Ramesh Ponuru makes the counter-argument against the 2012 GOP field being labeled as weak:
The three people most likely to win the Republican nomination — Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman, according to Intrade.com — have all been governors. Two of them were governors of states that Obama carried in 2008. By contrast, the top three candidates for the Democratic nomination last time around (Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards) had a combined zero days of executive experience. This time, even some long-shot Republican candidates have stronger resumes than that: Libertarian gadfly Gary Johnson, for example, was a two-term governor of New Mexico.
Romney is well-versed on the issues and fast on his feet. Pawlenty, by addressing voter concerns about health care and traffic congestion while holding the line on taxes, managed to win re-election in deep-blue Minnesota in 2006, when Republicans were routed nationwide. Huntsman was a popular governor of Utah and, as the former ambassador to China, is knowledgeable about the country’s most important economic relationship.
Ramesh makes a good point about executive experience. However, will this group of ex-governor’s and their experience(s) be able to hold up against the incumbents?