Former Oklahoma governor Frank Keating is reportedly considering a Presidential run. (Hat Tip: Glenn and Mortman) This isn't completely new; Novak wrote about it recently.
Keating is apparently motivated (at least partly) by the lack of a prominent 'Reagan-like conservative.'
So that makes Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson, and Frank Keating (at least) exploring Presidential bids because of the lack of a viable 'Reagan-style' conservative.
This prompts two thoughts:
- How long before the Republican party stops trying to nominate Reagan; and,
- What are the chances that any of these candidates breaks into the top tier?
I love Ronald Reagan. Like many, I consider myself a 'Reagan Republican.' He still defines today's Republican party, and will probably continue to for many years. However, the Democrats spent decades trying to renominate FDR and it seems to me that it became a handicap for their candidates into the 1980s. In 2008, the GOP will have been looking for 'the next Reagan' for 20 years. When will we accept that the world looks dramatically different than it did in 1980, and even Ronald Reagan would not be Reagan if he ran today?
And with regard to the 'Reagan conservatives' in the 2008 field, I doubt that any has the name ID and the clout to contend at all. It seems the front-loading of the Presidential race continues, and it feels later in the race than it did at this time in 2002. It 'feels' late. And it seems unlikely that McCain, Giuliani, and Romney will all stumble - as would be necessary for one of these lesser-knowns to move up. I suspect that if any one of these candidates wants to take a step up, he will need to coalesce conservative backing behind him, as Novak reports McCain is doing.
Update: If you're looking for more on Tommy Thompson, who has created a Presidential exploratory committee, check here.
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