The U.S. Presidential primaries for the 2012 election are just about ready to begin. Several of the front-runner candidates are testing the waters on a presidential run and it seems like they're waiting for just the right time to kick off their campaign. At the moment we speak, the candidates who are confirmed they are either testing the waters or running are Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer, Herman Cain, Fred Karger, Jimmy McMillan, Andy Martin, and just recently, Ron Paul has been added to this list. Rick Santorum is also in the process of doing the same thing. There are several other small candidates running on the Republican side, but they are not as noticeable. Barack Obama has also announced his candidacy, but looks like he will not face a strong opposition and will almost definitely earn the Democratic nomination in 2012.
The first debate is now going to be held in South Carolina, despite the debate at the Ronald Reagan Library being the traditional starter. The date for that debate has been moved, because they didn't feel enough front-running candidates are in the race for them to hold one. Gingrich, Pawlenty, Roemer, Paul, and Santorum seem to be the candidates that have been invited to the first debate (other front-runners may join later). However, I could see Cain be invited until the race becomes thicker and his poll numbers force him to fall under. Like Donald Trump, who will announce in June whether or not he's going to run, Herman Cain is a successful businessman who became successful with Godfather's pizza. The only difference between him and Trump is that he doesn't have as much recognition or a reality show. I could see McMillan and Karger not being invited to many debates, though they would surely make for some interesting confrontations. McMillan ran on the "Rent Is Too Damn High" platform during the race for Governor of New York in 2010. He's running as a Republican, because he believes it would be easier to defeat Obama in the general election.
Out of all of the candidates, Fred Karger is going to get the most whiplash. Not only is he a one-issue candidate, but the one issue of his is same-sex marriage and other forms of gay rights. Personally, I see nothing wrong with a laid back approach for social conservatism. However, the Republican nominee is generally someone who supports marriage being between a man and a woman, and is pro-"Don't Ask Don't Tell." It's going to be a very tough race for Karger, but we'll just have to see how he performs. One-issue candidates have been common within the last few primaries. Last season, it was Tom Tancredo, a Republican candidate who's key issue was illegal immigration. He was firm on his opposition to illegal immigration, but there wasn't much else he brought to the table. He withdrew before primary season began.
I'm going to have a good time watching Ron Paul during the debates, because he makes sense when he's speaking. His libertarian views are very similar to my own, which means anti-taxes, less government, and pro-Constitution. He was the only Republican candidate in 2008 who was against the War In Iraq and brought something to the table that would really make an impact on the country. I remember watching an ad of the comparison of him and Barack Obama. If something similar comes about, I would surely have to point it out. Right now, Ron Paul's run for the presidency will be the one I look most forward to following.
The 2008 primaries made for debates that brought a variety of political figures, who brought several ideas and one-liners to the table. For 2012, I expect to see this be taken up another notch. We have several topics of interest, such as the economy, the budget, foreign policy, President Obama, and several more things. I'll be keeping up with these debates and analyzing them for my blog. I'll be judging the candidates on what they bring to the podium and how they hold their ground. I expect some excitement this time around.