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First take

They’re all in, or so the New York Times reports – which is by way of saying, all the the major figures for the 2016 presidential election seem to have either announced for the office, or taken themselves out of contention. The occasion for the observation was the entry on Tuesday of Ohio Governor John Kasich, marking 16 major Republican entrants in the field. Note that since anyone can declare themselves a candidate for president, the number of people declaring themselves in both parties overall is much higher; but that roster of 16 people who each have actual campaign organizations and some measure of prior national visibility is . . . a lot, and in many ways a headache for national Republicans, most famously in figuring out how to handle debates and forums. The Democratic field likely is closed too, with the entry of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb; the prospects of a run by Vice President Joe Biden, once considered a strong possibility, is diminishing toward invisibility. So we pass a theshold, the Times notes: “Barring something cataclysmic, the initial phase of the race to succeed President Obama has come to a close.” A year ahead of the conventions that will nominate the major party contenders . . . -rs (painting/”Election Day 1815,” John Lewis Krimmel)

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