The other candidates weren't at the Republican Assembly showcase because organizers said they sought a "serious" discussion.How serious was it? Barnett praised prayer (no word on whether puppy dogs, apple pies and grandparents were also singled out), and also attacked taxes (no word on whether death was criticized).
Jennison took a moderate stance, arguing against alienating Republicans, and criticizing property taxes, instead of income taxes.
Canfield, who no one knows beyond his support for fathers (no comment on mothers), recounted a story from a Sunday school class he was teaching. In a vocabulary discussion, he asked:
"(What do) we call those guys that say one thing and do another?"Feel the warm, unifying glow? I guess that's what good parenting looks like, and we can only imagine his voucher plan would unfold along the same welcoming lines. He continued the theme, "To be certain, Canfield said, moderate Republicans fail to grasp fiscal restraint."
"Democrats," a child said.
"I said, 'Yes.' "
It's worth noting that even the "moderate" Jennison staked out some wacky positions, and his gambling ties won't go over well in the primaries.
Right now, I'd say that the presumptive front-runner is Canfield, whose Brownback support and missing record will make it hard for opponents to be too aggressive in attacking him. And I like the odds of a popular governor against an unknown. We won't have fundraising numbers on this race until July.