To anyone who believes the Republicans will run a meaningful or expensive campaign, whomever they prop up for the media's morphing, I have a bridge to sell....
After all, there's nothing left in the till to steal; they spent it all last time and the international and economic problems are well beyond their expertise, though they created most of them. Though they're doing their best to remedy the till situation by killing off programs meant to rescue those needing them, it'll be a while before they invest in a real campaign, any more than they did with John McCain and his shill of a sidekick, Miss Foot in Her Mouth Palin.
They got their plurality by lying to their faithful, if simple, backwoods constituency about taxes, about religion, about everything, in fact, and by playing to their incipient bigotry and love of guns... (not to mention the very good possibility of rigged elections) and now they will wait until the Democrats fill the till back up and take care of the international morass; until there's stuff to steal and our lamentably short attention spans and memories have dried out enough for them to put some glamour puss in the tube and steal it all again--if we haven't wised up by then.
In fact, as they now define themselves, unless they somehow shake off the fundamentalists-- and that won't be easy-- they may never win again. Look to the Green Party, whom the Democrats have rightfully all but absorbed, and the Libertarians, the purists to whom the Right should have listened last year, having distilled the ethics that actually almost admirably hold to a right wing formula to make waves in the future. (Actually, since I first wrote this, Ron Paul has captured the first vote at CPAC!)
The future belongs to the planet's health, the intellectual unity of our species and small, efficient government of the practical sort. There is a golden mean of human organization and it's not the leviathan Country. It may be the county, or even the State, which knows and can respond to its contents swiftly and truly. But hugeness is for maps, not human interaction on a community scale.
But as for Republicans in 2012: Look for someone with the time and private bucks to spare to wander around pretending to say things people want to hear with some goon at his side; but don't look for a real campaign; don't look for a woman or a black either. Obama is a shoe-in and they know it. Why waste breath and money on a losing horse?