Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Republican debate

I will be covering tomorrow's Republican presidential debate, scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Pacific time tomorrow at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. It will be carried live on MSNBC and Webcast by Politico. I won't be set up to blog from there, but I'll provide input for the Register's editorial on the event and will be blogging both here and on the Register's blog, "Orange Punch." Perhaps on Thursday evening when I get home, but definitely on Friday.

There are 10 candidates in this event, so even though it's scheduled for 90 minutes there won't be much chance for candidates to present their views in anything like sufficient detail. And Fred Thompson, who's been doing well in the polls, is not an announced candidate (yet), so he won't be there (though he'll be in Orange County Friday at the GOP establishment Lincoln Club).

I'll be looking to see if the titular front-runners, Giuliani and McCain, either stumble or do something to consolidate their positions, and whether Mitt Romney does well enough to start moving up. I'll also try to assess whether the others in the pack -- Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Tommy Thompson, and most of all Ron Paul -- distinguish themselves enough that they're likely to stick around much longer. Ron Paul has only token money, but a good performance here -- especially one emphasizing his opposition to the war and support for a non-interventionist foreign policy -- could spark enough support that he can keep these issues being discussed deep into the election cycle.

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