Fred Barnes says there's not much sense getting worked up about GOP presidential nominees for 2012 until after the 2010 elections. At that point, even Meg Whitman and John Kasich could conceivably join the list of usual suspects. In his survey of the field, however, Barnes seems to have a pundit crush on Texas Gov. Rick Perry, "for whom 2010 may be the most consequential breakout year." If he routs his Democratic challenger to win a third term, look out.
Perry is "the most successful governor in the country," having turned Texas into a "job-creation machine," writes Barnes at the Weekly Standard. Plus, "he’s running for reelection on an anti-Washington theme, and he’s also antiestablishment, having beaten the darling of the Texas Republican grandees (Kay Bailey Hutchison, in the primary). For a Republican, that’s just about perfect positioning."