At this juncture, it still seems to me that if the Republicans could just get their act together and nominate a middle of the road or moderate to right candidate with some reasonable stature, they would have a good to excellent chance of reclaiming the presidency. Not because Barack Obama is so bad, but more because the general mood of the public seems to be that things are not so good (and hope and change has become more of the same).
And with black man Herman Cain, the pizza magnate, winning the Florida Republican straw poll, how about this?: two black men running under the standard of the two main political parties opposing each other in the 2012 presidential race. I don’t think that is really going to happen. The straw polls seem to be skewed by a lopsided participation of the extreme right wing nuts.
There is the continuing cry for outspoken, tough talking, supposedly straight shooter New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run. Meanwhile even though some of the far-right crowd would like to see him enter, from what I have read, many of his political stances would not make them happy — maybe they don’t follow the real news as closely as they should (don‘t tell them he thinks birthers and climate change deniers are nuts).
I think Mitt Romney or Christie could beat Obama. I think Jon Huntsman could too, but he would be even more anathema to the Republican hard right than Romney seems to be sometimes, and you have to get nominated before you can win in the general election.
Loyal Democrats, meanwhile, have to hope that the Republicans keep up their love affair with or fear of the nut cases (such as Bachman and Perry), letting them have their way to not offend them, and keep up their own civil war (united we stand, divided we fall and all).
It would be fun to see Christie in the race. He harkens back to the era of rotund Republicans, such as William Howard Taft.
Also, I miss the smoke-filled rooms where the candidates used to be nominated. When I was a kid I used to love to watch the political conventions on TV. At that time candidates were actually nominated there rather than the multitude of state primaries. I’m not sure it was not a better system. It was thought the primary system would be more democratic (small d). But it’s all a money game anyway. And it has made it tough for the parties to remain united and then to have cohesion in the legislative process so things can move along. Sometimes no action is good. That is sometimes gridlock is good. But at times, when the nation is in a crisis, it is not so good.