Now that we have a top tier of Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Will Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie or Rudy Giuliani enter the 2012 GOP field? We should know by fall. Politico’s Maggie Haberman and Jake Sherman report:
A candidate who joined the race at such a relatively late date would face daunting prospects, with time running short to launch an organization and some bundlers who had been on the sidelines moving toward Perry, whose supporters argue is the one who can best unite a party fractured into Tea Party and establishment camps. But in a volatile year, some top Republicans believe it’s possible that another heavyweight candidate—such as Sarah Palin, Christie, Ryan or even Rudy Giuliani—could still join in.
While Christie continues to maintain that he is not running, Palin continues to leave the door open. Giuliani, who was endorsed by Perry in his 2007 presidential race, has made clear he is still weighing a campaign, and has said it would focus centrally on New Hampshire. He has put a time frame of deciding by the fall.
Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who is beloved among fiscal conservatives and the Republican intelligentsia, has made some conservative hearts flutter for months—most notably writer William Kristol. His fans argue that despite his connection to the Medicare revamp proposal that Democrats have been using to thump Republicans as “extreme” in swing states, he is proven voice who has shown he can stand up to President Obama.