Kristol vs. Kilgore

Bill Kristol wants a wide-open field in the Republican presidential primaries.

Ed Kilgore argues that the field is a lot narrower than people think. “Barbour, Daniels, Thune, and Pence may walk tall in Washington, and they can raise money quickly, but they are not particularly well known to the rank-and-file outside their own states. . . . If any of them wants to score a win on the ground in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, he will have to . . .  begin campaigning seriously more or less now. Otherwise, we should all admit that the field of legitimate contenders for the Republican nomination looks like this: Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich, Palin (or Bachmann in her absence), and Pawlenty.” (I can think of only one other candidate who can afford to wait: Jeb Bush, who says he isn’t running.)

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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