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2012 Election
Candidate Debates
St. Anselm NH debate
June 13, 2011
Faith & Freedom Conference
June 4, 2011
South Carolina debate
May 5, 2011
NRA Conference
May 1, 2011
CPAC Conference
Feb. 11, 2011

Candidate Books

Mitt Romney: The Man, His Values and His Vision
, by Lisa Ray Turner and Kimberly Field

Real Change
, by Speaker Newt Gingrich

The Revolution: A Manifesto
, by Ron Paul, published April 2008

Tim Pawlenty: The Sam's Club Republican
, by J. A. McClure

The Audacity of Hope
by Sen. Barack Obama (D, IL)

Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics
, by Joe Biden

Withdrawn Candidates

The America We Deserve
, by Donald Trump

Do the Right Thing
, by Mike Huckabee

, autobiography by Rudolph Giuliani

America by Heart
, by Sarah Palin

Book Reviews


(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from

Speculation about the 2012 Presidential race


Who's running, and who's thinking about running for President?

The 2012 election seems to be coming soon, if one reads the news reports. We report some of the speculation here, for potential candidates who are likely to throw their hats into the ring.

STATUS REPORTS: We report below the legal status of presidential campaigns.

NEWS CLIPS: The latest announcements from the potential candidates.

BOOK EXCERPTS: Quotations from each presidential contender's books.



    Michele Bachmann
    (Minnesota Representative): Publicly announced candidacy June 13, 2011; withdrew Jan. 4, 2012.
    Michael Bloomberg
    (NYC Mayor). Opted out of race, Feb. 8, 2011.
    Herman Cain
    (Radio talk-show host): Publicly announced candidacy May 21, 2011; withdrew Dec. 3, 2011.
    Chris Christie
    (New Jersey Governor). Formally declared he has no intention of running, Oct. 4, 2011.
    Jim DeMint
    (South Carolina Senator). Never entered race.
    Newt Gingrich
    (Former Speaker of the House): Publicly announced candidacy May 12, 2011.
    Rudy Giuliani
    (former NYC Mayor). Never entered race.
    Mike Huckabee
    (Former Arkansas Governor): Opted out of presidential race May 15, 2011.
    Jon Huntsman
    (former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China). Publicly announced candidacy June 21, 2011; withdrew Jan. 15, 2012.
    Thad McCotter
    (Michigan Representative): Publicly announced candidacy July 2; withdrew Sept. 21.
    Sarah Palin
    (former Alaska Governor). Formally declared she has no intention of running, Oct. 5, 2011.
    Ron Paul
    (Texas Representative): Publicly announced candidacy April 28, 2011.
    Tim Pawlenty
    (Former Minnesota Governor): Withdrew after Iowa Straw Poll Aug. 14, 2011.
    Rick Perry
    (Texas Governor). Publicly announced candidacy Aug. 11, 2011; withdrew Jan. 19, 2012.
    Buddy Roemer
    (former Louisiana Governor). Formed campaign in spring 2011; public announcement July 21 2011; switched to AmericansElect.
    Mitt Romney
    (Former Massachusetts Governor): Publicly announced candidacy June 3, 2011.
    Rick Santorum
    (Former Pennsylvania Senator): Publicly announced candidacy June 6, 2011.
    Donald Trump
    (Real estate mogul): Opted out of presidential race May 16, 2011.


    Rocky Anderson
    (Former Salt Lake City Mayor): Publicly announced candidacy Nov. 29, 2011 as Justice Party candidate.
    Joe Biden
    (Incumbent Vice-President).
    Virgil Goode
    (Former U.S. Representative from Virginia): Draft movement from Constitution Party, June 10, 2011
    Gary Johnson
    (Former New Mexico Governor): Publicly announced candidacy May 16, 2011. Switched from GOP to Libertarian Party Dec. 21, 2011
    Ralph Nader
    (consumer advocate): Publicly announced non-candidacy Aug. 5.
    Barack Obama
    (Incumbent President): Publicly announced candidacy April 4, 2011.
    Jill Stein
    (Former Green Party nominee for MA Governor): Publicly announced candidacy Oct. 24, 2011.
    What does the legal status of presidential candidates mean?

  • For all candidates above, we assume they are running for president in 2012. There is no legal obligation at any time during 2011 to actually file papers nor make any form of announcement. Hence candidates do so primarily for publicity purposes.

  • EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE: Candidates use the term "exploratory committee" to indicate they are still at a tentative stage of preparation. An "exploratory committee" is a kind of campaign committee which allows donations while "testing the waters", without the full disclosure rules of a campaign committee. They are legally the same thing -- organizations formed to allow collecting donations for a campaign.

  • DRAFT COMMITTEE: A draft committee is a political campaign committee formed without the authorization of the candidate, for the purpose of building a campaign network prior to any candidacy announcement, or to persuade the candidate to announce. They are grassroots organizations, usually, formed to publicize a potential candidacy.

  • POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES: Many candidates form PACs for the purpose of collecting donations to redistribute to other candidates (and to publicize the candidate doing the redistribution). PACs legally differ from campaign committees because they are (in theory) not focused on a campaign. Nevertheless, they are sometimes a good indication that a candidate plans to run.

  • CANDIDACY PAPERS: Candidates must file legal paperwork with the FEC for either of the above types of committees. This paperwork is public, so the press reports when a new campaign committee is formed.

  • CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENT: There is no legal meaning to "announcing" a candidacy, and typically candidates "announce" as often as possible. The press reports heavily on the first announcement, although candidates recognize that and try to get more than one "first" announcement. This election cycle includes numerous pre-announcements such as announcing formation of an exploratory committee; announcing a timeline for creating an exploratory committee; and announcing the candidacy itself.

  • PRE-CANDIDACY BOOK: A good indication of planning a presidential run is writing a book. Books by politicians are ostensibly about one's views on an issue or on politics in geenral, but in reality serve to introduce the public to the candidate and to get one's issue stances on the record. We list many such books below, and we will excerpt them in advance of the 2012 campaign.

NOTE: We will stop updating the news reports once the campaign season gets "officially" underway. For more recent news, click on our Recent News Page. And for more recent excerpts from each candidate, click on their individual links above.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and
Reprinting by permission only.

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