On this blog, I have repeatedly stated my hope that a latter-day Coolidge might emerge from the Republican party’s field of presidential hopefuls. The new apparent front-runner for the nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, gets the Coolidge treatment in a recent Houston Chronicle item, but others haven’t been as convinced that Perry’s actions will reflect his words. One irony is that a “conservative” president today can’t afford to be merely a caretaker, even if that is what the Constitution originally intended the “chief magistrate” to be. A conservative president today will need to be as activist as any progressive, only in reverse – he (or she) will need to cut, slash and burn rather than just trim the bloated budget as a first and foremost task; will need to wean Americans off so-called entitlements, and will need to disentangle the U.S. from a multitude of foreign misadventures and outdated engagements, all the while battling or perhaps pre-empting what will likely be a vociferous congressional and popular opposition. It is to be hoped that the on-going campaign will reveal more clues as to whether Rick Perry is the sagebrush Coolidge some appear to be seeing in him.