I damn near lost my breakfast when I pulled up the Oregon Catalyst site this morning and glanced at the item headlined: “Oregon’s Top 2012 Presidential Picks.”
Under the headline was a bar graph showing the percentage of support for each of 10 likely or possible 2012 presidential prospects. Topping the list was Sarah Palin, with an astonishing 31%. In the Number Two spot was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 24%, with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney running third at 21%.
Bringing up the rear, in descending order, were former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and some guy named Barack Obama.
I knew Oregon, like the rest of the country, had undergone a shift to the right in the last election, with Republican governor candidate Chris Dudley almost knocking off Democrat John Kitzhaber and the Republicans taking control of half of the state legislature. But if 31% of my fellow Oregonians want Sarah Palin to be the next president, I figured I’d better look for a more liberal state to live in.
Like Texas, maybe.
I felt better after reading the small print, which informed me that the numbers came from “a straw poll of approximately 400 taxpayer activists” taken by the Taxpayer Association of Oregon PAC, a right-wing, anti-tax organization.
Pretty typical of conservatives, I thought, to take a poll of themselves and present the results as representing the whole state. And perhaps typical of the thinking of the Palinistas was this anonymous comment: “I like Sarah's new show on TLC, she's got great legs too.”
Well, they’re not bad for a 46-year-old woman, but I wouldn't call them great.