In this long run-up to next year’s contest, 16 of the men and women who are seriously thinking of running for president have been on the other side of the microphone from me at least once—some multiple times—since the New Year. Using last names, in alphabetical order, they are: Bolton, Bush, Carson, Christie, Cruz, Fiorina, Graham, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Santorum, Trump and Walker.
There has never been as deep a GOP field, full of experienced and able communicators, executives, thinkers and showmen. The debates in which I will get to participate will need stadium seating for the candidates and lots more time than the customary 90 to 120 minutes, if all are to be given a chance to opine on the key issues of the campaign. In today’s media saturated world, “funny” and “relaxed” are almost the highest compliments that can be earned after “serious and informed.” Most of these candidates are all of those things. Touch, timing, charm and charisma—never have such hard-to-define qualities mattered so much. And rarely have they been this abundant.
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