GOP field strongest in recent memory says one observer. Let's contrast the field in recent years: 1988: George Bush, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, Pat Robertson 1992: George Bush, Pat Buchanan 1996: Lamar Alexander, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, Phil Gramm, Alan Keyes 2000: Gary Bauer, George W. Bush, Steve Forbes, Orrin Hatch, Alan Keyes, John McCain 2008: Rudy Guiliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, Fred Thompson 2012: Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum Clearly the conservative credentials and/or records of this year's candidates are equal to or superior than previous fields. The author makes a great point. Republicans need to turn a deaf ear to observers who want Republicans to lose the general election when it comes to advise about the quality of our candidates. That's why Huntsman is a total non-starter in 2012. Just look back to 2008 and 1996 if you need a reminder about what happens when we let the media pick our candidate for us.