Fox News has announced the ten participants in its primetime Republican debate on Thursday night – real estate magnate Donald Trump; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The surprises here are Christie and Kasich who slid in past Perry, Santorum and Fiorina. How important is this? I think very. I sense a general impatience, even anxiety, with the number of candidates. Unless one or more of the top ten make a serious gaffe on Thursday night, those are the people we will be choosing from. I don’t like it necessarily (I’m particularly sad about Fiorina), but that’s the reality. It’s Megyn and O’Reilly’s world and we just live in it. (I don’t think it should be, but it is.)
The elephant in the room, of course, is Trump who is lapping the field in the polls, drawing some 25% of voters among 17 candidates. No one else is close. That’s formidable. And here’s a problem for the other candidates. By rough math, all they will have is about 11 minutes each to upend Donald. Not a lot of time.
I’ll be back later with some predictions. That’s my job – to make a fool of myself.