1:25pm

Tue December 28, 2010
The Two-Way

GOP Consultant: Smart Republican Opponents Hope Palin Runs

Originally published on Tue December 28, 2010 12:37 pm

As some like to say, the 2012 presidential campaign began the day after the 2010 midterm elections.

And with the bulk of the action on the Republican side as contenders start lining up to challenge President Obama, it's not too soon to start speculating about who's most likely going to be at the top of the GOP ticket.

Republican strategist Mike Murphy has worked on the campaigns of Sen. John McCain, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and others. He tells Morning Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer that Romney and current Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels now top his list of likely GOP nominees.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, doesn't have broad enough support in the party to make it all the way to the nomination, Murphy thinks.

In fact, he believes Palin has "almost a bigger constituency in the media than she does ultimately ... in the entire Republican primary process."

That said, Murphy thinks the other GOP contenders want to see her run -- if only to keep the news media occupied for nine months or so. "What you really want to be is the candidate who emerges toward the end of 2011," he says.

Here's some of what he had to say. More of his conversation with Linda is due on tomorrow's Morning Edition. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

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