It seems increasingly likely that the U.S. will take some military action against Syria. When/if that happens you”ll see candidates use this as a moment to reaffirm their places in the GOP.
Some are pretty easy to guess. For example, Rand Paul will be a strong opponent of the intervention and will use it to reinforce his support among Libertarians and non-interventionists in the party. This will charge up his supporters and increase his fundraising.
Fortunately for Christie, Walker, Jindal, and Perry do not have to react. They can say they are governors who are focused on their state and support the troops. At this early stage that is enough to get through it. After 2014 that won’t cut it but that is another problem for another day.
How will Cruz and Rubio react? Being in the Senate both will have to take votes on it. Will they side with Paul or with the John McCain wing of the GOP which supports aggressive intervention?
Although McCain personally may not be popular in the party, there are many in the party who still hold his views on foreign policy. My guess is that Cruz and Rubio will be critical of the attack but not for policy reasons, instead they will take the safe route of just attacking whatever Obama does as incompetent.