Duncan handicaps wide open GOP presidential primary, KY governor's race

01/03/2011 07:12 PM

While Sarah Palin might be one of the early front-runners for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, former RNC chairman R. Michael Duncan questioned whether some of her moves have undermined her potential to run for the White House.

R. Michael Duncan, the Inez banker and former RNC chairman

“I’m not sure that she has made the commitment it takes to be president of the United States,” he said of Palin, citing her decision to step down as Alaska’s governor in 2009 to move to TV with Fox News and a series on TLC, Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

Duncan made the comments during an interview that aired on Monday’s edition of Pure Politics.

He pointed to several former governors as other front-runners. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney “probably has the most developed organization,” said Duncan, who served as RNC chairman from 2007 to 2009.

He also named Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, and Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who also has a deal with Fox News, as early major contenders, among others.

Duncan also said he didn’t know yet which Republican gubernatorial candidate would be a better contender against Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear in this fall’s governor’s race. Beshear has announced he’s seeking re-election and so far no Democrat has filed paperwork to challenge him in a primary.

On the Republican side, state Senate President David Williams of Burkesville has announced he’s running, as has Louisville businessman Phil Moffett.

Duncan said he didn’t know whether the GOP field is set, and said he hadn’t spoken recently to Cathy Bailey, a former fundraiser for President George W. Bush and the former U.S. ambassador to Latvia, who has not publicly said whether she intends to run for state office — possibly even governor — in 2011.

- Ryan Alessi


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