Pataki opts out of running in 2012

Former New York Governor George Pataki has decided against jumping into the race for the GOP nomination for president according to CNN:

Pataki, who had been flirting with a White House bid for months, was scheduled to appear this weekend in the key early voting state of Iowa.

Speculation was that the former three-term governor would announce his candidacy Saturday at the Polk County Republican fundraiser.

But the source said that Pataki, who seriously considered running, has decided instead to forgo a run for the GOP nomination.

Pataki would have joined the "not Romney" crowd of candidates and would have done so at an extremely late date, with little money and less organization.

Rick Perry seems to have been annointed the "not Romney" candidate which makes a run by a moderate Republican not in the race yet almost impossible. The only chance Pataki would have had depended on both Romney and Perry self destructing - an extremely unlikely scenario.

Pataki is saving himself a lot of headaches by staying on the sidelines.