And once again, we are witnessing the media nonsense to be the first to forecast the winner with these meaningless annoyances with the presidential election still 13 months away.
Historians tell us that the first such straw vote occurred in 1824 when reporters from the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian threw straws into the air to determine which way the political winds were blowing. Obviously that was preferable to spinning bottles that could have hurt someone had they been sent aloft.
But what good is a pre-primary campaign if you can't have a front-runner? So far, we've seen mentioned as nominee-designates Sarah Palin, Mitch Daniels, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Fred Thompson. Whoops. Thompson's 15 minutes of media speculation was four years ago. Nowadays he's coming at us on TV with mortgage commercials in a reassuring voice so much like Dr. Welby's.
It is, however, of passing interest that the conservative folks who were dumping on Romney are now out for a quick end to Perry's dream. Brit Hume , the Fox guru, accused Perry of "throwing up" during the last debate. Words like "collapse" and "weak" were tossed about by the Fox panel that vivisected Perry. It was enough to make him return to sheep-farming.
Others are saying it's time for Chris Christie to reconsider, but that may be like waiting for Godot. Meantime, as puzzles go on warm autumn afternoons, I prefer the big one in the Sunday Times.