The next presidential campaign starts the day after the midterm election and a lot of wheeling and dealing, political alignment, talent hiring by campaigns etc. happen in early 2011, while it is still very difficult to judge the future mood of the country in late 2012. As 2011 progresses, the economy gradually picks up (in part because more and more stimulus money is finally being spent), the unemployment rate starts declining, but the leading GOP candidates are oblivious as they are too absorbed in debating who’s the most conservative of all (their TV debates often resemble Monty Python’s ” Four Yorkshiremen“). In the meantime, quite a few Republican veterans in Congress realize where it is all headed and decide to quit (either to retire or to pursue other opportunities) rather than spend years in a marginalized minority or even suffer an ignominious defeat. More conservative (on average) candidates are nominated as prospective replacements. In January 2012, the party quickly picks a presidential candidate – a true conservative, of course. A matching running mate is picked a bit later. Conservatives have great hopes for their dream ticket (Rush Limbaugh – Ann Coulter 2012 or perhaps their proxies among the professional politicians).