The GOP Race: None of the Above

The party is headed for the most wide-open nomination fight since Wendell Willkie. You remember him

Chip Litherland / The New York Times / Redux

Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Rudolph Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain on stage at the debate in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Republicans normally pour the same amount of uncertainty into picking a presidential nominee that Buckingham Palace puts into its Changing of the Guard. That is, as little as possible. Republicans prefer to find a brand-name, big-state governor, surround him with the same right-thinking brains on taxes, foreign policy and the New Testament, back him with all the cash he will need to corner TV time in New Hampshire and then run the nominee through a quick gauntlet of primaries before anyone else has a chance at the prize. The whole thing makes for more of a ritual than a...

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