Rick Perry Is Ruining Everything For Michele Bachmann

According to a bunch of polls, Michele Bachmann has been slipping since Rick Perry entered the race, and she may not win the Iowa caucuses, which are five months away and won't itself guarantee the nomination for an election that is over a year away. Isn't this fun?

Talking Points Memo suggests that this is because Bachmann's airing of her extreme views is turning off those ever-moderate Republican primary voters, while Rick Perry is only too happy to throw his nine-month-old book under the bus and pretend he never said Social Security was unconstitutional. We're sure moderates went crazy when Perry said down in his state, they'd treat the president of the Federal Reserve "pretty ugly."

Luckily for our country, here's Jon Huntsman, who has been trying to position himself as the sensible one, essentially said he'd be Bachmann's vice president in another imaginary world conjured up by Piers Morgan. "If you love this country, you serve this country," he repeated. (The second time, he referred to the country as "her.")

Meanwhile, the announcement by Rep. Paul Ryan yesterday that he wouldn't run led to this expression of political anguish in Politico on behalf of so-called conservative intellectuals: "The problem, in shorthand: To many conservative elites, Rick Perry is a dope, Michele Bachmann is a joke, and Mitt Romney is a fraud."

Here is how Politico's Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin described the search for the think tank and op-ed crew for their ideal candidate: they "pine for a hero," a "crush" or an "it-boy." Mitch Daniels "made the hearts of conservative intellectuals flutter." The National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru says his colleagues made Ryan " into a heartthrob," and that they are "courting somebody to come court us." Keep in mind these are the same people who first foisted Sarah Palin on the nation — indeed, saw starbursts when she was on television. So they're totally not gay.

Peaked: Polling Shows Bachmann Support Withering After Perry's Debut [TPM]
Jon Huntsman Says He'd Be Open To Running With Michele Bachmann [HP]
Just One Week Into His Campaign, Rick Perry Disavows His Nine-Month-Old Campaign Book [Think Progress]
Conservative Elites Pine For 2012 Hero [Politico]