It’s far from certain at this point which Republican will face Barack Obama in next year’s presidential election. What is clear is that the various campaigns are going to be messy affairs.
Of course, Obama will be the Democratic nominee for re-election — but his approval ratings, justly, are running less than 50 percent. That’s due mainly to the weak economy.
What about the Republicans?
One of the leading GOP prospects is (or was) Newt Gingrich. But now, all of his top campaign staff have suddenly resigned and abandoned him, expressing “differences.” What’s going on? Gingrich is still running, but if his closest campaigners are abandoning him, what does that say about his prospects?
Meanwhile, Republican Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is in controversy about the government bailout of the sick U.S. automobile industry. Romney was right to oppose the bailout, but union autoworkers in Michigan are protesting his position. It surely won’t be the last criticism he endures in coming months.
Sarah Palin is in the news, too, as 24,000 pages of emails from her time as Alaska’s governor have been released to the public in response to open-records requests. Her critics will be picking them apart, trying to find something that may harm her expected presidential campaign.
Then there are other possible Republican candidates, such as Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Rick Perry.
Obama has his work cut out for him in seeking re-election during a time of high unemployment and general economic crisis. But he could well remain in office if the Republicans don’t come up with a strong challenger.
Do you think they have one?