But it is a measure of the Republican Party’s presidential campaign that George Pataki could emerge as a figure of some stature, as an adult in a room filled with screaming kids (save for Jon Huntsman, who hasn’t exactly caught on with the party’s rank and file). The former governor could speak with some passion about the importance of conserving natural resources—a concept that many of today’s Republican frontrunners view as akin to socialism.
He’s not a perfect candidate. He may not even be a serious candidate. But he certainly could be an important candidate—if he can articulate a vision of Republicanism that is more welcoming, less angry and more responsible than the version on display at the moment.