The GOP buzz around the country is that New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman just may constitute the second half of the Republican ticket in 1996. "People were carried away" by Whitman's terse rebuttal of President Clinton's lengthy State of the Union address this week, Republican National Committee Chairman Haley Barbour toldTIME correspondent Bonnie Angelo. "This was the the first time most people had seen her, and I guarantee you, they liked what they saw." If the tax-cutting Whitman needs further backers, she can look to the 14 GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates she stumped for last year, as well as presidential hopeful Bob Dole, who said this week: "She'd be on anybody's short list."