Late Returns: We Have Our First GOP Presidential Candidate

Ladies and gentlemen, pop the champagne, because the 2012 race for the GOP nomination finally has an officially declared candidate. It's Fred Karger! Can you feel the excitement? Probably not, because the media has pretty resolutely refused to take Karger very seriously. But the truth is, Karger has been deep into this running for President game, from way way back in the day (the "day" being July of 2010). Of course, if you read the Speculatron, you're already in the know.

In his press release, Karger makes note of all of the "firsts" that the media has thus far straight up ignored:

Karger was the first to announce he was seriously considering running for President on April 10, 2010 at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans and the first to establish a Presidential Exploratory Committee on July 18, 2010. He was the first to run commercials in New Hampshire right after Labor Day last year, the first to run an Iowa commercial right after the November midterm elections and the first to hire a State Director in Iowa on December 1, 2010. So it only stands to reason that Karger would be the first to file for the Republican nomination for President. Oh, yeah, Fred would also be the first openly gay candidate to run for President in history.

Karger comes to the table with some serious bona fides, having served as a consultant for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He gets written off because he presents himself as a single issue candidate -- a conservative gay rights activist:

After a 30 year career in politics, Karger retired in 2004 and became an LGBTQ activist. During the summer of 2008, he discovered the Mormon Church's complete control of California's Proposition 8 and filed a sworn complaint with the California Ethics Commission against the Mormon Church. The Salt Lake City based Church was prosecuted, investigated, found guilty and fined after an 18 month investigation.

Karger also filed the successful complaint against the National Organization for Marriage for alleged money laundering with the state of Maine's Ethics Commission. That investigation is ongoing after 16 months.

But as with his exploratory committee, his campaign ads, and his formal announcement, Karger's from-the-right defense of LGBT rights is similarly ahead of the curve.

Anyway, write it down -- FRED KARGER: FIRST IN, IN 2012!


Here's Brian Stelter and Megan Liberman talking about the Tim Pawlenty video. It's a video! And it's on the internets! And it's really interesting because Pawlenty is sort of a boring guy but he's got this exciting video, and the only thing that could vitiate the excitement of this video is another video where we have a boring discussion of things that would be obvious if you only watched the video itself. But: videos! They are important! Maybe other candidates will make videos! Maybe this video will "go viral!" Maybe our video will "go viral!" Maybe a video of this video discussing Pawlenty's video will be even more viral! Viruses, I guess? [The Caucus]

Rand Paul for President? Okay, whatever, it's not like I had anything planned for this evening. [Wonkette]

Last week, conservative intellectuals made a big deal about expressing their feelings about Sarah Palin's inadequacy as a presidential candidate. This week, that's been modified somewhat -- now the presidency is entirely beneath Sarah Palin, who at this point, should just wait to become Starfleet Commander or something. [TPMDC]

Lewis Black on Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen:

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