The news today that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie won’t join the pack of Republicans trying to unseat President Obama in 2012 spells real problems for the GOP. Temporary front-runner Rick Perry proved inept as a candidate; Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith makes him a non-starter for the party’s radical-religious wing, while his constant flip-flopping offends most voters; and none of the other candidates show enough political heft to compete. The Republican establishment’s inevitable insistence on Romney will only infuriate tea partiers, who may wind up nominating their own, third-party candidate for president next year.
So who do you think will be the tea party presidential nominee in 2012? I’m going to say either Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann. Both are egotists, and I can imagine them convincing themselves that their abandoning the Republican Party is “for the good of the country.”
READ MORE: “The Carnage Chris Christie Leaves Behind,” by Steve Kornacki (Salon); “Cain and Romney Tied Nationally” (Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire); “Chart of the Day: Perry’s Plummet,” by Kevin Drum (Mother Jones); “Fox News’ Primary Trouble,” by Eric Boehlert (Media Matters).