"Talk Radio's Leading Gasbag"

Another former Times reporter, Timothy Egan (pictured), unleashes on Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh.

Timothy Egan, a liberal former Northwest-based correspondent (who warned back in 2003 that budget cuts in Oregon had the mentally ill "screaming in public squares" for lack of medication) has a journal, "Outposts," at nytimes.com. His latest entry, "Mitt's Funeral," on the just-expired candidacy of Mitt Romney, gives his opinion on a leading conservative.

Many voters found him unctuous, weasely, fake. He didn't wear well. His voice was grating and snappish. He was too perfect, on the surface, for the human race, let alone America on the cusp of a recession and an uncertain war. He changed positions so dramatically on gays and abortion that Senator John McCain could call him the true "change" candidate in a debate, and the audience laughed at the obvious joke.

But as it became clear that McCain, who is anathema to many conservatives, was going to head the Republican ticket, Romney had his chance. Gov. Mike Huckabee, for all his chuckleheaded bon mots, was never a viable candidate. He simply didn't have the money, the experience or the judgment. Talk radio's leading gasbag, Rush Limbaugh, said as much.