…of abysmally boring Presidential campaigns, that is.

Whether singing the praises of ancient Sparta or doing his best Joseph McCarthy impression, Congressman Allen West has shown himself more than capable of being to Mitt Romney’s ticket what Sarah Palin was to John McCain’s.

Really, why not have West for VP? No less than Ted Nugent has testified to Mr. West’s readiness for this role. (I assume he did so only after his own Presidential campaign floundered on finding that “Commodus 2012″ made a poor slogan.) But Nugent is surely right that West would be a much-needed “game changer” for Romney’s campaign. Specifically, he would change Romney’s game from The Corporate Machine to Gears of War.

Moreover, it would give the writers at Saturday Night Live something to work with, which, as Maureen Dowd reports, is something they desperately want. The only real question would be: could they get Samuel L. Jackson to portray West? If yes, then the catchphrases very nearly write themselves.

Yes, all in all, I think West definitely has the potential to be 2012’s version of Sarah Palin. Don’t you agree?

You have all heard Hilary Rosen’s comment that Ann Romney “never worked a day in her life”, and subsequent apology. You have all also probably heard the liberals saying she shouldn’t have apologized; as she was entirely right.

My take: Rosen was sort of right, but she spoke clumsily and was right to both clarify and apologize. But it’s not really Rosen’s fault. Nor is it Mrs. Romney’s fault. It’s not even Mr. Romney’s fault, although he was misleading people with the comments he made that started the whole thing. It’s Simon Kuznets’s fault. (I hate that tired, cliché ending: “the economist did it.”)

Kuznets invented the Gross Domestic Product, a measure of economic output which does not include household work. So, for this and other reasons, it is not an accurate measure of economic output. Kuznets himself said it was not a good measure of economic welfare, but he seems to have been ignored on that score.

So, what Rosen should have said by way of apologizing was: “Ann Romney has not done work that is counted in the widely-used measure for economic welfare. Therefore, her comments and advice aren’t relevant to women participating in the economy as it is presently measured by politicians and economists. I apologize for implying Mrs. Romney did no work at all.”

Paul Krugman is excited that the press is calling Romney out for cherry-picking data. Krugman also believes they are treating Romney with a more critical eye than they did George W. Bush.

And he’s right. But, I suspect the reason for this is a rather depressing one: Romney is less charismatic than Bush was. This, rather than any new-found commitment to truth on the part of the national press, is what has caused this. Both Romney and Bush are rich sons of politicians, but Bush could more credibly pull off the “I’m just like the average Joe”  act. Whereas Romney just seems like an awkward rich guy when he tries that.

In terms of both who they are and, what is more important, what they mean to do to the country, Bush and Romney are quite similar in my eyes. The differences are superficial, but superficial differences are, as it happens, quite important in Presidential campaigns these days.

Mitt Romney has acquired something of a reputation for trying to be “all things to all people”, that he will say absolutely whatever it takes to get elected. The “Etch-a-Sketch” comment only reinforced this notion. As Andrew Sullivan put it:

It sums up every single worry about Romney in one metaphor: that he is a machine, that he can say or stand for anything, and that, from time to time, depending on which segment of the population he is appealing to, he will simply become something completely different.

It does remind me of another quote by a politician:

I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views.

The politician in question was one Barack Obama, in his book The Audacity of Hope.

Republicans are probably thinking that this just goes to prove the existence of the “liberal media”. They would be wrong. What it goes to prove is the power of charisma. Obama’s statement is entirely accurate and, what is more, it is true without any effort on Obama’s part. Whereas Romney has to twist in the political winds, Obama gets stuff projected onto him effortlessly. This is one of the differences between a charismatic politician and an un-charismatic one.