03/30/2011 06:33 pm ET Updated May 30, 2011

Late Returns: Insiders Give Mitt Romney The Inside Track

Who is leading this race for the GOP nomination that's causing everybody agita even before it's actually started? Chances are, if you asked the opinion of a normal person with an average engagement of political news, they'd probably say, "Oh, you know, Mitt Romney, right?" But what about the opinion of "GOP insiders" who keep the secrets and guard the mysteries? Apparently, they also say, "Oh, you know, Mitt Romney, right?"

Here's James A. Barnes from National Journal:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney continues to be seen as the favorite for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination according to a special National Journal Political Insiders Poll released on Tuesday. The second favorite for the GOP nod is former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was John McCain's running mate in 2008 and was once viewed as a potential party standard bearer, was ranked ninth by the GOP Insiders--tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry--when they were asked who was most likely going to be their 2012 presidential nominee.

So, voila. Insiders like the mainstream candidates and prefer their candidacies to people who either can't win or won't run. I realize how exciting this is.

The top four candidates among "political insiders" are, in order: Romney, Pawlenty, Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels. So, basically, they like what George Will likes.


Sarah Palin is barking mad at the Daily Caller today, because this story about her reality teevee show receiving tax subsidies put her in the terrible position of having to "set the record straight on [her] Facebook page" because the Caller could not be "trusted even to print a statement in a manner that people can read." In what manner did the Daily Caller print her statement? In English, in its entirety, on the internet. So, clearly, they are monsters. [War Room @ Salon]

Thomas Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says that it would be "exciting" if Chris Christie became a candidate for president, which is pretty macabre considering that Christie has told people that his candidacy would culminate in a murder-suicide. (Of Donald Trump, Donohue says that he "wouldn't be my choice.") [Politico]

"One of the bigger political stories of 2011 -- outside of the Tucson shootings, the collective-bargaining battle in the Midwest and what's happening in the Middle East, of course -- has been the slow start to the upcoming presidential contest." No, no, NBC News' First Read, you have that wrong! The Tucson shootings, the collective-bargaining battle and the situation in the Middle East are "big political stories." By contrast, the "slow start to the upcoming presidential contest" is y'all's dumbassed obsession. First Read goes on, breathlessly, to remind readers, "The 2012 Iowa caucuses, as of now, are set to take place 313 days from now." OH, WELL, MAYBE SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN DURING THAT TIME. [First Read]

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