Little wonder that candidates increasingly do their best to rehearse and rehearse and stick to prepared talking points. However, there are plenty of other opportunities besides the debates for missteps to go viral on the web.
Scott Walker tells voters, "I'm a tough guy, too!" (Right...)
Coming off his embarrassingly disastrous "oops" run for the presidency four years ago, Rick Perry announced this week that most staffers will no longer receive salaries due to much lower than expected financial donations in his current crawl to the highest office in the land.
Someone who says what he believes and sticks to it and who dares anyone to challenge him. Imagine that Bush going up against Clinton. Now that's a match-up that would make the Democrat gods shudder.
Perhaps the failure of the experience argument over the last two elections is why Republicans seem so eager to pick a candidate who has never held a political job for even a day.
As the presidential race heats up, all candidates will be judged on questions of policy and character. Those who embrace the difficult and unglamorous responsibilities of daily citizenship will have a greater claim to the type of character that can lead a nation.
We're going to begin today with a wrapup of the week that was in the presidential campaigns, and as befitting his status as the Republican frontrunner, we're going to start with Donald Trump.
Many Republican politicians call themselves "values candidates." What does that really mean? Is there another way to talk about "values" that expands the definition and lends more predictability to the success of the 2016 presidential election?
Well, that was entertaining, wasn't it? We refer, of course, to the grand spectacle of the first Republican presidential debates, held last night on Fox News. Since this is all anyone's talking about in the political world today, we are going to follow suit and devote most of this column to our reactions.
Amid an ugly performance by unpolished candidates, mostly on the fringe of their own party, Carly Fiorina stood out with a decisive victory.
Though some participants fared better than others, not a person on that stage delivered a performance so commanding that it merits promotion into the top tier. In this Trump-less environment, there was ample opportunity to break out. That didn't happen.
Racism, child labor, poverty, gender inequality and homophobia are not phenomena of the 21st century. They are our history. Over the past 5 or 6 decades the doors to these parts of our reality were kicked open and folks like those in Monday's focus group and forum audience don't want to look.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is confirming our long-held astonishment that he could be Governor of anything, let alone the 12th largest economy in the world. One day, and hopefully soon, Rick Perry will not seem like a blubbering doofus. That day is not today.
When political wonks are prostrating themselves before Sheldon Adelson for a shot at his billions, you can't really expect us to care what politicians may or may not say in a public debate. Instead, let's set candidates in a series of one-on-one debates and run it NCAA March Madness style.
Elbowing for the bottom rung has been fierce, but there's plenty of material on those we know will be on the podium. Whether you tune in to the Republican debate or not, know this: No matter who wins, women lose.
Handling Trump in Thursday's debate will be challenging, especially for Jeb Bush, who may have the most to lose if he performs poorly. Although it is very early in the campaign, first impressions can be important.