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Posted at 12:00 PM ET, 12/ 1/2010

No rush on 2012

By Jennifer Rubin

Ed Gillespie -- the Republican advisor who formerly served in the Bush White House, chaired Bob McDonnell's successful gubernatorial race in Virginia and helped found the immensely effective independent fundraising group Crossroads GPS -- reminded me in a brief telephone conversation this morning that "the timeline has been moved back" for the GOP primary season. The Iowa caucus is now set for the first week of February. And so, Gillespie cautioned, there is plenty of time for candidates to mull their options. He noted that "some people don't want to be the first in the race." Going first means a chance to make a splash, but the focus on a single candidate can be intense.

In Gillespie's view, "the race is as wide open as I can remember. It will be as big a field as I can remember." He tallies at least 12 potential candidates. And he says the more the better. He points to the 2010 primaries, in which 4 million more Republicans than Democrats turned out. Vigorous races and the excitement generated by the Tea Party, he says, are to the GOP's benefit.

Gillespie, along with Karl Rove and the Chamber of Commerce, were vilifed by the White House and Democratic flacks this year as "shadowy" figures whose fundraising threatened the very fiber of our democracy. I asked Gillespie whether the Democrats will likely try to replicate those fundraising efforts for 2012. He laughed: " We were trying to duplicate what they've been doing on the left for decade!" He predicts the Democrats will come back with similar groups in 2012, an admission that "what we did was all perfect legal and effective."

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 1, 2010; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  2012 campaign  
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Next: A very belated tax deal


The key is who will succeed Michael Steele, because whoever controls the rules, controls the primaries. Look for an ally or protege of Haley Barbour, who has a lot of favors he can call in.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@54465445: "Look for an ally or protege of Haley Barbour, who has a lot of favors he can call in."

To what point? You think Haley Barbour is going to try to stack the deck in his favor for a 2012 run?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 1, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse


Welcome to the new Conservative Homeland


Did you see the wiki-cables on the Iranian missiles - how they tracked 20 whole missiles going from North Korea to Iran?

Just wanted to point that out to you re: our discussion some time back.

I realize some "experts" came out and said they didn't believe it - however I think that was just spin. Also, please note that those missiles were fitted with warheads which could house nuclear warheads.


Posted by: RainForestRising | December 1, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Geez, wasn't expecting a welcoming committee but thanks!

You know that you can always find me anywhere there is fact based discussion.

I think Haley Barbour is running for VP, and would probably make a good choice. He's a proven money machine, but I don't think a Governor of Mississippi can be elected president outright. He would give Romney, or some of the other current unknowns regional balance.

Rain forest:

We've had so many discussions, don't remember the specific reference on this one.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

54465446 | December 1, 2010 1:04 PM

Didnt we have a discussion on whether Iran had nuclear missiles ready to go ???

The wiki-cables stated that North Koreas shipped 20 entire missiles to Iran - to be assembled.

Those 20 missiles were nuclear-warhead capable.

So, at least that part of the situation has been confirmed. I realize there was another article out there in which "experts" said that they doubted that report in the wiki-cables. But they were there.

Unfortunately, we have go forward under the idea that Iran is much further ahead than we might think.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 1, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't recall that particular discussion, but I'm not sure that it's been confirmed that Iran has the warheads to go with the missiles.

I like the Israelis approach. In addition to stuxnext, they're killing the Iranian nuclear scientists one by one. They got the head of the program just the other day with a car bomb.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer, been reading some of your old stuff to get the feel for your work. I think you are spot on about the reprehensible Ann Coulter, and also about Romney's cluelessness toward symbolism. He's the smartest candidate, but somehow poltical instinctiveness seems to always somehow elude him just like Gatsby's Daisy

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

From Cilizza's column, in support of my argument about the importance of Haley Barbour and his money machine:

"The most pointed of that criticism came from Gentry Collins, the committee's political director, who penned a four-page resignation letter detailing the problems with the RNC.

Collins' main point of criticism was the RNC's fundraising operation and, in particular, Steele's alleged inability to attract major donors. "During the 2010 cycle, the RNC allowed its major donor base to wither," wrote Collins -- adding that the committee had raised $284 million in the 2002 cycle and $243 million in the 2006 cycle as compared to just $170 million in 2010. (One note: Republicans controlled the White House in 2002 and 2006, a major fundraising boon for the national party committees.)"

Watch to see whose dog the next RNC chairman is, and you will have the inside track on the 2012 nomination.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 1, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Here's a question for you. In Congress, how many people do Republicans represent now, after the last election, how many do Democrats represent? You know, by district, add up the totals. I don't know, do you?

Posted by: dudh | December 1, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

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