Rich Galen

My personal favorite story is the one where, when Harry Belafonte called Rice and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell "house slaves" she said, "I don't need Harry Belafonte to tell me what it has been like to grow up as a Black woman in America." Or words to that effect.

There has been absolutely nothing in the public or Washington-gossip record which would indicate Dr. Rice has any interest in running for President, but if she gave a signal, the money would come rolling in by the dump-truck-full.

Biggest plus: It is impossible to find anything not to like about her. Biggest minus: Zero experience running for public office.

Newt Gingrich is my former boss so you have to use that as a filter.

Gingrich is still the GOP's rock star. No matter where he goes and not matter where he is, Republicans want to shake his hand and have their picture taken with him.

He has the most powerful intellect in American politics today and will stay in the race as long as possible so as to "frame the debate."

Biggest plus: He as more big ideas before breakfast than most politicians have in their entire lives. Biggest minus: As divisive a political figure as Hillary Clinton.

Mitt Romney and Gingrich were about tied with 7% of Republicans naming them as their favorites. His bio (going backwards in time) includes being the outgoing Governor of Massachusetts, the savior of the Salt Lake City Olympics, and having made a gajillion dollars at Bain Capital - a private equity fund.

Romney has been running for President since he announced he would not run for re-election as Governor and has attracted (if not hired) about as much talent as McCain to put the operation together.

He is the most physically attractive candidate on either side and has demonstrated a capacity to wow even skeptical audiences when giving a political speech.

Biggest plus: Can write a very large check to get things rolling. Biggest minus: Is a Mormon which, for most Americans, is a mystery.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to the Pew poll and some others which show the relative strength of GOP candidates; one of those Mullfotos of the sun rising over the Potomac River which I really love; and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at