Presidential candidates usually go to Iowa and beg for votes in the primaries.  In 2012, however, Iowan voters are so desperate that they’ve become the beggars instead. 

On May 31, seven of them – all powerful donors – trekked all the way east to Princeton, New Jersey to visit the state’s Governor Chris Christie at his governor’s mansion. 

“What typically happens in Iowa is, candidates come around and talk to a variety of people [about running]. We've all been through that,” admitted Bruce Rastetter, one of the seven, reported LA Times.

“But we believe that it's certainly appropriate to go out and recruit a candidate that you feel would make a really great candidate,” said Rastetter.

“When you go about recruiting a great employee or CEO for your company, you go out and recruit. That's clearly what we were doing with Gov. Christie,” he added.

Christie isn’t the only one Iowan Republicans tried to recruit; they’ve also pproached Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush.  Both, like Christie, have declined to run.

The fact is that the Republican field looks extraordinarily weak in 2012.  Most of the candidates face one of the following problems:

Lack of popular support (Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich)

Lack of public recognition (Jon Huntsman, Tim Pawlenty)

Little Backing from the Republican establishment (Hermain Cain, Ron Paul)

Sarah Palin’s and Michele Bachman’s deficiencies don’t neatly fit into one category; instead, they suffer from all three problems.  Moreover, even if they’re elected by the GOP, they don’t really appeal to independents and probably can’t beat President Obama in the general election.

The Republicans arguably didn’t have a viable candidate in 2008 either; many saw John McCain as the weak GOP candidate who finally got his chance because no one serious wanted to run.

The Republicans haven’t had a great candidate since perhaps Ronald Reagan and it’s puzzling why that is.  Whatever the reason, their chances don’t look good in 2012.