In this week's edition of the boss's email newsletter -- Kristol Clear -- readers are asked to rank their top three picks for the GOP's 2016 presidential nominee. The boss writes:
With Jeb Bush's entry into the race, it's a good time to get an update on what you think of the Republican presidential race. You know the drill: As of now, who are your first, second, and third choices among these declared and likely-to-declare candidates? ...
And let me ask another question: Which of these two formats would you prefer for the first couple of nationally televised debates in August and September?
1. The debate participants will be limited to the top ten candidates, determined by their standing in an average of national polls at the time.
Or, 2. All fifteen or so serious candidates--i.e., who hold or have held major elective office, or who have some support in national polls--would be randomly divided into two groups, and there would be two debates, held back to back the same evening or on two consecutive evenings.
As popular as it has been with readers of the newsletter, we wanted to give readers of the blog a chance to vote for their top three picks, which you can do below. And if you don't already get Bill's newsletter, subscribe for free!
(Update: Donald Trump has since entered the race, and will be included in the next ballot. Those who wish to cast a vote for Trump are free to write him in this go around.)
Last week, Fox News announced its guidelines for the first debate among presidential contenders endorsed by the Republican National Committee (RNC). The network plans to invite the top 10 candidates, with the ranking determined by an average of the five most recent national opinion polls before the August 6 event. This is similar to the approach it has taken in previous cycles.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly encouraged embattled NBC anchor Brian Williams to come on her show for an interview. She said "the desire by so many to tear him down is also somewhat discomfiting."
"If I were Brian Williams," Kelly said, "I think the only thing he can do at this point is come out and say, 'I truly screwed up the Iraq coverage.' I think he can still credibly say, 'In my mind, I was scared, I was confused, I guess I was just wrong from beginning and now I realize I was wrong, and I really was wrong when I then added the RPG fire into it in my helicopter.'"
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin broke with his party's leader in the Senate by refusing to attack a pair of wealthy billionaire brothers who donate to free-market causes. Asked about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's frequent attacks on Charles and David Koch, Manchin told Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Thursday morning that there's nothing wrong with what the brothers are doing.