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Inside Political Baseball With GOP Presidential Debates

August 16, 2011

A slew of Republican presidential debates are about to start that will allow for some slings and arrows to be used by the candidates to further enhance their own image, while hoping to take down an opponent.

Exactly how that will be done is the game to watch.

Assuming Perry participates in the majority (or all) of the five scheduled debates, the dynamic between he, Romney and Bachmann will be intriguing to watch.

Romney has skated above the partisan fray so far; last Thursday he watched as Pawlenty and Bachmann exchanged blows in the Ames debate.

But Perry’s candidacy is designed to provide an electable conservative alternative to Romney, and so he’ll need to start highlighting contrasts between his record in Texas and Romney’s in Massachusetts.

Of course, Bachmann is the more immediate threat to Perry’s rise, given her pole position in Iowa. So perhaps he chooses to take her on first, before turning his attention to Romney.

It’s a game of three-dimensional chess with potentially lasting implications in the race to come. And it will all happen over the next 60 (or so) days.

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