After serving under three presidential administrations, hosting "Crossfire" on television and running for president twice, the pugnacious Pat Buchanan knows as much about political debate as anyone.
That makes the 76-year-old conservative ideally positioned to break down the challenges facing the 2016 Republican candidates for the White House in Cleveland on Thursday night. In another of my Speakeasy interviews, I sat down with Buchanan over dinner at a McLean, Virginia, steakhouse to run through the imperatives facing the sprawling field of 17 candidates, which will be divided into two separate debates.
Among his recommendations for key players:
Donald Trump: "He's shown a tremendous amount of political-athletic skills. People kind of like him, they like what he's doing. When he gives somebody a hard time, he does it with a smile on his face. He's a counterpuncher. ... He's going to have to take each of these things where he's been hit ... having a short, substantive answer.
"Don't try to, you know, show off your knowledge ... all the wonky stuff. ... The Fox guys are going to be after him."