Rich Galen

Doesn't have quite the emotional depth of "Death to the Tsar," but there you have it.

New Topic:

Meanwhile back on planet Earth, there was a new poll showing that four candidates are basically tied for the lead in the run up to the Iowa caucuses on January 3, 2012.

According to a poll by Bloomberg News, Herman Cain (20%) and Ron Paul (19%) led Mitt Romney (18%) and Newt Gingrich (17%) among Republican and Independent Iowans.

Bumping along the bottom were Rick Perry (7%), Michele Bachmann (5%), Rick Santorum (3%) and Jon Huntsman (1%).

The big questions inside the Beltway yesterday were how has Newt snuck up on everyone and can he sustain his lofty position?

The answer to the first question is: He has been doing this longer than the other candidates: Bachmann has a very brief history as a two-term Member of Congress; Rick Perry has discovered running nationally is riding a far different horse than running in Texas; and Herman Cain has found out that you have to actually know something about something besides fast food if you're going to be President.

I know Cain is first in the Bloomberg poll, but I will be more shocked than Captain Louis Renault finding out there was gambling in the back room of Rick's Café, if he comes in first 48 days from now.

If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times: Polls are not predictive. They only reflect what is generally going on during the time the questions were being asked.

It would not surprise me, however, if Ron Paul came in first. The Iowa Caucuses provide exactly the kind of political environment in which Dr. Paul can thrive. He's had four years to build lists and get neighbors talking to neighbors all across the state.

I'm not predicting it, but mark down today's date just to be safe.

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