FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Scintillating is not a word I would use to describe the current field of Republican candidates hoping to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012. Stultifying is more like it.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/06/16/art.repubs.jpg caption="(L to R) Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Texas congressman Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty."]
So far, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as the front-runner. But that may not last, and he's already lost this race once. The universal health care plan that passed in Massachusetts on his watch, which has been compared to "Obamacare," isn't helping him. Neither is the criticism that he has trouble talking to "real" Americans. Some say that being a practicing Mormon could hurt him, too.
But the other candidates aren't exactly dazzling GOP voters either.
There was buzz about U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's performance the other night at the CNN debate and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems to be campaigning his heart out, but so far neither is likely keeping Obama up at night. Rick Santorum is barely registering on voters' minds. Lack of experience is hurting former pizza CEO Herman Cain. And U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, who has a small and devoted following, likely will find out the third time is not a charm.
People don't know too much about Jon Huntsman, who is going to announce he's running next week. He was a very popular governor in Utah, but he was also the ambassador to China under Obama until he resigned earlier this year and he, too, is Mormon. Texas Gov. Rick Perry may throw his cowboy hat in the ring soon, too, and some say he could shake up the field. But so far, it's been a snooze.
Even voters from the candidates' own states aren't excited. According to a report on Politico.com, polling data show most of the current candidates have higher unfavorable ratings than favorable ratings in their own states. And some would not even be able to win their states in a general election. 'Nuf said.
Feet to the fire, come November 2012, most Republican voters will pull the lever for whichever candidate represents their party, no matter how dull or charismatic, but if independents and frustrated Democrats don't get excited about the candidate, Obama's a shoe-in for a second term.
Here’s my question to you: Why is the Republican presidential field such a yawn?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Larry in Rhode Island:
There is no diversity in the Republican Party. Everyone must think and act the same. There is no room for anyone else. It's been said millions of times, but it's true, they only cater to the rich. It baffles me how a middle class person could possibly vote for them, but obviously they did, since they took back the House. This country has gotten very scary, and I fear it might get worse.
Jeff in Georgia:
Mr. Cafferty, I'd much rather have an experienced, intelligent, competent, patriotic bore than an unvetted, detached, narcissistic empty suit that is elected based on meaningless slogans and media hype.
Bob in Kansas City, Missouri:
A yawn? The whole lot of them spouted nothing more than the party line Monday night, "Everything wrong is Obama's fault. We can fix it with more tax breaks." Give it up. Standing for no more than their status quo has gotten very, very old.
Russ in Pennsylvania:
The Republican field is only a yawn to those who are interested in sound bites, but no substance. You have a true conservative in Ron Paul who speaks and votes consistently on the message of property rights, sound money and liberty, yet the mainstream media and citizens want to spend more time reading Sarah Palin's emails. Everyone gets what they deserve in the end.
Nate in North Carolina:
Jack, there's no Sarah Palin. You remember that interview with Katie Couric. At least President Obama has charisma that matches his intelligence. Whether or not he uses his intelligence is each person's opinion. This is what the current presidential field lacks. Yes they may have a level of intelligence, but where is the charisma?
What's wrong with a yawn once in a while? It appears the Democrats have all the 'exciting' ones, Clinton, Rangel, Spitzer, Weiner etc. Maybe people will want a yawn this time around after all this disgusting excitement.
Steve in Illinois:
Oh, I don't know about that...Paul/Bachmann would be most entertaining!