David Brooks happily declares the emergence of his kind of Republican on the national stage—members of what he dubs the "austerity caucus." They're more wonky than flashy, with more of a focus on balancing budgets and pragmatic daily concerns than grand visions of the future. He puts Meg Whitman, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Rob Portman, and Mitch Daniels (his early pick to win the 2012 nomination) squarely in this camp.
"Just as welfare reformers of the 1990s presaged compassionate conservatism, so the austerity brigades presage the national party’s next chapter," he writes in the New York Times. Whitman's a good example of the type. "Not big picture, like Reagan. Not an idea volcano, like Gingrich. Not a straightforward man of faith, like George W. Bush. The quintessential New Republican is detail-oriented, managerial, tough-minded, effective but a little dry. If Whitman wins her race, she’ll fit right in." (Read more Meg Whitman stories.)