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Posts tagged "Bobby Jindal"


Will Mark Levin’s vulgar analysis of Hillary Clinton finally be enough to keep top GOP officials off his show?

On the March 21 edition of his radio show, Levin highlighted a Gallup poll showing that the majority of respondents, 18 percent, feel Clinton’s gender is the most positive aspect of her potential presidency. Levin summarized the results by asking "Hillary Clinton’s gender? Do they mean her genitalia is her top 2016 selling point? Is that what that means?" Levin later said "But the key is it’s her genitalia. That’s why so many people would vote for her. I wonder if Bill Clinton would vote for her because of that. He seems to — well, he likes genitalia but maybe not hers."

Levin has a long history of offensive commentary on his radio show. He has accused President Obama of abusing children, compared marriage equality to incest, polygamy, and drug use, compared supporters of the Affordable Care Act to Nazi “brown shirts,” and advocated for Obama to be impeached.

Despite this rhetoric, prominent conservatives have given tacit approval to Levin’s views by appearing on his show. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) called into his show as recently as February. Levin hosted House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to talk about the new budget agreement reached in December. Levin criticized Ryan’s budget deal with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) later that month.

Levin’s hateful rhetoric has also earned him praise from the conservative community — he was recently named the winner of the Conservative Political Action Conference’s Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award. He is also listed as one of the speakers on the NRA’s “Leadership Forum” in April, speaking alongside other prominent conservative GOP leaders like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

From the 03.21.2014 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Mark Levin Show:

h/t: Olivia Marshall at MMFA

The results are in for the CPAC and Senate Conservatives Fund straw polls for the 2016 GOP primary. 
Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll for 2nd year in a row. 
While over at the SCF version, Ted Cruz won that straw poll.

2014 CPAC Straw Poll results:

31 KY Senator Rand Paul
11 TX Senator Ted Cruz
9 Neurosurgeon Ben Carson
8 NJ Governor Chris Christie
7 Former PA Senator Rick Santorum
7 WI Governor Scott Walker
6 FL Senator Marco Rubio
3 TX Governor Rick Perry
3 WI Congressman Paul Ryan
2 Former AR Governor Mike Huckabee
2 LA Governor Bobby Jindal
2 Former AK Governor Sarah Palin
2 Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice
1 Former IN Governor Mitch Daniels
1 OH Governor John Kasich
1 IN Governor Mike Pence
1 OH Senator Rob Portman
1 SD Senator John Thune
1 Business Executive Donald Trump
1 Former FL Congressman Allen West
* NH Senator Kelly Ayotte
* KS Governor Sam Brownback
* SC Governor Nikki Haley
* NM Governor Susana Martinez
* SC Senator Tim Scott

Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald):

Senate Conservatives Fund straw poll:

Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) - 42.46% (17,605)
Sen. Rand Paul (KY) - 17.38% (7,207)
Gov. Scott Walker (WI) - 10.42% (4,322)
Other Write-in Candidates - 6.50% (2,696)
Fmr. Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR) - 6.29% (2,608)
Gov. Rick Perry (TX) - 4.44% (1,841)
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) - 2.47% (1,025)
Fmr. Gov. Jeb Bush (FL) - 2.27% (943)
Gov. Chris Christie (NJ) - 2.00% (828)
Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) - 1.64% (680)
Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) - 1.26% (522)
Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum (PA) - 0.93% (386)
Gov. John Kasich (OH) - 0.72% (299)
Gov. Mike Pence (IN) - 0.47% (195)
Gov. Nikki Haley (SC) - 0.40% (165)
Gov. Susana Martinez (NM) - 0.34% (140)

A total of 41,462 votes were cast.

Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne offers state aid to keep Duck Dynasty on the air (via Raw Story )

Jay Dardenne, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana whose responsibilities include promoting tourism, wrote an open letter to cast of Duck Dynasty in which he offered “to use his influence among Louisiana’s growing motion picture industry to seek…


I’ve never seen Duck Dynasty, but like many of you, I’ve been hearing a lot about the remarks of Phil Robertson, one of the stars of the reality show seen by millions.

Robertson said some highly offensive things about LGBT people in an interview with GQ Magazine and, after much criticism, has been suspended indefinitely from the A&E network.

But I want to talk about what the 67-year-old from Louisiana said about African Americans during the pre-civil rights era:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ – not a word! … Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

That’s simply breathtaking.

I don’t know anything about Robertson’s experiences. But I grew up on a small cotton farm in Alabama and also worked in the fields alongside African Americans. It shouldn’t even be necessary to say that they were treated as second-class citizens, most of them mired in abject poverty and with very little opportunity for anything more. There was no such thing as equality in any sense of the word.

And of course black folks didn’t go around saying anything about “these doggone white people.” The threat of racist violence was ever present, and there was virtually no chance any white person who harmed a black person would face anything close to justice. I wonder what Robertson would say about the four little black girls who were killed in the Klan bombing of Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church – or the many, many others who were lynched over the decades? What would he say about Emmett Till, the 14-year-old who was murdered for supposedly flirting with a white woman in Mississippi? Were they happy about their situation, too?

Those like Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who trot out First Amendment arguments to defend the offensive speech of Robertson and bemoan the consequences they face, are equally misguided. Sure, Robertson has every right to say hateful, offensive things wherever and whenever he wants. But there is no First Amendment right to have a TV show. There is no First Amendment right to be free from criticism. No one is calling on the government to shut him up.

Maybe Robertson simply doesn’t understand the hurtful nature of his words. Maybe he was blind to the reality of life for African Americans when he was growing up. Maybe he still is. Being oblivious to the suffering of others is at the root of racism.

But why is anyone in this day and age defending segregation and attempting to paint over the terrible injustices that took place during Jim Crow? 

Regardless of Robertson’s personal experiences, this idea that African Americans had it good during Jim Crow is the same kind of historical revisionism that we hear from Holocaust deniers who want us to ignore the lessons of history. It must be denounced loudly and clearly.

h/t: Morris Dees at SPLC

Few could have predicted that the story lines of the hit A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” and the 2016 presidential contest would converge.

But that unexpected mash-up played out Thursday as conservative politicians rushed to defend Phil Robertson, the shaggy-bearded, homespun star of the breakout series, who was suspended by the cable network after his published comments about gays stirred a storm of controversy.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a likely White House contender whose state is home to the show about a family that runs a duck-hunting gear enterprise, called Robertson and his family “great citizens.”

“The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with,” Jindal said in a statement prominently displayed on his official Web site, adding: “I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), another probable 2016 candidate, chimed in on Facebook, writing: “If you believe in free speech or religious liberty, you should be deeply dismayed over the treatment of Phil Robertson.” And 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin wrote in a Facebook post that “those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”

Their embrace of Robertson — who in an interview with GQ described “homosexual behavior” as sinful and compared it to bestiality and infidelity — underscored how gay rights remain a potent political issue for many religious voters on the right.

As the same-sex marriage movement has gained steam, many evangelicals and conservative Catholics feel as if they are being asked to give up deeply held beliefs — an effort they perceived in the quick suspension of the “Duck Dynasty” star after his comments were denounced by gay rights groups.

The furor is reminiscent of the protests and counter-rallies of support that swirled around the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A last year after its president said the company supported “the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Conservative Christians “feel like they’re under siege in a culture that is increasingly intolerant and discriminatory toward their views, and they don’t feel represented,” said Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, who noted that Robertson paraphrased from the Bible’s Book of Corinthians in his interview. “I did not get any impression at all that there was animus expressed,” Reed said

By jumping into the “Duck Dynasty” maelstrom, conservative leaders such as Jindal and Cruz sent a clear message to evangelical voters: We’re on your side.

“Make no mistake,” Reed said, “these voters are paying attention, and they are going to remember who stood up.”

The controversy played out on the very day that opposing cultural forces were on full display. New Mexico’s highest court legalized same-sex marriage, the 17th state to allow gays and lesbians to wed. And figure skater Brian Boitano announced he is gay, making him the third gay member of the U.S. delegation who will travel to Russia in February for the Winter Olympics.

The cross-currents spotlighted the schism over gay rights that persists in parts of the country.

“This shows that there clearly needs to be more engagement of the evangelical community if gay acceptance is going to become a reality,” said Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights advocacy group.

Still, other gay rights advocates noted the growing number of moderate Republican leaders who have embraced the cause of same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, more than 100 Republicans signed a legal brief urging the Supreme Court to declare that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry.

Fred Sainz, spokesman for the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said that “the days of making gay a wedge issue are dated.”

“I think they are outliers,” he said of Jindal, Cruz and Palin, adding that he believes they jumped into the “Duck Dynasty” controversy to appeal to “a niche base.”

But that base remains a powerful force in the Republican Party, particularly when it comes to presidential primaries in states such as Iowa and South Carolina.

Conservative activists said that the national push for gay rights could mobilize evangelical voters to the polls in new numbers in 2016, particularly if they feel there is a candidate running who reflects their beliefs.

David Lane, an influential Christian activist based in California who organizes pastor conferences, said he got an e-mail Thursday morning from a top Republican activist in Iowa who credited Jindal for speaking out quickly about Robertson’s suspension.

“What Jindal is doing is absolutely tremendous, from an evangelical and pro-life Catholic standpoint,” Lane said. “Spiritually speaking, we’re in a war.” 


 As of late afternoon Thursday, there were around 1 million mentions of the “Duck Dynasty” or Robertson on Twitter. An online petition organized by the group Faith Driven Consumer, which promotes Christian-friendly companies, had more than 50,000 signatures. And the Faith & Freedom Coalition called on its members to launch an e-mail and phone campaign to let A&E know they will boycott the network until Robertson is reinstated.

“I would expect,” Reed said, “they will need to hire additional folks to handle the phones.” 

h/t: Matea Gold at WaPo

That’s a vision of the American South and American racial history that’s in keeping with Paula Deen’s alleged plantation nostalgia. It’s an attempt to substitute Robertson’s own memories of his interactions with African American laborers, whose behavior around him may well have been influenced by his relative privilege as a white man, even a poor one, for the larger history of organizing against and resistance to the economically and racially ruinous consequences of the Jim Crow system. It’s a kind of narrative that’s aimed at retroactively manufacturing black consent for policies aimed at maintaining white supremacy. 


Normally, the lifecycle of the Duck Dynasty scandal would end with the suspension. But in an attempt to score political points off the controversy, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has decided to express his great sorrow about a supposed suppression of Phil Robertson’s right to free speech, which I was not aware included a guarantee to be paid to say whatever he pleased on a major television network’s airtime.

h/t: Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress

Major newspapers in Louisiana have been largely silent about the burgeoning state political career of Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins, mostly ignoring the hate group leader’s history of extreme anti-LGBT politics.

Perkins’ Rise In Louisiana Politics

Perkins’ political ascendance in Louisiana began nearly two decades ago, with his election to the state House of Representatives. He served in that body from 1996 to 2004, making an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2002. During his time in the legislature, Perkins founded the right-wing Louisiana Family Forum out of a reported ”concern about the influence of the homosexual movement.” He cemented his role as a social conservative leader when he assumed the presidency of the FRC in 2003.

While the FRC is based in Washington, Perkins has always kept one foot in Louisiana, commuting to Washington from the state every week, Perkins considered launching a primary challenge to Republican Sen. David Vitter in 2010, ultimately opting to sit that race out. Perkins has cultivated a close relationship with Gov. Bobby Jindal, who appointed Perkins to the Louisiana Commission on Marriage and Family in 2008. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), however, notes that Perkins skipped all of the commission’s meetings.

Perkins’ dismal attendance record notwithstanding, Jindal announced this September that he was naming Perkins to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement, which is responsible for awarding grants, officer training, and law enforcement regulation. Slate noted that in a state where anti-sodomy laws remain on the books and gay men have recently been arrested for having sex, the virulently anti-gay Perkins now has a role overseeing law enforcement.

Within weeks of his appointment to the law enforcement commission, Perkins expressed interest in seeking the open U.S. House seat from Louisiana’s sixth congressional district in 2014. Perkins would join what’s likely to be a jam-packed field of Republicans vying for the seat, but he says he finds it “an attractive prospect to be closer to home.” 

If past is indeed prologue, social issues will be at the forefront of a Perkins congressional campaign. During his decade at the helm of the FRC, Perkins has amassed a record as one of the country’s most rabid opponents of LGBT equality. The FRC’s malicious, baseless smears against LGBT people led the SPLC to designate the organization an anti-gay hate group in 2010, and Perkins’ own history of anti-LGBT commentary helps illuminate why.

To Perkins, gay people are ”intolerant,” “hateful,” “vile,” “spiteful” and “pawns” of “the enemy.” Perkins has spread the myth that there’s a link between homosexuality and pedophilia, calling the sexual abuse of children “a homosexual problem.” He has called the It Gets Better project to affirm LGBT youth a “disgusting” ploy to “recruit” youth into the gay “lifestyle.” The punishment for being part of that “lifestyle”? "Eternal damnation," according to Perkins. 

Perkins doesn’t merely oppose marriage equality as a matter of public policy. He says it’s nothing short of a grave "evil." And not only did Perkins vigorously oppose lifting the ban on open service by LGB soldiers; he proclaimed that members of Congress who voted to end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell had the "blood of young Marines" on their hands.

Given his apocalyptic take on what LGBT equality would mean for the country, it came as little surprise when Perkins warned of a "revolution" if the Supreme Court were to legalize same-sex marriage.

In addition to his record of anti-LGBT extremism, Perkins also has ties to white supremacist groups. 

While managing Woody Jenkins’ 1996 campaign for the U.S. Senate, Perkins paid $82,500 to use the phone bank used by former KKK leader and 1991 GOP gubernatorial nominee David Duke. The phone bank was maintained by Impact Mail Ltd., in which Duke held a financial stake. Perkins claimed not to know “the complete Duke connection” at the time of the purchase. However, upon discovering the connection, he rerouted the payment through Courtney Communications, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported in 2002. “[P]olitically, we didn’t want to be connected with Duke,” Perkins explained. According to the SPLC, Jenkins’ campaign ultimately paid a $3,000 fine for filing false disclosure forms as part of a failed attempt to cover up its ties to Duke.

Perkins’ links to white supremacists didn’t end with Duke. In 2001, the SPLC notes, Perkins spoke before a meeting of the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens. Perkins later feigned ignorance of the group’s white supremacist beliefs, but a photo from the event shows him speaking in front of a Confederate flag.

h/t: MMFA

CPAC 2013 Straw Poll Results:
Rand Paul: 25
Marco Rubio: 23
Rick Santorum: 8
Chris Christie: 7
Paul Ryan: 6
Scott Walker: 5
Ben Carson: 4
Ted Cruz: 4
Bobby Jindal: 3
Sarah Palin: 3
Others/Write-Ins: 14
Undecided: 1



The lights just went out at the Superdome. What the fuck just happened?

I looked away for one second and then I see that holy crap.

Bobby Jindal and the #LAGOP did it on purpose

Hillary Clinton would be “the ideal Democratic presidential candidate in 2016,” sweeping her party’s primary and besting potential Republican candidates other than Chris Christie, according to the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.

The secretary of state has a 54 percent favorable rating among registered voters in polling released Thursday, with 39 percent viewing her unfavorably. Among Democrats, those numbers were 79 percent favorable to 15 percent unfavorable.

She led a poll of possible Democratic primary candidates by an imposing margin, garnering a majority 57 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden came in at a distant second, with 16 percent, while seven other prospective candidates, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, all failed to break 5 percent.

Clinton also would lead three possible GOP candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) — by margins of 14 percentage points. A matchup against Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whom she edged 44 percent to 42 percent, could be much closer.

The 2016 Republican primary may be a challenge for Christie, who tied for fourth among possible 2016 Republican nominees. Christie was more popular nationally with Democrats than with Republicans in the PPP survey.

Rubio was the most popular among Republicans, with 21 percent of GOP support, followed by Ryan at 16 percent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 15 percent, and Christie and Bush at 14 percent each. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all saw single-digit support.

With Clinton and Biden excluded from the Democratic field, 40 percent of primary voters were undecided. Cuomo and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts took the top places, with 19 percent and 16 percent respectively, with O’Malley, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia and former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer trailing.

h/t: Huffington Post

Late last week more than a dozen Republican governors declared that they will not build the insurance market exchanges called for by the Affordable Care Act, including prominent names like Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Rick Perry of Texas.

On Monday, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma joined them, declaring in a statementthat it “does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government.”

The original deadline for states to notify the Department of Health and Human Services on whether they intend to build their own exchange was last Friday, but the administration extended it to Dec. 14. About a dozen Republican governors are weighing their options, including Chris Christie of New Jersey, Rick Scott of Florida and Terry Branstad of Iowa.

The decisions carry important implications for the long-term arc of Obamacare, which supporters and opponents alike agree is here to stay now that President Obama has been re-elected. The Obama administration wants states to build the exchanges so they have an incentive to make the law work. If the federal government takes over, state-level Republicans have a scapegoat in case things go wrong.

The more states stonewall the exchanges, the more it complicates the task of the federal government. One challenge is that the law lacks an automatic funding mechanism for HHS to set up state exchanges. Enrollment is slated to begin next October, and the exchanges are scheduled to start functioning by January 2014.

Twenty-three states, mostly Democratic, and Washington, D.C. have said they’ll move forwardwith the exchanges, either on their own or in partnership with the feds.

Propelling the GOP governors’ stance is a desire to protect themselves politically from accusations of abetting a law that conservatives fervently oppose. Some governors argue that the regulations are too stifling and provide little flexibility for them to construct the marketplaces in accordance with their states’ needs.

h/t: Sahil Kapur at TPM

If Republican challenger Mitt Romney doesn’t emerge triumphant on Election Day, the party will have a deep bench of contenders to draw from in 2016. Here is a list of the top 10 to watch.

1. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

In 2008, Republicans begged Christie to make a run for the White House. In 2016, the combative governor may be better positioned to seek the presidency, and there are signs that Christie wants the job: He used his keynote speech at the Republican convention mainly to tout his own accomplishments. Republicans love to see Christie play the role of partisan warrior, but Christie also projects a real sincerity that voters on both sides of the aisle appreciate. Christie’s tough talk didn’t stop him from winning in a left-leaning state.  

2. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio

The Cuban-American senator is widely seen as a top pick for 2016, particularly as the GOP desperately needs to win over Hispanic voters as the electorate becomes more diverse. Rubio also has strong ties to the tea party, credentials that could help him in a Republican primary. In order to get the nomination, however, Rubio would need to prove that he’s a leader with substance commensurate to his celebrity. He’s also not the only Latino Republican with star power: New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s fiery speech at the convention blew Rubio’s remarks out of the water. 

3. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

The outgoing chairman of the Republican Governors Association has been both charming on the campaign trail and adept at pushing his agenda through a bipartisan Legislature. As the governor of a swing state, he’s well-positioned for a run at the White House once he’s term-limited out of office in 2013. An Army veteran, McDonnell also has military credentials that many other contenders lack. McDonnell has positioned himself as a problem-solver, not an ideologue, but his willingness to sign legislation regulating abortion hasn’t endeared him to those who are moderate on social issues.

4. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

Former President George W. Bush’s little brother has been out of politics for a while—he currently works in the private sector and is an active proponent of education reform— but he’s indisputably an elder statesman in the Republican Party. With a strong record on education and immigration reform, Bush represents a moderate brand of conservatism that could appeal to swing voters and Hispanics. In a party increasingly motivated by tea party sentiments, however, Bush may be less natural a fit. He has even publicly criticized the direction the GOP is moving in.

5. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan

If GOP nominee Mitt Romney loses in 2012, his vice presidential pick is well-positioned for a run at the White House in 2016. Ryan, the policy-focused chairman of the House Budget Committee, is widely viewed by Republicans as one of the party’s best spokesmen for its legislative agenda. His vice presidential nomination ensures that he’s nationally known. The biggest downside to a Ryan bid: As a member of the House who has spent his life in Washington, Ryan has little executive or business experience. So far, however, that hasn’t slowed his rise.

6. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul

Libertarian icon Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, may have run for the presidency for the last time, but he has an heir waiting in the wings: his son, Rand. The elder Paul’s cult following showed its strength during the 2012 Republican primaries, and his minimalist-government philosophy has made its mark on mainstream Republican thought. Rand, who endorsed Romney for president in 2012, is seen as less ideologically rigid than his father, an impression that hurts the younger Paul among die-hard Ron Paul supporters but helps him garner wider GOP support.   

7. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

The young and wonky governor of Louisiana coasted to a second term last year, and 2016 might finally mark a good opportunity for Jindal to take a run at higher office. Jindal has been viewed as an up-and-coming star in the party since he won the governorship in 2007. He will serve as chairman of the Republican Governors Association next year. Jindal didn’t shy away from raising his national profile this cycle, stumping for Romney and heading to Iowa to back Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary. Jindal returned to Iowa this fall, traveling the state with former Sen. Rick Santorum in a campaign to oust a state Supreme Court judge who has supported same-sex marriage.

8. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley

When Nikki Haley rode a wave of tea party support into the South Carolina governor’s mansion, she was hailed as the party’s newest breakout star. As a woman and an Indian-American, Haley represents two demographics—women and minorities—that Republicans struggled to win over in 2012. Haley’s governorship hasn’t been all smooth sailing, however; she has alienated both opponents and former supporters with her management style, The State has reported. Haley may be more well-regarded nationally than she is locally.

9. South Dakota Sen. John Thune

Rumored as a potential candidate in 2012, Thune chose instead to stay in the Senate and focus on ascending in the Republican leadership. The Senate Republican Conference chairman doesn’t have strong name recognition nationally, but he’s well-known in Washington as a legislator who has the fundraising and retail politicking skills—not to mention the good looks—of a presidential hopeful. Strong D.C. ties have their downsides; in Thune’s case, it could include his vote to bail out Wall Street in 2008.

10. Indiana Rep. Mike Pence

Pence, a six-term congressman, looks set to win the Indiana governorship on Tuesday. Some Republicans are already calling on him to consider a run for even higher office. Pence—who describes himself as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order”— is well-regarded in the tea party and is an able fundraiser.

h/t: Yahoo! News