Presidential Pick ’Em

From left: Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, and Haley Barbour.
Illustrations by Tony Millionaire

Rich Lowry, National Review:
________ probably has a better chance to unite the Establishment and tea-party wings of the GOP than anyone else, certainly a better chance than Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney would seem to have at this juncture. The Establishment would presumably flock to ________ , while he’d have a record of solid conservative accomplishment to sell to the conservative base.

Paul Gigot, Wall Street Journal:
My guess is Mr. ________ would immediately join the front-runners in the polls, he’d be able to raise plenty of money, and his chances would then depend on whether his message meets the moment.

Michael Gerson, Washington Post:
________ said … change will require “big majorities” that must include “people who never tune in to Rush or Glenn or Laura or Sean” … He is one of few politicians in America who are thinking like a president.

Rich Karlgaard, Forbes:
________ is easily the most connected of all Republican candidates. He knows every governor, most legislators, all the fund-raisers. ________ is, simply, a terrific salesman for [his state]’s business community. He is the only Republican candidate who talks about economic growth as Ronald Reagan would have.

Michael Medved, The Daily Beast:
Like every other conservative I know—honestly, there are no exceptions—I feel energized and excited by the possibility that ________ will jump into the race. Even if he fails to emerge as his party’s final choice to take on Barack Obama, ________ ’s participation will instantly raise the level of debate and lift the spirits of wary Republicans.

Jonah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times:
Gov. ________ ’s announcement that he can’t play in the presidential primaries … is terrible news for the GOP and the country. It’s terrible not because was obviously the best candidate or that he had the best chance to beat President Obama. It’s terrible because ________ would have elevated the debate on entitlement reform and the budget in a way that no one else currently in the race seems able to.

Ross Douthat, New York Times:
In his … tenure, ________ has accomplished more, against more determined opposition, amid more media scrutiny and with more resilient poll numbers than almost any Great Recession politician. Six months ago, the best argument for a ________ campaign was that the Republican Party needed him. That wasn’t nearly enough to justify the risk. But if the country needs him? Then it might be worth considering.

Answer Key: Lowry: Jeb Bush; Gigot: Chris Christie; Gerson: Mitch Daniels; Karlgaard: Haley Barbour; Medved: Paul Ryan; Goldberg: Mitch Daniels; Douthat: Chris Christie

Presidential Pick ’Em