The New York TimesJeremy Peters spent the day Monday getting inside access to Bret Baier and the other questioners as they prepped for what was the 16th TV debate of this primary cycle (and there’s one more this week). A Huntsman drop out flipped the script, there was internal debate about some debate questions and there was this thought from moderator Gerry Seib of The Wall Street Journal: “Does anyone have the feeling like were ganging up on Romney?” Baier, for one, did not think so. There’s also this, about Bret Baier’s pinch-able cheeks.

“Despite all of these debates there are questions that haven’t been answered still,” Mr. Baier said in an interview at a hotel bar on Monday between prep sessions. As he spoke, he was repeatedly interrupted by admirers wanting pictures, autographs and a chance to bend his ear about what questions he might ask. Ever polite, he always obliged. One adoring fan even asked if she could pinch his fulsome cheeks. “Every time I see you on television, I just want to pinch them!” she chirped. But his gentle disposition belies an aggressive and determined reporting style.