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  1. Let’s start with the losers who were pretty much predetermined, because they’ve got no real following or chance of getting one – Burgrum, Hutchinson, Pence, Christie. It would be good if they just stepped aside.

    Scott is great, but mainly a VP candidate. He’d help any ticket.

    The others stood out, albeit for different reasons. They punched their ticket to go forward and raise money. I think any one of them has the potential to emerge as a serious Presidential candidate if Trump falters. I wish he’d step aside. The lawsuits are a real shit show.

    Haley was very strong, didn’t back down to Vivek. She has room to grow, although still fighting the female bias. She exposed Vivek as a foreign policy lightweight who’s unwilling to accept the complexity and nuance. Reminds me a bit of her hero Thatcher. She was good to point out how unpopular Trump is.

    DeSantis should stick to his Florida record, which is compelling. He needs a voice coach to teach him not to yell. He’s just not likable, although my friends in Florida think he’s super competent. It’s puzzling that he hasn’t broken through given his record and he may never break through. My friend, a staffer who worked with him in Congress, told me he was very unpopular with the staff.

    Vivek was introducing himself to most people, so his mannerisms were as important as his substance. His 10 principles are very very good. He has a great smile and he’s super smart, but comes across too much as the smartest guy in the room. His foreign policy statements were too hard edged on every front. He’ll have to back track like crazy on Taiwan and Israel.

    All of this is just chatter until we see what happens with Biden and Trump. I don’t think there’s much of a chance Biden will make it to 2024. He looks awful, talks stupidly and is clearly failing. Dems can’t afford to keep him in the basement forever, and there’s the obvious Harris problem. I think Dems would be smart to start exploring alternatives to both, before it’s too late.

    Then there’s Trump. I agree with him on most policies, but I’m very tired about everything being all about him. His ego won’t let him step aside, and there’s nobody to convince him it’s time to go except the electorate. It’s a dilemma for Republicans, because this is an election they could win with one of the other three I’ve mentioned. I think it would be especially interesting if Haley could continue to build her case for obvious reasons. She’s the one to watch.

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