The race for the Republican's choice to face Obama in 2012 is starting to clarify. The field, which has been crowded with also rans, looks like it is going to come down to Rick Perry versus Mitt Romney, with Michelle Bachman on the fringe. Everyone else is pretty much done for, and we should start seeing a lot of them drop by the wayside in the coming months.
The danger for Republicans is the tendency for the candidates to attack each other. So far, it's been pretty mild, except for some squawking by Ron Paul and Bachman. Rep. Bachman, who was leading some before Perry entered the race, has in particular picked up her sniping.
Here's what Republicans need to know, and need to do. The goal is to get Obama out of office next year. No matter which Republican does it, the country will be much better off. This race is dropping to two principles. The rest of them need to quickly get out, and stand side by side to do whatever has to be done to ensure victory. Perry and Romney need to present themselves, their platforms, and their vision for our country, and let the Republican voters decide which of them should lead the party. They should not attack each other. There should be nothing negative in their campaign for the nomination. This will be a difficult, if not impossible, thing for them to do, since it is the natural tendency of those who are trailing to start negative attacks to try and catch up.
Candidates, keep the negatives and attacks for the true enemy, Obama.
As to the candidates, I personally lean towards Perry. He has done a very good job for my home state, Texas. I don't agree with everything he has done, but I can say that about anyone who has held office (Bush and Reagan included). Romney is a good candidate, and would be my second preference. He is not conservative enough for me on some things, but overall he is competent and has a good head for economic matters. My ideal ticket would be Perry for Pres, Romney for VP, with a commitment from them that Romney would become the economic 'czar' (replacing Bozo the Biden, who's supposed to be Obama's economy sheriff). Unfortunately, that won't happen - I don't think Perry or Romney would let their egos accept a VP role.
Bachman would have been my choice for VP, but the last couple of months of listening to her shrill attacks has soured me. Her best place is as a non-ticket attack dog, focusing on getting her fans to concentrate on supporting Republican efforts to oust Obama.
I have a high opinion of Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the VP slot. A second generation Cuban immigrant, he is a fiscal conservative, very charasmatic, and a strong personality.
The same can be said for the rest of the field, and a couple of non-runners that loom large - Palin and Guilliani. Close ranks quickly behind the nominee, no negative against fellow Republicans, and attack Democrats with no mercy between now and the election next year.
C'mon guys ... Perry/Rubio, and the rest of you close ranks and start the real battle!