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Editorial: Peter King's hawkish talk of 2016

Rep. Peter King speaks to the media after

Rep. Peter King speaks to the media after a meeting regarding the Sandy aid bill with Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Jan. 2, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

Presidential candidates often take stands on issues to position themselves for a possible run. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) seems to be doing the opposite, using talk of a presidential run to promote more assertive national security and anti-terrorism policies. King, saying he's open to a run for the White House, is taking aim at Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose 13-hour Senate filibuster critical of drone use against U.S. citizens galvanized libertarians in the GOP, but frustrated hawks like King. So King is punching back.

The Republicans are deeply divided. Potential standard-bearers -- Paul and King, and Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush -- lead a GOP significantly divided into four or five distinct camps. Which one seizes control of the party, and how successfully he knits the factions together, will be a key factor in the 2016 race.