It’s too early to determine who will be the strongest candidate, but not too early to make some observations:

Social conservatism is dormant this election season (and possibly dead). The country is overwhelmingly concerned about the economy, job creation and federal spending. Recent polls show public opinion focused entirely on fiscal concerns, and even serious issues like immigration reform, the war in Afghanistan, and terrorism trail far behind. Add to this: fear. Voters are scared of the size and scope of the government today. All of this coupled with a strong anti-incumbent sentiment makes 2012 the perfect environment for a free market-inclined candidate.

The GOP – and the country – will benefit from a leader who can offer intellectual depth, maturity, and humility. And most importantly someone who can put the brakes on President Obama’s big-government agenda.