Don’t be too hard on Waffles. His humor’s always been laced with nastiness, which is why he periodically finds himself in clusterfarks over “botched jokes.” It’s not that he hates Palin. He’s just a jerk.

The Bay State senator was telling a group of business and civic leaders in town at his invitation about the “bizarre’’ tale of how South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford had “disappeared for four days’’ and claimed to be hiking along the Appalachian Trail, but no one was really certain of his whereabouts.

“Too bad,’’ Kerry said, “if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.’’

The Democratic-centric crowd laughed.

He said this before Sanford’s presser so it’s not an adultery dig at her, just an “I wish you were lost and left for dead somewhere” dig. Which, believe it or not, isn’t the nastiest Palin attack circulating in the ‘sphere today.

Pew’s got a new poll out today showing Romney’s net favorable rating at +12, compared to just +1 for Sarahcuda. With Sanford and Huntsman now out of the game, Jindal almost certainly biding his time until 2016, and Palin possibly too polarizing to win against The One, we’d all better hope Mitt runs. Because if he doesn’t, an ominous scenario presents itself: