Skip to comments.GOP kingmaker leans toward Mitt Romney
Posted on 05/19/2009 4:31:55 PM PDT by pissant
Fred Malek, a heavyweight Republican fundraiser and kingmaker, has singled out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the GOPs leading contender in the early stages of the 2012 Republican presidential derby.
In a largely unnoticed post to his blog late last week, Malek, a wealthy businessman who served as national finance co-chair of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, ranked Romney No. 1 on a list of influential Republicans who might both lead our party back and who might be our nominee in 2012.
Malek, who did not return an email requesting comment from POLITICO, blogged that Romney has the established organization, fundraising network, time, and talent to get the nomination this time and predicted he could be in the best position when the serious campaigning begins in early 2011.
Though Malek conceded Romney does retain an image problem with some Republicans, who are not sold on his conservative credentials or upset with him for changing his emphasis of issues from his time as governor to presidential candidate, he called Romney self-aware and very smart.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who is popular among fiscal conservatives, ranked second on Maleks list. Sanford recently attended a dinner with major GOP donors at Maleks McLean, Va., home. The dinner, held the night before this months White House Correspondents Association event, was intended to help party donors shop for a 2012 candidate.
Malek praised Sanfords initial stand against accepting federal stimulus funds and asserted he could be a challenger to Mitt or on the ticket if he decides to go that way.
Malek, the founder and chairman of Thayer Capital Partners, also invited Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the dinner but Palin was unable to attend due to flooding in Alaska and instead sent her husband Todd. In January, Malek hosted her at another dinner in his home on the weekend of Washingtons prestigious Alfalfa Club dinner.
Palin, who ranked sixth on Maleks list, is vastly underestimated by the press, has an enormous grasp of issues and a strong devotion to what is important to Alaska, where she will be re-elected easily, and will be the most powerful money and mobilization magnet in GOP for some time, Malek wrote.
Malek pegged Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour third, praising him as extremely sound on policies, clear thinking and the best political strategist, but pointing out he does not have the best name recognition and asserting hes more likely a king maker than king, but one never knows.
At No. 4, Malek floated former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Thats right, I am putting Dick Cheney on this list, he wrote. He deserves to be. He is willing and able to take it to Obama, no matter the criticism, and hes on point in defending the Bush-era policies that led to 8 years of safety.
Of course, we know that he wont run but if the past few weeks tell us anything, he will be around. His presence alone will challenge other future leaders in the party to be more prepared, less squishy and sharper on core issues like foreign policy, Malek noted.
At No. 5, Malek lists a group of four moderate Republicans who are eying Senate races: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk and Delaware Congressman Mike Castle. Though he concedes moderates arent popular with the GOP base, especially after Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties, Malek asks, [C]an we ever expect to be a majority party without embracing a tent big [sic] philosophy that encourages those at the middle of the spectrum to think of themselves as Republicans?
Rounding out the list after Palin are Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell (able to build a center-right majority), President Obamas Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman (who had yet to join the administration at the time of Maleks post), Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (a clear and compelling message on economic reform
who will be short-listed for VP in 2012) and Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor (My guess is he has what it takes to become Speaker of the House, and Id bet that one day he will.).
Sanford must challenge and defeat Romney.
Another looney trip down the rat hole.... Mitt will never cut the mustard! Face it.
IOW Mr. Malek thinks voters are stupid.
And all this time, I didn’t know we had a king maker. Silly me.
You can build clown cars, but can you actually get people to work a job and buy a clown car. Nope.
Sort of similar with votes.
Great. Let’s just lose again. Romney is a polarizing gun hating RINO. We need to find a viable conservative who respects the entire Constitution.
Only Sanford seems half way decent there
Sure, another "big tent" lecture...
Mr. Thayer has got to show more control over his associates than that!!!
He should restrict himself to Massachusetts.
We had one last year, & his name was Ron Paul.
Never again will I vote for RINOs like McCain or Romney. McCain was my last “lesser of two evils” vote.
Oh, Romney would resist the Democrats. They’d propose $10 trillion in new expenditures, and he’d fight them tooth and nail to get them down to $9.5 trillion. Or they’d demand 45 MPG gas standards on new cars, and Romney wouldn’t settle for anything more than 43 MPG. Folks, we don’t need that kind of leadership!
Now I know we might well go down to defeat with a conservative candidate, but how will we ever know if we don’t run one? And, the Republican Party will never stop nominating moderates if we keep voting for them anyway.
If we’re going to destroy this country with socialism, I’d rather get on with it than push it another 20 years down the road for my children.
Wouldn’t it be less embarrassing if he just burned his money?
Seriously, the only candidate that I believe has the balls to stand up to this Congress is Sarah Palin.
Whether she can get elected in this sissy country is another story.
In the mean time we must work hard to take back one house of Congress. If we don't we are a socialist country and your freedom is gone.
No more candidates from the kingmakers’ political machines, please! Give us a real choice.
1. Barry is such a failure that almost anyone (including an intra-party challenger) could beat him.
2. The Republican field consists of only McCain (running again), Crist, Lindsay Graham and Huckabee.
Then yes, Mitt could win. I don't foresee either 1 or 2 happening though, which is a good thing.
He has a lot of advantages and will be a formidable candidate. So yeah of course he is seen as the favorite. Of course so was Giuliani.
If there is one thing I learned from 2008 it's that the candidates everyone are talking about now will not be the nominee come 2012.
"We are for Romney. He gave us the rights to health care and marriage."
If the republicans believe this is in their best interest, I will not stand in their way.
Nor will I support them, including with my vote.
To hell with all of them.
If the party is this stupid, they deserve their monumental crap sandwich.
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