Gail Collins is just a remarkable writer. Her column today made me laugh out loud, and to such an extent that strangers were looking at me and wondering what was up.
Rick Perry is sounding as if English is his third language. Michele Bachmann is seeing invisible people who tell her terrible stories about killer vaccines. Newt Gingrich has contracted scary delusions of grandeur. (“The scale of change I am suggesting is so enormous I couldn’t possibly, as a single leader, show you everything I’m going to do …”) Rick Santorum is on Fox News, brightly announcing: “We finished fourth in the straw poll in Florida, which was a big help to us.”
The Republicans are running out of governors to put up against Romney. This week the cry has been for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to get into the race, although I am personally rooting for Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho because of his strong record of fiscal conservatism and the fact that I really enjoy writing “Butch Otter” over and over and over.
Unfortunately, the Otter boomlet has yet to take hold. Nancy Reagan, Henry Kissinger and George H.W. Bush all reportedly called Christie urging him to run. Those are very impressive names, although sooner or later he’s going to have to get some high-profile supporters under the age of 85.
Wait! Here comes George Pataki! “This country needs a straight-shooter and a proven leader. I urge Governor Chris Christie to run for president to fill the void and lead America forward,” the former governor of New York said in a statement. Pataki’s endorsement is extremely important because he coveted the nomination himself. He has been testing the waters in New Hampshire for some time, mainly by wandering up there every once in a while, hanging out in hotel coffee shops and waiting for somebody to notice him. This was very similar to the way he governed New York.