GOP presidential hopefuls at a recent debate (Getty Images)

Charles M. Blow, the New York Times op-ed columnist, says that the Republican Party is poised to squander an electoral opportunity of historic scale as it desperately seeks a candidate who can beat President Barack Obama in 2012. Given the current lineup, he says, it may miss its chance.

Their last glimmers of hope disappeared this week when both the Mama Grizzly from Alaska and the Papa Bear from New Jersey announced that they would not run.


That means this is it. Republicans are stuck with the group they have: The Imperfect 10. They are so lackluster that most people can't even name the front-runners. According to a poll released this week by the Pew Research Center, unlike in 2007, 1999 and 1995 when about half of Americans could name a Republican front-runner at this point in the campaign, this year little more than a quarter can.

This was supposed to be a cakewalk for Republican voters. Instead, they find themselves poring over a platter of options as dense as dough, as hollow as choux and as thin as phyllo.

Read Charles M. Blow's entire column at the New York Times.

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