This field and this straw poll are a joke

Michele Bachmann will either prove she is still running an unexpectedly disciplined campaign to be runner-up to the eventual nominee or she will show the first signs of losing her mojo as voters start to sense she’s as crazy as most of the press believe she is. Either Herman Cain or Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich will do slightly better than anyone expected and will get a tiny boost from the recognition that he is the also-ran most likely to stay in the race the longest. Ron Paul will have the most energized supporters there and he might even win the thing. He probably won’t, but if he does, woo boy, there’s a story no one has written yet: Ron Paul wins another straw poll; Tea Party libertarians on the rise in Republican Party…

Pawlenty finally showed he has the fortitude to be commander-in-chief by looking his opponents in the eye as he insults them, although it was Bachmann and not Romney in his line of fire. On Sunday morning, many accounts of the festivities in Ames will have a breathless quality about them, and the results charged with a significance that voters who weren’t bused into Ames, housed, fed and feted at the expense of one or another of the campaigns might find surprising.