There’s less than three weeks to go before the cut-off to get into the Conservative leadership race, but the speculation around candidates hasn’t slowed down.

Former cabinet minister John Baird has suddenly popped up as a possibility to run. Meanwhile, former B.C. Premier Christy Clark has ruled herself out of contention. A group of at least six other candidates are still hoping to get in the race. The only sure thing at this point is that Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole are officially in.

Each week, the National Post will round up the week’s events, point to themes that are emerging, and add other stray notes and observations. Here is this week’s edition of the Conservative leadership notebook.