Who will take over George Will’s conservative seat on ABC’s “This Week?”
On Tuesday, The Daily Caller first reported that Will had jumped ship to Fox News, at least in part because “This Week” is now filming regularly in New York City instead of Washington, D.C. For as long as I can remember, Will has been the conservative rock on the show’s panel. It’s unclear if ABC will replace Will with another permanent conservative thinker, but it is worth asking who they might consider if they do. Well, whether it is worth asking or not, we are going to pretend it is for the purposes of this article.
Below are 9 names (in no particular order). You won’t find people like Charles Krauthammer or Jonah Goldberg on the list because they already have Fox News contracts that — I imagine — would preclude them from appearing regularly on “This Week.”
1.) Peggy Noonan
Perhaps the most likely choice, Noonan already often appears on “This Week” and holds a stature comparable to Will’s. She wrote some of Ronald Reagan’s most celebrated speeches and her column for the Wall Street Journal regularly shakes campaigns and shapes the debate. She also lives in New York, which is a bonus now that the show films there.
2.) Ross Douthat
The young New York Times columnist is like Will in some ways: Unemotional and erudite. You won’t get a lot of flash with Douthat, but you would get a lot of smart analysis.
3.) Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn would be an inspired choice. Uproariously funny and always incisive, Steyn is a showman who would make the conservative case in an appealing and entertaining way.
4.) Hugh Hewitt
I imagine it is unlikely Hewitt would fly out every weekend from California to do the show, but he would fit in well on “This Week” without trying to tone down his conservatism in order to get along. His radio show regularly features thoughtful, engaging interviews with newsmakers and thinkers of both the left and the right — not just harangues like you find from many talk radio hosts. A lawyer who worked in the Reagan administration, Hewitt also teaches constitutional law in California.
5.) Bill Kristol
Unmoored from his Fox News contract, the editor of The Weekly Standard has been popping up everywhere, including on “This Week.” With a network of right-leaning organizations that he either founded or serves on the board of, Kristol is well-connected within the conservative movement. He even once served as chief of staff to Dan Quayle when he was vice president and ran Alan Keyes’ 1988 Maryland Senate campaign.
6.) Ann Coulter
If “This Week” wants to consistently make headlines, Ann Coulter might be the perfect pick. She knows what to say to stir liberal passions and is uncompromising in debate. In many ways, she is the anti-Will in terms of persona. A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of the Law Review, she also has a stellar academic pedigree.
7.) David Brooks
The New York Times columnist is a conservative that conservatives love to hate, perhaps because he has admitted he likes President Obama, particularly the creases in his pants. But like it or not, Brooks is smart and has interesting takes on the issues of the day. Remember, Bill Buckley was impressed enough with him to offer him a job and, according to one account, even consider him as his successor at the National Review. One could easily imagine Brooks as the conservative voice on “This Week,” even if it would drive the grassroots crazy.
8.) Mark Levin
The radio talker would probably be the people’s choice — if you define the people as the conservative activist base. A favorite of the grassroots, Levin often rails against the so-called Republican establishment, which you suspect he disdains as much as liberals. He would make the “This Week” panel plenty entertaining, but probably less collegial. Can you imagine Levin and Paul Krugman, a regular panelist on ‘This Week,’ chatting amiably?
9.) Chuck Norris
Just because …
Who did we miss? Tell us in the comments section below.