Here's our weekly selection of commentary from the fair-minded, the partisan and the light-hearted as the action progresses in one of the world's most enduring (and lengthy) democratic processes.
In the last week there have been a lot of reporters trooping on board the newly unveiled Jeb Bush campaign bus. This piece in Time gives the low down:
When he started his campaign, Jeb Bush thought competence and a conservative record would power him to the GOP nomination and, like his brother and father before. to the Oval Office. Eleven months later, faced with declining poll numbers and difficulty sustaining fundraising, the 62-year-old wonk is coming to grips with voters desire for something else. So he has traded in his footnotes for profanity and ditched the blacked-out SUV for a campaign bus that welcomes reporters on board.
Perusing the coverage, one gets the feeling that everyone feels sort of sorry for Jeb though few have followed the lead of his political opponent Hillary Clinton and come right out and said so. The former Florida governor's nomination race was supposed to have been a lay down misere and then along come Trump and Carson. It's like watching a tortoise get flattened by a steamroller. So there are a slew of stories telling the Jeb-reset story in a hail-fellow-well-met kind of way. Reuters tells us he has hired an image consultant to help with presentation but rejected advice from those who want him to get rid of his glasses, stand up straighter and puff his chest out. This ABC News clip filmed on the bus reveals the candidate, who has famously lost weight by adopting the Paleo diet, gasp, horror eats M&Ms as well as turkey jerky.
But life is tougher on Twitter.
The Washington Post reports the new Jeb Bush slogan has spawned a thousand jokes. Could it be, as @andrewklavan tweeted, the #JebCanFixit hashtag is the strongest evidence yet that Jeb cannot, in fact, fix it?
Meanwhile the relationship between media and Republican front runner Ben Carson continues to, ahem, evolve. A big part of Carson's appeal is his life story, particularly the epiphany he had as a young man, still at school, who decided it was a sign from God when a belt buckle on his would-be victim deflected a knife Carson wielded. Recent attempts to identify the would-be stabbing victim have resulted in some testy exchanges, as detailed in this CNN item. Carson has acknowledged, after the fact, that the names he used in previous references to various victims of his childhood rage were fictitious.
An attempt by Politico to punch another hole in the Carson legend by investigating claims of a West Point scholarship offer sparked its own claims of fabrication. This post on the Conservative Voice of the People blog crowing about a Politico retraction was swiftly followed by Politico advising the story had been updated, not retracted.
All of this is particularly intriguing because Carson, famously a political neophyte, doesn't approach media like a politician. He's put many reporters off balance by appealing to what he seems to figure are their better selves. Recently for instance, he called on the media to recognise the role they should play in helping to restore the American dream.
It's an attitude that appears to resonate with a good chunk of voters. Journalists, of course, don't like it; most prefer to cover the story, not become it. It will interesting to watch how this particular battle of wills evolves.
Meanwhile Donald Trump gained 12 minutes and five seconds of prime time exposure when he hosted Saturday Night Live, giving the opening monologue and appearing in this skit which features many references to the wall Trump famously wants to erect keep out illegal immigrants. It's diverting enough but I reckon this Tonight Show clip from August in which Obama calls Donald Trump (Jimmy Fallon) with debate advice is more entertaining.
While we're on the men-being-funny track, it's worth going back even further, to 2011, when the real President Obama roasted Trump at that year's White House Correspondents Dinner. The President does deadpan awfully well. Of course the appeal may lie in the fact that Trump, who was in the audience at the event, was seen and not heard.
Now that hasn't happened for quite some time.