The term “morning line” is defined as a bookmaker’s list of entries in a given race and the odds on each of them winning.
This, then, is the Applesauce Morning Line on the contest for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, now that the field has thinned out a bit.
I’ve excluded from this list only those once-prospective candidates who have specifically said they won’t run — Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Haley Barbour, to cite three recent examples. All the others are presumed to be running until they say otherwise.
Also, this deals only with chances for the GOP nomination and has nothing to do with who might or might not prevail in the general election.
So here goes (in alphabetical order):
–Michele Bachmann: U.S. representative from Minnesota; Chances: None. Comment: She’s way too kooky, even for today’s GOP.
–Herman Cain, former president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza; Chances: None. Comment: A relatively unknown black businessman with limited political experience isn’t going to cut it.
–Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana; Chances: 10-1. Comment: This guy is what passes for a moderate in today’s Republican Party, and he has some admirers among the GOP establishment. It could happen.
–Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House; Chances: None. Comment: The punchline to jokes about family values, Newt has more baggage than an airport carousel.
–Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City; Chances: None. Comment: Mr. September 11th has less of a chance this time than he did in 2008, which is to say it ain’t gonna happen.
–Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah and former U.S. ambassador to China; Chances: 100-1. Comment: Dude was an Obama appointee. Need I say more?
–Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico; Chances: 150-1. Comment: A libertarian who wants to legalize reefer? Don’t hold your breath (unless you’re toking).
–Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska; Chances: None. Comment: Erstwhile admirers have been slinking away from Palin in greater numbers with each succeeding idiocy that passes her lips.
–Ron Paul, congressman from Texas; Chances: 200-1. Comment: This libertarian ideologue has a goodly number of hard-core supporters, but hardly enough for him to win even one primary election.
–Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota; Chances: 15-1. Comment: He’s a bust in the charisma department, and his phony posturing as a good old boy doesn’t help much in that regard. But don’t count him out just yet. In a weak field, he almost looks strong.
–Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts; Chances: 4-1. Comment: He’s a bundle of contradictions, but he’s still the front-runner. His RomneyCare in the Bay State is an albatross, but perhaps not a disqualifier.
–Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania; Chances: 100-1. Comment: Insufferably sanctimonious, Santorum is too much of a theocrat even for God’s Own Party (GOP).