These are strange days for Republicans. After their historic midterm victories, they are seemingly ascendant, with George Will hailing 2010 as “conservatism’s best year in 30 years–since the election of Ronald Reagan.” And yet there is no Reagan-like figure to lead them. In Congress, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are Establishmentarians ill-suited to the fervor of the times. The Republicans who are currently angling to run for the White House in 2012–Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, John Thune, to name a few–inspire little enthusiasm. Sarah Palin, the one potential presidential candidate who does get Republican pulses racing, is such a polarizing figure that the party Establishment is terrified she’ll run. At the very moment that the GOP appears poised to return from its short sojourn in the political wilderness, the party is desperately searching for a leader. Which explains conservatives’ serious–and sudden–infatuation with Chris Christie.