It’s a GOP circus as 17 candidates vie for attention

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These days what it takes to become President has little to do with what it takes to be President.

The skills are far different, like the knack for getting the most media attention. Candidates are becoming modern-day hucksters as we are seeing this early in the 2016 presidential race--17 Republicans sometimes going to such outlandish extremes, their actions take on the appearance of a 17-ring circus.

Despite the presence of many qualified and competent candidates, it looks like a circus and many are left scratching their heads as Donald Trump, a political novice, rises to the position of ringleader.

After Trump made his disparaging remarks about Mexicans being criminals and rapists, some thought his campaign would be short-lived. Instead, it boosted him in the polls. His combative style and incendiary comments continue to keep him way ahead of the Republican pack.

Other candidates are scrambling to get attention, doing whatever it takes, like Rand Paul's dramatic video in which he shows he'd do away with the antiquated 7,000 page tax code by burning or wood chipping it. Trump called opponent Lindsay Graham and idiot and during a live broadcast gave out his cell phone number. Graham, not to be outdone by Trump, produced a video showing how to destroy a cell phone.

In center ring is Ted Cruz and his attention-grabbing video demonstrating how to cook bacon Texas style by wrapping the bacon around the barrel of a rifle and firing the rifle. The barrel gets hot enough to cook the bacon.

Political Science Professor Jeanne Zaino says all these circus-like actions are a distraction depriving votes of hearing the issues. She expects them to continue until the first of the primaries when the field of candidates whittles down.

The first real test comes Thursday when ten of the top ranking Republicans in the latest polls join in their first debate.