A new Republican primary narrative may be taking shape in the coming weeks and here is how it could play:
Rick Perry is having significant impact on the race and while he may scare some moderate Republicans, he knows how to fight and is attracting the base. Can we win the nomination? You bet.
Perry threatens both Michelle Bachmann and Mitt Romney but Bachmann will be in serious trouble in the coming months maintaining her traction with a competitor like Perry stealing her spotlight. And Perry is more electable than Bachmann is in a general. Bachmann simply cannot win the general election against Obama and the primary voters know this. This is a big part of the Perry appeal.
Sarah Palin is likely watching this closely. If Perry folds, she will likely get in. If he does not, she will likely not. She has too much to lose by entering the race and becoming irrelevant fast. She will only enter is she has a shot at winning. If not, she will do a dance and not enter.
Huntsman can be the dark horse if he can prove to the American people that he too is a fighter. Let the American people learn about him. If he wants to be civil that is fine, but he needs to fight in order to win. A contradiction? Maybe. But this is the only way he can win.