Defending the family

GOP's class of 2016 hopefuls may be the best in generations

The class of candidates for 2016 has the potential to be the most robust in almost 40 years--perhaps in modern Republican history. It depends on who finally decides to run, of course, but six governors and four senators are thinking seriously about it. Popular but implausible candidates like Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann have not emerged. If you were an excitable type, you could really get your hopes up that the high caliber of the candidates might connect with the energetic issues debate taking place in the conservative movement and spur an actual public discussion and competition of ideas.

Who isn't trying to be the ideas candidate in the 2016 campaign? Texas Gov. Rick Perry is working to overcome his 2012 debate aphasia, so he's trying to show some policy chops. Though former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush holds controversial ideas on Common Core education standards and immigration, those close to him say he won't run unless he can promote those ideas with gusto.

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