Why Republicans can't find a decent presidential candidate

The party's ideology is out of whack and nobody wants to lose to Barack Obama. Meanwhile, time is running out

Robert Shrum

Shortly after Donald Trump, the political apprentice in the 2012 lineup, was fired as his poll numbers receded faster than his real hairline, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels became the latest candidate to flee the contest. Unlike the Donald, Daniels was coveted by the GOP establishment. But he would rather be Hamlet than president.

Mike Huckabee would rather be rich and on television, ensconced in his Florida mansion instead of reaching for the Executive Mansion. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour would rather be his good ole boy self. And the third Bush (Jeb), along with South Dakota Sen. John Thune, would rather be president in 2016 than a losing nominee in 2012. So would Chris Christie, the neophyte New Jersey governor, who’s presently pear-shaped in his home state polls and probably couldn't carry it against Barack Obama.

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Robert Shrum has been a senior adviser to the Gore 2000 presidential campaign, the campaign of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the British Labour Party. In addition to being the chief strategist for the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Shrum has advised thirty winning U.S. Senate campaigns; eight winning campaigns for governor; mayors of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and other major cities; and the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shrum's writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Republic, Slate, and other publications. The author of No Excuses: Concessions of a Serial Campaigner (Simon and Schuster), he is currently a Senior Fellow at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service.