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No Need to Get Tied Down Yet

The GOP lacks a standard-bearer for 2012—but the list of contenders will be growing in the fall.

Mar 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 25 • By FRED BARNES
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Governors, or ex-governors, often make better presidential candidates. This may encourage retiring Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty. Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has built a national network of conservative allies, which could be the basis for a presidential bid.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Sarah Palin or Newt Gingrich. They’re already national figures. Palin seems to feel no urgency about 2012. She may be planning a presidential run, but there’s no evidence of it. Instead, she’s giving speeches, endorsing Republican candidates, appearing on Fox News, writing a second book, and trying to develop a TV show. Gingrich, according to various reports, plans to run.

But it’s Perry for whom 2010 may be the most consequential breakout year. He’s running for reelection on an anti-Washington theme, and he’s also antiestablishment, having beaten the darling of the Texas Republican grandees. For a Republican, that’s just about perfect positioning.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

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