The GOP for the second consecutive presidential election cycle has been flailing about* for a consensus candidate who the thinking republicans can support but who will also be acceptable to the kooks.
They were in the same predicament in 2008 with the thinking GOP not wanting McCain who they have longed believed is an unstable nut, and the lunatic base who mostly liked McCain but really none of the others. (The thinkers have always loved Romney but the kook will never bit) Early in 08 there started to be a drum beat for Fred Thompson who suddenly became the panacea for all the party's problems. Only Fred Thompson turned out to be one of the laziest men on Earth who allowed himself to be so flattered by the attention that he thought he could stay home and wait for word that the nomination was his.
This year, with the party kooks holding even more power than before, the GOP is again searching for the Great White Hope to deliver them from minority status to running the country into the ground once more. This is where Mitch Daniels comes in. By all accounts a nice man and talented politician and policy wonk who was just re-elected governor of Indiana. Except that Mitch has a family issue with his first wife for the second time. In 2000, Mitch's wife left him and abandoned her children (the youngest at that time was 8) to run off with a California doctor who she later married and then divorced to return to Mitch and the kids in 2007. Understandable, Mitch did not want to open his family up the scrutiny that would come from the keeper of American family values -- The serial divorcing GOP -- so he has gracefully said 'thanks but no thanks'.
So the media and some conservative pundits have again started bringing up Texas Gov Rick Perry who it seems is an even bigger dim-wit than the last Texas Governor to run for president. Now a poll that has just come out tested Perry's popularity and it seems that even GOP voters have lost their taste for dim-witted Texas cowboys running the White House.
Perry polled near the back of the field among a slate of possible GOP contenders, coming in at just 4%, tying him with former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Sarah Palin came out on top at 12%, while Newt Gingrich trailed at 11%, and Mike Huckabee -- who announced last week that he wouldn't run -- and Ron Paul tied at 10%. Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann both garnered 7% of the vote, and Donald Truhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifmp earned 6%.Even Texans who once famously loved their latest dim-witted cowboy governor have turned on him with only 41% approving of his job as governor. Texas, which budgets in 2 year cycles has followed the national trend and gone from boom to bust.
To be fair to Perry, he has steadfastly maintained that he is not interested in running for POTUS at this time.
So with Perry out, who will be the next Great White Hope for the GOP?
* Before we Democrats gloat too much about the thin GOP bench of presidential candidates, who do we have waiting in the wings? After Tim Kaine, I've got no one. Anybody?
UPDATE (5-27-2011): Perry may run after all.