As for whether The Times would find another conservative voice for its Op-Ed page, Mr. Rosenthal said: “Sadly, I can’t answer that question, except to say stay tuned. We have some interesting plans.”
Let's think about some options!
What about a lovable conservative lady to balance out Dowd and Gail Collins? Not an Ann Coulter, but maybe a Kathleen Parker (though she is just maverick-y enough to be palatable to Times readers!). Or that one token conservative woman at the Slate ladyblog? Someone like her, but more famous. Man, you know who would be great? Condi Rice!
Which brings us to another obvious, Safire-ian choice: the former Bush person. The model, of course, would be Karl Rove. But he's busy! And oy, the complaining they'd hear. So what about Bush speechwriters like Matt Scully or Michael Gerson? They can put words together! Or, hey, Mike Murphy—the former McCain hagiographer who became disgusted with his hero's campaign after he was sacked?
And, of course, there's the "future of the Republican party" guy. Oddly, right now, this means someone like Newt Gingrich, who is writing books about poverty and stuff, and not being the big prick he was in the '90s. Or maybe Rod Dreher, the Conservative who cares about the environment and being nice to people and stuff!
They could go the libertarian route again, even though John Tierney didn't work out. But who is a famous-enough liberatrian? How about Pamela "Atlas" Geller Oshry! She's perfect! Make it happen, Rosenthal!