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Obama in 2012: Who can challenge him?

Newsweek/Daily Beast columnist Jack W. Germond says Republicans don't have anyone yet who can challenge Barack Obama for the 2012 presidency.

Can Mitt Romney, shown here meeting with entrepreneurs at Bizdom U in Detroit, Mich., June 9, 2011, beat Barack Obama in the 2012 election?

Carlos Osorio/AP

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By Jack W. Germond

Newsweek/DailyBeast

Democrats might be forgiven if they believe the sky has been falling since June arrived. The economic numbers are almost all wretched. And so is the situation in the Middle East. The pressure to quit Afghanistan is rising. Nobody seems very happy with President Obama.

But another of those many First Rules of Politics holds that you can’t beat somebody with nobody. And, at this point, there is no Republican out there who seems capable of enlisting enthusiastic support across the party’s ideological spectrum.

This doesn’t suggest there is no candidate in the GOP field who could be a credible president of the United States. The requirements are not that stringent. After all, the republic survived eight years of George W. Bush.

IN PICTURES: Who's Running, Who Might?

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