Rich “Starbursts” Lowry haz a big sad over the GOP’s shitty 2012 candidates.

It’s not inconceivable that the Republican presidential field could be Gingrich, Romney, and Pawlenty, with Huntsman and Santorum in the second tier (and Johnson and Cain further back). The odds are that Daniels won’t run–he said on the NewsHour on Friday that “there are a lot of concerns that are very, very personal and family-oriented” for perhaps not doing it, and compared running to throwing “yourself off that cliff.” I wouldn’t be shocked if Barbour pulls up short; he hasn’t had a great two weeks since he’s been more out there. I’m guessing Huckabee doesn’t run, although that’s only a guess, and Palin also might sit it out, but who knows? After all the build up about a wide-open, crowded Republican race, a short field would be quite the let-down.

There’s just no GOP daddy like Fred Thompson to tantalize them — even temporarily — this time around.

Anyway, when you’re counting on Haley “I Won’t Denounce the Klan” Barbour and The Quitter to save the field, that sort of tells you where you are.