Rick Perry/Nikki Haley '12

By the end of August there will be a slingshot effect, like that they used to swing the astronauts around the Earth to pitch them to the moon, but this a rapid thrust in cultural and political velocity. The dreary budget ceiling bickering — which casts its pall on all parties involved — will be resolved, but more than that football will be back, brought to a fever pitch after the recent threats of cancellation. And one candidate will ride that American energy forward as Pecos Bill rode the cyclone: Rick Perry, governor of Texas. There may be another, Sarah Palin and maybe a third, Rudy Giuliani. But the one long awaited and the one in my opinion likely to ride the new conservative action and passion to the Republican nomination will be Rick Perry.

His choice for vice president might look back to the “establishment” to bring continuity; best for that might be Rob Portman of Ohio. Better would be Jon Huntsman Jr. in an all-Western ticket to follow the contours of the demographics heading west and the new economy travelling across the Pacific. And he needs someone young, dynamic and new to the national field like Huntsman or Bobby Jindal, the very popular governor of Louisiana. But both might be too close to home.

Don’t overlook Nikki Haley, the exciting new governor of South Carolina. Perry and Haley have today together signed an op-ed in The Washington Post titled “Break the spend-and-borrow cycle.”

Perry first nationally challenged federal bailouts in December 2008. He and then-governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford challenged other governors to join them in opposition. It was a revolutionary moment and became prelude to the Tea Party. They wrote then in The Wall Street Journal: "As governors and citizens, we've grown increasingly concerned over the past weeks as Washington has thrown bailout after bailout at the national economy with little to show for it ... In the process, the federal government is not only burying future generations under mountains of debt. It is also taking our country in a very dangerous direction — toward a ‘bailout mentality’ where we look to government rather than ourselves for solutions."

It is interesting that Haley, who replaced Sanford, has picked up the thread and tag-teamed again with Perry. She repeats again and again that she does not want to be selected for vice president; that she is only now the “flavor of the month” as a new governor, but she is an extraordinary individual from an extraordinary family and it is hard to imagine a more perfect candidate.

The lead from their Washington Post essay:

As governors of states whose residents, like all Americans, are desperate for the restoration of fiscal responsibility in Washington, we are proud to have signed the “Cut, Cap and Balance Pledge” amid the debate over once again raising the federal debt ceiling.

We oppose an increase in the federal debt limit unless three common-sense conditions are met: substantial cuts in spending; enforceable spending caps to put the country on a path to a balanced budget; and congressional passage of a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment should include a requirement for a congressional supermajority to approve any raises in taxes.