Bob Riley should run for President. Seriously.
Or Jeff Sessions. No, seriously.
I, personally, wouldn’t vote for either, and the chance they’d become president or even the GOP nominee is next to nil – but the existing field of Republican presidential candidates is undoubtedly missing a Southern candidate.
Of course, on paper Newt Gingrich could be classified as “Southern”. That myth can be debunked solely by noting Gingrich’s self-proclaimed favorite band (ABBA). Indeed, Gingrich was so desperate to get to out of the South that he ran and lost for Congress twice, before finally getting his ticket punched to DC on his third bid. And after leaving Congress in 1998, he’s lived in McLean, VA (a posh hamlet in Northern Virginia) – currently with his third wife (a Midwesterner). Newt Gingrich may have technically represented suburban Atlanta in Congress, but he’s about as “Southern” as …well, ABBA.
And Herman Cain and Buddy Roemer may be credible Southerners, but I do not believe them to be credible presidential candidates.
Mike Huckabee, who carried several Southern states in the ’08 primaries, would have entered the 2012 primary process counting the Southeast among his expected base. And some – like Haley Barbour, Rick Perry (perhaps still a possibility), Jim Demint (perhaps still a possibility), Jeb Bush or Bobby Jindal – who could have filled the Southern-sized vacuum left by Huckabee’s withdrawal, appear to have likewise taken a pass.