During the past several days, speculation among pundits and others has intensified over who will be the likely Republican nominee to face President Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Newt Gingrich has been on the speaker’s circuit for months, and he has been appearing regularly on Fox News for over two years. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has of late become much more active in his media appearances and in his public pronouncements; and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is clearly running for president. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has his own TV show, while former Governor Sarah Palin has been a contributor on Fox News and recently appeared on Jay Leno’s late-night show, where she gave a stand-up monologue, prompting speculation that she would launch a TV show of her own.

A recent article in the WALL STREET JOURNAL speculated that conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry, fresh from an impressive primary victory in his race for re-election over Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, will surely be called upon to consider a presidential run in 2012 if he wins re-election in November. And this weekend, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah opined that Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Haley Barbour, the term-limited Governor of Mississippi and Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, would make “great vice-presidential candidates”.

In truth, it is probable that Perry, Daniels, and Barbour have all contracted some form of “Potomac Fever”, and none of the three would care to evoke the memory of President Calvin (“silent Cal”) Coolidge in the 1920s who, when asked if he would be a candidate for a second term, said:

“I do not choose to run for President in 1928.”

Jim Herring