Obama In Europe; GOP Presidential Ticket In Flux President Obama is in Europe this week, working on overseas alliances and the G-8 summit. Here at home, the race to replace him in 2012 is drawing more attention than his presidential trip. And the Republican field keeps shifting.
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Obama In Europe; GOP Presidential Ticket In Flux

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Obama In Europe; GOP Presidential Ticket In Flux

Obama In Europe; GOP Presidential Ticket In Flux

Obama In Europe; GOP Presidential Ticket In Flux

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/136570786/136570765" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama is in Europe this week, working on overseas alliances and the G-8 summit. Here at home, the race to replace him in 2012 is drawing more attention than his presidential trip. And the Republican field keeps shifting.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, Host:

For more on the political landscape this morning, we're joined by our own Cokie Roberts. Good morning, Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS: Hi, Mary Louise. How are you doing?

LOUISE KELLY: So let me ask you about this. A lot of Republicans were very hopeful, keeping their fingers crossed, that Governor Daniels would run for president. Why isn't he going to?

ROBERTS: There was a period in his marriage where his wife and he divorced. She married someone else, then she came back. He did issue a statement over the weekend, saying this notion that she abandoned her children was just wrong - that that was not true. But they know how tough a presidential campaign would be and they don't want to do it, particularly given the fact that President Obama is looking pretty strong. So going through all that and then losing, or possibly losing, is really something that, you know, doesn't interest them.

LOUISE KELLY: Okay, so that's the decision for Governor Daniels. The other development we mentioned, former Governor Tim Pawlenty says he's in. How, at this point, should we rate his chances?

ROBERTS: He scooped his own announcement with a slickly-produced a web video last night. Give it a listen here.

(SOUNDBITE OF A WEB VIDEO)

(SOUNDBITE OF CELESTIAL MUSIC)

TIM PAWLENTY: Together, we'll change our country. And this time it will be for the better.

ROBERTS: Change, you remember that word from President Obama's campaign? Pawlenty's biggest problem is Iowa. He has to win it for him to get the money and the credibility to move on. And his biggest problem there could be fellow Minnesotan, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, should she decide to get in the race, because she has a lot of appeal to those evangelical Christians who show up in huge numbers at the Iowa Caucuses.

LOUISE KELLY: Well, with this decision by Pawlenty - with Daniels out, as we mentioned - it does seem, Cokie, as though the field is maybe starting to gel a little. Is there a clearer frontrunner at this point?

ROBERTS: I think we see this field now. I think one of these folks; Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty or Jon Huntsman, one of those guys will be the nominee.

LOUISE KELLY: Cokie, before we let you go, one other development to ask you about. That is this special election that is going to take place in New York tomorrow, to fill a House seat. I gather there's some thinking that this may provide a sneak preview for what Republican nominees on the national ticket may have to deal with, if they decide that they want to run for national office.

ROBERTS: Now, if the Republican loses, she'll say it's because there was a third-party candidate in there. If the Democrat, though, will say it's because the Republicans did something very unpopular on Medicare. And that will put fear in their hearts.

LOUISE KELLY: Okay, Cokie Roberts, thanks very much.

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