Real World Las Vegas: The Republican Episode

Here comes the Las Vegas episode of the best reality show on TV: the Republican presidential debates! We don’t know about you, but 5 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Sands Expo Convention Center can’t come soon enough.

A little update on the plot so far: After having his ample backside sufficiently smooched, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has told his suitors that all this love is getting kind of embarrassing and he has to get back to work, thanks so much. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin disappointed a clutch of Iowa housewives with the news that she too is out, though it was a tough decision because her TV show has been canceled and there’s not a hell of a lot to do in Wasilla during the long, cold winter days ahead.

Herman Cain, this season’s Fred Thompson, would like to remind people that he has a book out. Michele Bachmann is still in the race, if a bit confused about most other subjects taught in middle school. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are also still in it, but it’s hard to discern if anyone cares.

Frankly, we can’t understand the lack of love for Jon Huntsman, given his foreign policy cred, his outdoorsman-next-door good looks and the way he handles a dirt bike. Look for him to surge, perhaps even into double digits.

Which brings us to poll leaders Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Perry has bundles of money and a nascent Nevada operation, but seemingly nothing can explain away his inexcusable sympathy for Hispanic elementary school kids. Alabama has out-Texased Texas on immigration, proving that maybe Perry’s not so tough after all.

As for Romney, conservatives didn’t like him last time, and many of them still don’t, but given the choices, it’s likely to be a hold-your-nose affair. All he has to do in Las Vegas is refrain from discussing health care, Mormonism, the predatory nature of venture capitalism, his involvement with getting the Nevada caucuses moved up to Jan. 14, his personal wealth and starting more wars we can’t afford, and the debate is his to lose.