In comparing the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination with the 2004 Democratic primary, columnist Stuart Rothenberg likens the relationship between Texas Gov. Rick Perry (left) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (right) to that of then-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Sen. John Kerry.
The Iowa caucuses are a long way off, and the Republican race might take many turns. But Romney has the potential to be Kerry in the GOP race — serious, thoughtful, measured ... and presidential.
The key questions, then, are whether Perry will fall into the trap of being the Republicans’ Dean and whether GOP voters in 2012 are so angry and itching for a fight with President Barack Obama and his party that they don’t even care who sounds more presidential.