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March 07, 2011

GOP 2012 "Candidate Forum" in Iowa

Ah, the day fretting Rule Class drones have been waiting for: the first Republican 2012 debate has arrived, though it's officially styled a "candidate forum" hosted by the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition and there will only be five candidates there.

Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, will get 10 minutes each to make their first case to Iowa primary voters. The first four need no introduction and their presidential aspirations are well known. Roemer is new to the race; he announced an exploratory committee last week.

The other major contenders, including Palin, Thune (before he dropped out), Romney, Huckabee, Paul, Johnson, and Barbour were invited, but declined to appear.

Also not appearing will be the little-known, no-chance dude running for president on the "I'm a gay Republican who only wants to talk about gay issues" ticket, who is so stomping mad about being excluded that he filed a complaint with the FEC. He's insulted that the organizers don't view his gay rights platform as a legitimate run for the White House. Heh.

Anyway, if you're interested, it'll be on C-SPAN at 8pm ET. For my money, the only one worth anything is Cain, but I haven't heard Roemer before, so maybe he's okay. If I had my way, election season wouldn't start until January 2012. On the other hand, the GOP has -- since 1952 -- apparently always had a clear frontrunner at this point in the race. We don't this year, so maybe we need some time to work it out.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 06:06 PM

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