01/19/12 — One more out: Perry's announcement another bit of a game-changer

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One more out: Perry's announcement another bit of a game-changer

It is beginning to feel like an episode of "Survivor" -- complete with deal-making, back-biting and an almost weekly vote off the island.

And while it might be tedious to watch it happen, and the debates a little bit like reruns, truth is, it is a nice problem to have.

There will be disagreements among Republicans about the best approach to the upcoming election. And the opinions about how to run the primary campaign are all valid -- each with its own salient points.

The reality is, you can't win if you don't fight, but if you fight too much, you get off message. So, it will be interesting to see what happens now, as the field narrows and the stakes get larger.

The news that Rick Perry is dropping out of the race is not all that much of a surprise. It has been a tough few months for the Texas governor.

But the measure of the men who are left in the battle will be how they decide to move forward.

Will they tone down the vitriol and try to focus on the issues that separate them or will there be a whole new round of attack ads?

Only time will tell.

But the fact that there is a debate -- and that there are issues to consider -- is healthy, not just for the party, but for the country.

The fight is not over yet, but it is about to get interesting. Who knows, North Carolina just might end up being the deciding vote.

Published in Editorials on January 19, 2012 10:54 AM