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Let the 2012 debates begin

Anyone wondering where the 2012 presidential race has been hiding will get an answer of sorts with the first GOP debate tonight in Greenville, S.C. But will the eventual nominee be there? The confirmed participants are former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (in photo), former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, businessman Hermain Cain and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Only Pawlenty is considered "even close to top-tier material," noted Washington Post bloggers Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake, who also wrote that "the debate will be more defined more by who isn't there than who is."

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