The Locker Room

Barnes looks ahead to the GOP contest in 2012

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:56 PM

Fred Barnes calls the potential Republican presidential contenders "duller and less interesting" than the current GOP stars. He discusses the issue in more depth for The Weekly Standard:

Ask yourself these questions: Would it be more illuminating to talk to Mitt Romney, age 63, or Representative Paul Ryan, 40, about cutting spending and reforming entitlements? Would it be more interesting to chat with Haley Barbour, 63, or Bobby Jindal, 39, about maximizing the power of states? Would it be more stimulating to meet with Marco Rubio, 39, than with any of the presidential candidates?

...

Those three aren’t the only Republicans who are overshadowing the presidential candidates, just the youngest. The most sought-after speaker at Republican events anywhere in the country is Governor Chris Christie, 48, who has mounted a popular assault on New Jersey’s tax-and-spend culture. The governor whose state has fared the best over the past decade is Rick Perry of Texas, 60, elected to a third term on November 2. The era of Texas as America’s most prosperous and influential state has begun, social critic Joel Kotkin wrote recently, replacing the era of California. It happened on Perry’s watch.

One thing Ryan, Jindal, Rubio, Christie, and Perry have in common is they’re not running for president.

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