The Republicans are providing an intensely diverse field of candidates looking ahead to the 2012 Presidential elections. Incumbents are generally tough to dethrone, and the G.O.P. knows that, unless he majorly screws up over the next year, President Barack Obama will be particularly difficult to remove.
Extensive coverage has been given to business magnate Donald Trump. Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has also been a media favorite for coverage. However, as has been noted by many news organizations, political pundits and involved citizens, the Republican Party is rather short on declared candidates.
A website dedicated to 2012 presidential candidates, http://2012.presidential-candidates.org, provides the lowdown on all candidates of all parties. (Note: the punctuation in the web address is very important; without it you will be directed to a different site.) A disclaimer at the extreme bottom of the pages declares that the site has no affiliation with any party or candidate.
Anyway, using that as a springboard, I discovered that there are four declared candidates, as well as multiple figures who continue to waffle on the issue. Here are the four who know what they want, and here are four who are still wishy-washy about it.
Thomas J. Miller
More commonly referred to as simply Tom Miller, this candidate should not be confused with the Iowa Attorney General. This Tom Miller is a career flight attendant, and he is running on a platform of government reduction. Official campaign website: http://www.reducegovernment.com
Wuensche (pronounced “win-she”) has spent the past 35 years running his residential building company. Like Miller, he is running with a “common man” approach. He ran unsuccessfully in the 2008 presidential election. Official campaign website: http://voteforvern.com
The former Governor of New Mexico (1994-2003) was also a businessman prior to election in 1994. While in office, he had the nickname “Governor Veto.” Like the other Republican candidates, Johnson is focusing on fiscal responsibility. Official campaign website: http://www.garyjohnson2012.com
The only openly gay candidate, Karger represents something of an enigma: a Republican gay rights activist. As far as his career goes, for the last 35 years he has been involved in managing numerous political campaigns as a consultant, including three Presidential races. Official campaign website: http://fredkarger.com
This Georgia native seems to have experienced a variety of professions over the years. Most have been executive positions with such companies as Pillsbury and Burger King. According to Cain’s website, he is considering a bid for president because he believes “the American dream is under attack.” Presidential Exploratory Committee website: http://www.hermancain.com
The current Governor of Minnesota, “T-Paw,” formed an exploratory committee in late March. Apparently, they haven’t explored enough yet. Pawlenty is described by many as the safe bet sort of candidate and/or an alternative to Mitt Romney, who has also yet to explore enough to make a decision. Presidential Exploratory Committee website: http://timpawlenty.com
A U.S. Representative from Minnesota, Bachmann is a Tea Party favorite similar to Sarah Palin, but she has yet to take the first step toward creating an exploratory committee. It is rumored that such a committee will form in June, possibly sooner. A random website dedicated to convincing Bachmann to run for president: http://michelebachmannforpresidentin2012.blogspot.com
The former Ambassador to the U.N. has not formed an exploratory committee like Pawlenty or Cain, but he has voiced a timid interest to various news organizations that he might possibly consider a run for president in 2012, focusing on foreign policy and national security. Facebook page dedicated to uncertain campaign: http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Bolton-for-President/144105262304222