Sarah Palin and Jeb Bush Poised to Lead Town-Hallers

Palin, Jeb Bush, Ron Paul among those seen benefiting from town hall protests.


By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Some call it the next conservative revolution, but whatever we dub the antigovernment ire at tea parties and town halls, there so far appears to be no elected official leading the charge. "It's a faceless movement," says a former Bush adviser, who credited media bigs like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck for whipping up the frenzy. So who's best positioned to lead the protesters into the next presidential election? Whispers asked a dozen GOP and conservative leaders to come up with a top 10 list. First, Rep. Ron Paul, popular among the town hallers. Then, Sarah Palin, whose 2008 crowds cheered her antitax message. Third, Newt Gingrich, the father of the 1994 conservative revolution. Next, populist Mike Huckabee. And fifth, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, said to be the family's passionate conservative.

The rest: South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; House GOP Whip Eric Cantor; and Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Pat Toomey.

Note who's missing: Mitt Romney. The GOP analysts say that's because conservatives are wary of his program to reform healthcare in Massachusetts that some say resembles universal healthcare.

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