I salute you, Tommy Thompson, for being the first candidate to drop out of the 2008 presidential race.  It is about stinking time somebody did.  My estimation of your moral clout has increased tenfold.  Congratulations.

Maybe he just got tired of fielding Fred Thompson’s phone calls. 

Meanwhile Fred Thompson continues to come in second or third in the polls and he isn’t even in the race yet. And Mitt Romney, who has been running for president for like, three years, continues to spend millions of dollars to consistently place behind Newt Gingrich.  Newt Effing Gingrich!  My confidence in Mr. Romney’s fiscal management skills is beginning to wane.  On the plus side, he has demonstrated that he can win an election in which no one else is competing

No offense to Mitt Romney.  I’m sure he’s a nice man. 

But as long as I’m talking about him, why is it that everyone calls him Governor Romney when he’s no longer Governor?  Are we still calling Bob Dole Senator Dole?  What’s that about? 

So I finally decided to learn something about Mike Huckabee, since he came in second in the Iowa straw poll, whatever that’s supposed to mean.  So far the thing I like best about Mike Huckabee is his name.  Really, wouldn’t it be great to have a President Huckabee?  How can you say “Huckabee” and not smile?  That’s what people will say when they get their pictures taken.  “Everyone say ‘Huckabee’!”  “HUCKABEEEEE!”  Even Democrats should like his name because it’s so easy to turn it into an expletive.

But seriously, I did visit Mr. Huckabee’s web site, and I went straight to his “Issues” page, and I was somewhat dismayed.  First of all, it was not an “Issues” page, but “Issues” pages.  Not quite as bad as Barack Obama’s “Issues” pages, but holy heck, gentlemen, if you’re not going to be concise, please do me the favor of offering some, I dunno, nuance.  “Nuance” is the only excuse for verbosity.  This is why I like Rudy Giuliani.  He knows I don’t have time for reading or nuance. 

Then again, maybe this is just my MTV Generation upbringing and another sign of the downfall of Western democracy.

On the other side of the aisle, I see that Hillary is mopping the floor with Obama, despite the fact that she has such a silly-a** song for a campaign theme.  It just goes to show that other Americans aren’t as shallow as I am.  I’m really glad I’m not a Democrat anymore, because it would be so disheartening to realize that the most corrupt candidate is also the most competent.  Not that I’m naming names, mind you.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear. 

So to sum up, here’s where the candidates stand in the official Giraffe Poll:

If I were to vote strictly on the basis of the candidate’s name:

1.  Huckabee
2.  Obama
3.  Giuliani

*Gingrich comes in a respectable fourth, but only so long as he’s not running.

If I were to vote strictly on the basis of the candidate’s looks:

1.  Romney
2.  Obama
3.  Giuliani (I like his smile)

*Edwards, while good-looking, is disqualified in this race because I hate him.

If I were to vote strictly on the basis of some random sound bite by the candidate:

1.  Giuliani:  “We don’t all agree on everything. I don’t agree with myself on everything.”
2.  McCain:  “F**k you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room.”
3.  Romney:  “I’m not a big-game hunter. I’ve made that very clear. I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will.”

*In this respect, it is sad that Tommy Thompson is no longer running:  “I was very sick the day of the debate. I had all of the problems with the flu and bronchitis that you have, including running to the bathroom. I was just hanging on. I could not wait until the debate got off so I could go to the bathroom.”