Posted by | March 21, 2011 20:28 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

As Alan posted earlier today, Tim Pawlenty became the first significant candidate (Herman Cain and Buddy Roemer — you have my apologies) for the GOP nomination for president to take a concrete step toward the nomination by forming an exploratory committee.  What has received remarkably little attention is how late it is for candidates to take this step.  By this time in 2008, all of the major candidates except for Fred Thompson had declared their intentions to run, not just formed an exploratory committees.  In 2004, all except for Wesley Clark had formed committees.

Now, I despise the eternal campaign as much as the next person, but methinks that the GOP candidates are not holding off because of my delicate sensibilities.  Rather, they likely realize that going through a brutal primary season only to be rewarded by running against an incumbent president during an improving economy, may make you famous, but won’t make you president.  I’m beginning to think you will see a much smaller field than had been previously expected.  Pawlenty, Romney, Gingrich, Barbour . . . and maybe no one else significant (Rick Santorum — you have my profound apologies).

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.