack Obama, and that ... describes Governor Romney. They want to choose someone with a plan ... what Perry has done in Texas is very impressive. And then they want someone with principle, someone who is not going to compromise, and that ... is Michele Bachmann. But no candidate in the race right now has all three of those P's,” Luntz said.

The advantage that Christie or Ryan would have, if they entered the race, according to Luntz, is that they have all three P's. They have a plan, they can win (politics), and they are principled.

While Republican elites are dissatisfied, rank-and-file Republicans may be taking a “wait and see” approach, or may simply be inattentive to the race at this early stage.

Roger Austin, a Republican political consultant in Florida, told The Christian Post that among rank-and-file Republicans, there is no sense of urgency to select a candidate this early.

“Why would a real voter with a real life and a real job and real bills and a real family feel like they had to get involved now?” Austin asked.

To a certain extent, who Republicans nominate will not matter much in determining the outcome of the election. Austin noted that the election will be about the incumbent. How voters feel about President Obama will more likely decide the race than the Republican nominee.

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