The Case of the Ill-Timed Republican Debate

You have to feel a little sorry for candidates trying to replace someone who just ordered bin Laden dead

Thursday's debate for Republican presidential candidates was having trouble drawing participants even before President Obama successfully had Osama bin Laden killed.

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You can't envy anyone who has to present him or herself as an alternative to the Commander in Chief just days after one of the country's most concrete military successes in years. 

Former Massachussets Gov. Mitt Romney — who the Wall Street Journal reported last week could be one of as few as three debators — announced Monday that he was out, just hours after the announcement of bin Laden's death.

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Still on the Journal's list of likely debators? Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

At least it looks like they'll get plenty of talk time in the forum, scheduled to take place in Greenville, S.C.

Of course, the bin Laden success is far from a guarantee of President Obama's re-election. The first President Bush lost in 1992 despite sky-high approval ratings following the Gulf War.

But Sunday's news did give the Republican debators — whoever they prove to be — one less thing to criticize.