Mitt won't run and I think we've missed this opportunity to have a really fine President.
Note how I put that. THIS opportunity. That means, Mitt wasn't the only person in America who could take on the job and do it well; I have to assume there are others. And I have to assume that at least one if not more of the hopefuls in the Republican field are up to the job and can do it better than
Who that will be is anyone's guess right now. Pay no attention to any poll taken in Iowa, as the state is not suitable as an indicator of national GOP support.
What I see developing are "strata" of candidates, or groups who share a governing vibe and who will compete for common voters at least early in the primaries. Essentially, each of the people in these strata are effectively "running against each other", and need to stand out to see who can challenge the champions of the other strata.
I see Bush and Christie in one strata.
I see Walker, Rubio, Kasich, Perry, Jindal, and Pence in another.
I see Cruz, Huckabee, Paul, Carson, and Santorum in the final. At this point, I don't assess any of the others who have expressed interest as having enough name recognition to get a campaign off the ground.
As I've said in the past, I don't know who is going to win the nomination, but I know who will come in second....Rand Paul. He is a good campaigner, he projects well, and he has a solid and loyal group of people who are unlikely to cast their lot with others, even at the bitter end. I don't think he'll every have enough support to be nominated, but I do think he'll be a force throughout the primaries. So that gives you my sense of one of the "strata" champions.
I think Christie will be interesting, but ultimately will find himself outspent and outperformed by Bush. So there's the champ of the second strata.
As for the middle group--it is up for grabs. Completely and utterly. And this group will ultimately provide at least one VERY solid Presidential candidate.
So it is going to get interesting, and it is going to happen fast. The race is on for big donors, started by Jeb Bush's early mover status. Hang on, because it is going to be a wild 18 months.