There is an old tradition in GOP presidential politics: the tradition of 'waiting your turn' at a presidential nomination. It's a little like the Oscars. Some actors and actresses get their first Oscar after several tries, until the majority of the Academy members agree that it is his or her turn. Well the same rule seems to apply to the GOP, except with more rigidity.
Nixon had his turn in 1960, but was awarded a second chance in 1968. After that, every GOP presidential nominee, except George W. Bush, has been an older career party leader with GOP presidential primary experience, whose turn had come up. We had Reagan, followed by George H.W. Bush, then Bob Dole, then George W. Bush (who sucker-punched John McCain), and then John McCain was awarded his chance. It seems there is a structure in which these men have to earn their nomination. Three of the five names above won the party nomination on their second try. The GOP seems to like this dues-paying exercise.
And next in the batting order seems to be Mitt Romney. It isn't going to be Sarah Palin. It isn't going to be Bobby Jindal. And it isn't going to be another newcomer like John Ensign of Arizona or Scott Brown of Massachusetts. It's Romney. You can see him coming a mile away.
Although I do admit, the VP list for the GOP will be interesting. Not only would John Ensign and Scott Brown be acceptable choices, but there is a small number of GOP leaders who want Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño on the ticket. He would not only be the first Latino on a presidential ticket, but also be the first national candidate born in the future state of Puerto Rico.