During the time leading up to the Republican National Committee Convention in 2012, the GOP will have a hard time choosing a moderate candidate able to give serious challenges to President Obama. It has become clear that the far right leaning Tea Party has emerged as the driving ideological grassroots organizing arm of the GOP. Policy confusion will likely be prevalent in the GOP for 2012 and the party’s choice of candidates will dilute total voice and message, thus clearing the way for Obama.
Despite Republican successes of 2010, many conservatives insist the GOP could have contested and won more seats. Many of them place blame on the desk of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, who, to give credit where its due, has brought the party back into the U.S. House majority and gained some senate seats, but has received much criticism over the RNC’s management.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is trying to get his southern claws around the RNC as one of his cronies, Nick Ayers, the 28 year old Republican Governors Association Director, is being pumped up to challenge an already embattled Michael Steele. Incoming Republican Governor Association Chairman, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who previously said he is not running for President, already chimed in to endorse the young Ayers.
“In 2012, the RNC is going to play a very, very important role, so whoever they choose needs to be someone who truly has the ability to represent the party and is a highly capable individual from the standpoint of raising money and organization,’ Gov. Perry said.
Internal political party battles for control of the party’s purse, people and resources are predictions of who desires to control the party and for what purpose. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, outgoing Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, vies for control of the RNC purse through Nick Ayers. Barbour, with regard to his run for President stated, “We’ve begun to talk about it to some people whose opinions I respect.”
While Barbour and the Republican Governors try to gain control over the RNC, leading Republican candidates for President, moderate Mitt Romney and social conservatives Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are endorsing candidates, hosting television shows, and testing the waters. Palin recently stated that if she were the nominee for the Republican Party, she would defeat Obama in the Presidential election.
Rick Perry, operating as an attack dog clearing the way for other Republican Presidential contenders said of Romney’s healthcare plan, “The health care plan out of Massachusetts, I would suggest to you, is too much like the health care plan passed out of Washington.”
Whether the former Massachusetts Governor will be weakened by his healthcare plan remains unknown, but if he is not politically hurt by the plan, Romney will be a strong contender for the RNC nomination.
Democrats would love a challenge from social conservatives of the Republican Party. Although the Tea Party is not an official political party, many of the candidates who contributed to a Republican Party take over in the House of Representatives during November’s midterm elections credit the Tea Party for the victory and momentum of their campaign. Many of these candidates were supported by Presidential hopefuls Palin, Huckabee and Gringrich.
Unlike the Tea Party victories this November, the 2012 Presidential election will not be won with far right wing agendas. The 2012 American electorate will in no way resemble this past midterm election’s voters. Turnout will be high and agendas will be geared toward reaching independent voters. Republicans will not win with far right Tea Party social issues and therefore, have begun to move to the middle on issues such as the debt crisis, which rings in the ears of independent voters. It is doubtful, given the extreme conservative social views of some, that Republicans will be able to escape the fire branded Tea Party ideologues.