Obsessing over past presidents in 2016

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Media Outlet: CNN

The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia cast a huge shadow over Saturday night's Republican debate, as well as the entire presidential campaign. The question of who the president will try to appoint to replace him, and the importance of Supreme Court nominations, has become a central topic of contention.

But Scalia is not the only figure who looms large in this race. Former U.S. presidents, and our current commander in chief, have as well.

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Julian Zelizer is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and writes a weekly column for CNN.com.