Former Gov. George Pataki in 2008

Former Gov. George Pataki in 2008 Credit: AP

New York's former three-term Republican governor will make his third trip of the summer to Iowa on Saturday.

Maybe George Pataki will bring the tea party some decaf.

He will attend a GOP fundraiser along with a few others who are interested in presidential nominations, such as the current high-rider in the polls, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as well as U.S. Reps. Ron Paul of Texas and the even lesser known Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, the 2008 vice-presidential nominee, and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor, keep reminding everyone that they're still on the sidelines -- as much as Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey reminds everyone that he's not interested.

This bountiful field means that none of the front-runners, including, Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have sealed the deal.

The more-the-merrier scenario, however, is refreshing, and critical -- no matter what your leanings. A nomination still wide open 14 months out allows for fresh faces and better scrutiny of policies.

And with incumbent President Barack Obama the certain Democratic nominee, the 2012 race will shape up as an ideological struggle over the direction of the GOP and the nation. Republicans need as broad and well-vetted a field as possible to find a nominee both capable of running the nation and skilled enough to frame and argue the essential debate the nation needs to have. hN