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Juan Williams praises Christie and Daniels.

1:01 PM, Aug 8, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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If my ears didn't deceive me, I heard Juan Williams say this morning, seated only a few feet away on Fox News Sunday, that "everyone likes Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels." He said this, of course, as a prelude to arguing that Christie and Daniels are much more reasonable than those wacky Republican congressional candidates who are going to doom GOP chances this fall. Still he said it, as if it were an obvious fact, a consensus view, a given.

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Consider the extent of that concession. Two Republican governors, governing as bold spending-cutting and non-tax-hiking conservatives, in states Obama carried, have been sufficiently successful and popular that it can be stipulated by Juan that of course they're respectable political figures and even good guys. Conservatives are winning.

And (not to over-interpret one throwaway line from Juan!), it makes me wonder whether there isn't a pretty good chance the next GOP nominee won't be someone who is now governing successfully at the state level (like Christie or Daniels), or perhaps someone who next year could be seen to be quasi-governing effectively at the national level (in the sense of convincingly framing an alternative to Obama), if the GOP wins one or both Houses (like Paul Ryan).

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