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One year from today, the 2012 Republican National Convention opens in Tampa, Fla.
Today’s question is: Whom will the GOP be nominating during its four-day extravaganza?
No beating around bushes here: Mitt Romney.
Yes, I know about that latest Gallup poll showing Texas Gov. Rick Perry zooming into first place among rank-and-file Republicans. He topped Romney 29 to 17 percent, with Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann emerging as the only other candidates in double digits.
Perry is all sparkle and glitter — a brand new candidate with a brand new candidate’s appeal. His strength among tea partyers is something to behold. That same Gallup poll showed Perry topping Romney and Bachmann among Republicans who identify themselves as tea party backers by a solid 21 points.
But the Gallup poll came as Perry’s much anticipated announcement had reached its zenith. Gallup went into the field just four days after Perry kicked off his campaign with his “It is time to get America working again” speech.
Perry’s numbers may never be higher.
Romney’s standing has been on the wane for weeks. But his prospects remain strong because of timing, his own record of executive experience and Perry’s penchant for uttering the kinds of quotes that quickly undercut poll numbers.
Romney, remember, is not only a one-time governor. He was co-founder and head of Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity firm that became one of the largest in the country.
And he pulled the 2002 Winter Olympics’ fat out of the fire.
That type of successful executive experience will contrast well with so many Americans’ doubts about Obama’s leadership.
Perry has his own economic credentials, although critics are calling his achievements paper-thin. Many of those Texas jobs created in recent years don’t come with benefits and don’t pay well either.
All the hoopla about Rick Perry entering the GOP presidential contest is like telling kids a new breakfast cereal is in the cupboard and it has a shiny trinket inside. The kids go wild, pounce on the box, dig-dig-dig through it, and after finding the prize, discover it wasn’t as cool or useful as they hoped.
Stay tuned. More to come on Perry…
► Jayde Wyatt