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Assessing the GOP pool 

Ranger Rich

Today I'd like to thank all of the Republican presidential candidates, including quitters Herman "I Put My Pepperoni On More Than Just Pizza" Cain and Michele "Elvis Is Dead???" Bachmann for helping me clean the inside of my nose every morning. With scalding coffee.

Oh sure, some say we shouldn't blow caffeine products out of our snouts when we follow the GOP campaign trail. Take syndicated radio host Leslie Marshall, a very serious journalist with terrific hair who has appeared as a guest actress on Desperate Housewives. She recently chastised comedian Stephen Colbert for making "a mockery of both our voting process and the seriousness of an individual running for office. The matter of running this country, keeping us safe, working to create jobs, health care, etc., is no laughing matter."

This tells us two things: 1. Why would a radio personality care what her hair looks like? 2. Marshall apparently has never met our congressman, Doug Lamborn, who is to serious intellectual politics what a trumpet is to salmon fishing.

Speaking of salmon fishing, or something, raise your hand if you know the story about Mitt Romney's long-deceased dog, Seamus, and the pooch's breezy car ride to Canada in 1983. (Personal observation: Because I've been doing this for a long time and know my loyal readers, I'm guessing 26 of you just raised your hand because you still think you need permission to go to the bathroom.)

Anyway, as a personal service to give our local Republicans something to talk about at their caucuses next Tuesday — assuming they're not already among the 19,000 followers of the Facebook page Dogs Against Romney — here is the actual story about Mitt and Seamus: Seems the car was packed for a Romney family-vacation drive from Boston to Ontario, with no room left for the Irish setter. Mitt to the rescue. According to the Boston Globe, Romney put the pooch in a pet crate and — here's the good part — strapped it to the roof of the station wagon, where Seamus rode for 12 hours.

Animal-rights group PETA blasted him, and Romney responded by saying this: "PETA has not been my fan over the years. PETA was after me when I went quail hunting in Georgia and they're not happy that my dog likes fresh air."

(That made me not laugh so hard I made a big poodle under my chair.)

But let's stop not laughing at Mitt Romney, a regular guy who seems ready to either challenge Barack Obama for control of the United States or, if that fails, buy the United States.

Now let's not laugh at Newt Gingrich, who looks like the guy at the oil-change place who bends your windshield wiper and then tells you that your wiper is bent.

"By the end of my second term," Newt said in Florida last week, "we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be American."

Because nothing says "great place to stash a cosmetically altered mistress" quite like a lunar colony. (Here Cain is wondering if the moon's near-weightless conditions would make it easier to push a woman's head toward his crotch.)

Moon towns are not Newt's only terrific space idea. In 1984, I swear, in an interview with Christian Science Monitor, he proposed using giant space mirrors to fight crime, with the mirrors lighting up our night sky like "many full moons," he said, so thugs couldn't hide in the dark.

Really.

If Newt or Mitt can't win the nomination, maybe the GOP's hopes will rest on Rick Sanitarium, or Santorum, or whatever his name is, who says impregnated rape victims should welcome their "horrible gift from God" and that having a baby fathered by a rapist is "making the best out of a bad situation." Another example of making the best out of a bad situation would be Santorum being run over by his own campaign bus.

And then there's Ron Paul of Texas — and when I say "of Texas" I mean "fought at the Alamo" — who is miffed that every airline except Southwest charges him $50 to check the bags under his eyes.

But more than likely it will be Romney who will challenge Obama for the right to cruise down Pennsylvania Avenue next January in a big limo.

You'll know Mitt won if he asks his pooch where he wants to ride and the dog says, "Roof, roof."

rangerrich@csindy.com

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