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Republicans to Talk It Out Tonight in Debate at Reagan Library

Photo of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley by myshu via Flickr
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Many eyes and ears will be on Simi Valley tonight (something we don't find ourselves saying very much) thanks to the Republican debate for presidential candidate hopefuls. At least seven politicians are expected to talk out their tensions in the debate at the Reagan Library, which begins at 5 p.m. local time and will be broadcast live. The debate is sponsored by NBC News, Politico, and the Reagan Library Foundation.

GOP-ers aren't as in love with Mitt Romney as they were before, and Rick Perry seems to be wooing many voters to his camp as the campaign moves ahead towards the primaries in early 2012. Those two guys are among the most-discussed, though as KTLA points out, the field is presently pretty choked with hats in the proverbial ring:

Other GOP candidates will be on the stage, of course: [Michele] Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum. But the frisson at the debate, if there is to be any, probably will come from the two leads, with Bachmann, perhaps, making an attempt to elbow her way back into the top tier.

Slate has some advice for each candidate on how to take down Texan Perry, for whom debates, they hear tell, "are very, very hard."

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Jobs, jobs, jobs of nearly every kind will likely be the focus of much talk, as well as healthcare, and possibly immigration as well. Bachmann may also find a fresh opportunity to reveal her unique perspective on American history. The candidates will be grilled by NBC News anchor Brian Williams and Politico editor John Harris, explains NPR, which also has significance in the ongoing pre-primary noisefest:

That means that to maintain their journalistic street cred, Williams and Harris need to be at least as pointed in their questioning as Fox News Channel's team during the previous GOP presidential debate, an effort for which FNC was widely praised.

It of course remains to be seen if this gathering will be a game-changer for the GOP. Get out the popcorn!