The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza offers THIS LIST.
FYI, I totally agree with him on number one — Haley Barbour. The Mississippi governor and head of the potent Republican Governors Association has long been one of the smartest politicians in the country, including during the years when he wasn’t governor and worked for the party. He’s a tough attack dog, knows how to frame an issue but also seems to have some of the joy of political combat. Too many of today’s politicos seem angry, and strident — as if they’re all trying to get talk radio shows (some of them already have TV gigs).
Barbor is one smart cookie — something top Dems would agree on as well. It sounds like he wants to go for the GOP nomination, and that may not be in the cards but he’s someone who will not make things easy for the Democrats in coming elections. A working governor, ace politician and policy wonk. Cillizza is on the button.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.