The Republican who most threatens President Obama in the next Presidential election is that famous "Generic Republican" who keeps besting Obama in the polls. Once a nominee gets a name and face, then he/she is going have to run a gauntlet of mud pies to get to the finish line. And it's already started.
Rick Perry seems to be drawing the most fire from liberal columnists, and that's a good clue as to who they think threatens the incumbent most.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank is trying to throw a rock at Rick Perry by saying he wasn't much of a libertarian until just recently. That may be true, but no one sympathetic to Obama would consider voting for a Republican anyway, regardless of the libertarian leanings. So the purpose of Mr. Milbank's attack is to try to sway those libertarian Tea Party types who haven't yet committed themselves to a candidate. The Tea Party folks may not be committed to a candidate, but they are quite committed to a change at the White House. And it's a good bet they will be eager to defeat Obama regardless of who steps into the shoes of that "Generic Republican."
Meanwhile, David Boaz tosses the rock right back at Milbank with this:
Good point. Now if only the Post had warned voters about Barack Obama back in 2007. And alas, Milbank could be kept busy for the next few weeks writing about presidential candidates who are “no libertarian.”
Expect more rock throwing and mud slinging between now and the 2012 election, and I say "great!" That's democracy in action. It's loud, it's messy, and it's the best thing going.