Writing in the WSJ, Bret Stephens pretty much wraps up my personal view of the GOP field’s readiness for the 2012 national election:
Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Haley Barbour. This was the GOP A-Team, the guys who should have showed up to the first debate but didn’t because running for president is hard and the spouses were reluctant. Nothing commends them for it. If this election is as important as they all say it is, they had a duty to step up. Abraham Lincoln did not shy from the contest of 1860 because of Mary Todd. If Mr. Obama wins in November—or, rather, when he does—the failure will lie as heavily on their shoulders as it will with the nominee.
Our president still seems to the decisive middle swath of the electorate to be a likeable enough young man personally, although his policies and effectiveness have left the country despairing, his allies disappointed, his opponents enraged. It should have been relatively straightforward for the GOP to present a suitable challenger with the right blend of conviction and charisma. They didn’t.
Maybe in 2016.