By the end of January 2007, roughly all major candidates had entered the race for the GOP nomination for President; a move that lead to a mudfest / bloodfest and ruined the political futures of a few individuals. It was a situation that provided a tough lesson, a lesson being strictly and seriously taken by all potential candidates in 2012: For God's Sake, Don't Be First!
The usual cast of characters, those left over from 2008, are expected to enter the race. Being first, however, means becoming a target. If Palin goes first, the other candidates enter as a common sense alternative to the Hockey Mom who has no experience (regardless of her message). If Romney goes first, the others enter the race as small government alternatives without a history of failed state healthcare systems. If Huckabee goes first... well, you see the pattern.
Make no mistake. February will be the month where the staring contest comes to an end. Someone is going to make the first gesture toward the podium. And like Rudy Guilliani in 2008, who went from a sure thing to a has-been, the targets have already been pre-manufactured and the bloodbaths will ensue.
That being said, the RCP average has a neck-n-neck tie between Romney, Huckabee, and Palin, with Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie, and Ron Paul rounding out the field. No one candidate is clearly dead or alive. And the field looks to explode once the usual suspects have thrown their names in the ring.
Who I am most interested to see enter the race: Lou Dobbs and Michelle Bachmann.
Lou Dobbs because we, the people, may actually get a straight answer from our commander in chief. We may actually see an end to the destruction of the US borders. We may have a fiscal strategy that will drastically reduce the national debt, strengthen the dollar, and secure our interests at home. With a Dobbs administration we can expect a post Wilsonian Foreign Policy, a reduction in foreign influence on America, and a period of internal healing and soul searching.
Michelle Bachmann because strong, conservative, and Libertarian leaning women not only get my heart pounding, but because the American people share a special place for that feminine strength. It says something about our nation, and the equal footing provided to all genders or creeds. The message is important, but there is a tactical advantage in picking the right messenger. Someone like Bachmann has the influence and the recognition to put real, hardworking conservative women into the political spotlight... and hopefully remove the spotlight from less experienced celebrity conservatives, such as Palin.
Alas... the race cannot start if all the horses refuse to enter the gates... so they circle in the backfield, waiting... gritting their teeth and honing their sights on the finish... Who is going to define the field? Who is going to be first? Who is ready to become dog meat?
C'Mon guys... let the games begin... we're ready for the entertainment to begin!