With this summer’s heated town halls and tea parties against big government still fresh in their minds, conservative activists are looking for leadership from Washington to take charge of the grass-roots battle cry against Democrats. Key conservatives tell Whispers that there are five lawmakers poised to lead the conservative populists, perhaps all the way to the 2012 or 2016 presidential campaigns. One is in the Senate:
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the GOP whip. One is running for the Senate: Ohio’s Rob Portman, a former House leader who directed former President Bush’s budget office. Three are House conservative sparkplugs: Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican leader; Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, the populist No. 3 House GOP leader; and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a fiscal conservative.