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Don’t Block Up the Hall


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Weekly Standard:

Is Newt Gingrich getting out? Could be—or maybe you don’t need a staff to run. Is Rick Perry getting in? Why not? Who else combines governing success and Tea Party credibility? What about Rudy Giuliani? He apparently intends to see whether the second time’s a charm. In the Senate Dining Room, John Thune’s getting encouragement to reconsider from some of his colleagues, while Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn are conferring to see if one of them should carry the deficit hawk banner. What about Sarah Palin? Is September too late for Paul Ryan? Is November for Chris Christie? Isn’t the world a pretty dangerous place? Calling John Bolton .  .  .

And others are lurking in the wings, taking importuning phone calls. One has the last name of Bush.

Welcome to this year’s Republican presidential contest. It’s wide open. It’s chaotic. The control freaks in the political establishment have a case of agita. The donor class—who made fortunes taking risks but who want certainty in politics—are uncomfortable. The media have lost control of the narrative, and—in between reading Sarah Palin’s old emails—they’re all muttering and grumbling. But the fact is, a wide-open primary season will likely prove good for the Republican party, good for the conservative cause, and good for the country.

Competition is good, after all. Road testing is useful. Surprises are fun. If the filing deadlines for the primaries aren’t until after November 1, then let candidates think and explore and test until the fall. The economy, the world, public sentiment, politics—all are unpredictable. Why engage in the fatal conceit that one can know who the best candidate will be before any campaigning?snip
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