Political Update

Rich Galen
By Rich Galen | December 1, 2011 | 6:04 AM EST

Yes, I think Herman Cain's campaign is over but it doesn't have nearly as much to do with this new charge of adultery as it does his continuing inability to demonstrate any knowledge about most issues that might turn out to be important to a high-level official such as President of the United States.

Yes, I think Rick Perry's saying that (a) the voting age in New Hampshire is 21 (it is 18) ; and (b) Election day next year will be November 12 (it will be November 4) is a big deal. If he wasn't sure about the voting age or election date, he should have talked around them: "For those of you who will be of voting age next November …" would have served him well.

It is another example of Perry's absolute inability to think on his feet which might turn out to be an important skill for a high-level official such as President of the United States

Yes, I think someone needs to be around Newt Gingrich to stop him from saying things like he didn't need to lobby because he didn't need the money. He was, he said, being paid $60,000 per speech and he was "selling" a lot of them.

First of all there are plenty of meeting planners who are trying to explain to their bosses and/or clients this morning why they paid Newt $80,000 or $100,000 when he was available for 60. Second, the median income for a family of four in South Carolina is about $58,000.

Making his case about not needing to lobby because he made more in a 45 minute appearance than the typical family in SC makes in a whole year is a fairly significant cross pressure on Newt's message selling himself as an Outside-the-Beltway-Man-o'-the-People.

Yes, I think it was high-time for Mitt Romney to engage in campaigning against at least one of his rivals for the nomination (in this case, Newt) if only because it provides good practice for campaigning against President Obama should they both be in the finals.

This taking the campaign off cruise control and stepping on the accelerator tells me the Romney folks have some polling that shows Newt's surge is not the same as the Bachmann/Perry/Cain rushes earlier in the cycle and they decided that Mitt needed to get out in front of it.

Now, for the main part of today's MULLINGS.

I went to New York City on Tuesday afternoon so I could be fresh as a daisy when I appeared on the MSNBC program, "Morning Joe" at 7:30 this morning. I was, but only because the Director of Standards & Practices insisted I get to bed at a reasonable hour on Tuesday night.

This was an issue because I had dinner with long-time friend, ally, and mentor Ed Rollins and, as we were paying the bill, I realized I didn't have my new iPhone. I felt in all my pockets. Looked around the napkins, searched under the table. Nothing.

I was distressed (as I have had the phone for only about a month) enough to go back to a bar at which I had shared a drink with one of my favorite Democrats and her husband, but I had not left it there, either.

When I got back to my hotel, I had an email (I had not lost my laptop or iPad) from the aforementioned D of S & P to call her at home. Loathe as I was to use the hotel telephone, I did so and she told me that I had left my phone in a cab and the next passenger found it, called the number listed under Rich Galen - Home, and provided her contact information.

As I had feared, that phone call cost $26 which explains my reticence.

I called the woman's hotel and asked the front desk to put a note in her room asking her to leave the phone at the front desk.

By now it was well after 11 PM and I wanted to get up at about five this morning to make sure I was up-to-date on any overnight news that might come up with Joe Scarborough.

The woman had left my phone at the front desk; I picked it up after I got off the air. In the envelope was a note with her cell number which starts with "56," the country code for Chile, and so I am now committed to drink only Chilean wines and eat lunch only at Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the U.S. Census list of state-by-state incomes, a confusing but interesting Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day you don't want to miss.