The republican primary campaign for the presidential nomination in 2016 will be very different from the campaigns of 2008 and 2012. Thank goodness.In 2008 there were 21 televised debates and eventually 12 candidates on the national stage: Mitt Romney, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Jim Gilmore, Rick Santorum, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Alan Keyes, Fred Thompson, and Tom Tancredo. The crowded debate stage provided each candidate little opportunity to introduce himself, and the topics debated were often chosen by establishment-left media. Newt Gingrich refused to join the fray, comparing his reticence with that of Charles de Gaulle during the Fourth Republic refusing to engage with lesser French politicians viewed as “pygmies.”
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