We have our first loser.

We do not have a winner in the race for an entry of praise. But I don’t think anyone will be surprised to learn the identity of the first candidate to drop out. You’re going to be so not surprised, although much Hillarity (pun intended) and ignorance ensues.

“There is something seriously wrong with our economy when Exxon’s record $11 billion in quarterly profits are seen as a disappointment by Wall Street. This is truly Dick Cheney’s wonderland.

“But on Main Street, middle class families are facing devastating choices every day between buying groceries and filling up their gas tanks to get to work. They are being squeezed by a vice grip of record high gas prices, record declines in housing values and an economy that is shedding jobs and tumbling into recession.”

“I believe these families need immediate relief. That’s why I have called for making Exxon and other oil companies with record profits pay the federal gas tax this summer. Now, Senator Obama doesn’t believe in any kind of gas tax holiday. And Senator McCain doesn’t want to pay for one. I believe we should impose a windfall profits tax on big oil companies and use that money to suspend the gas tax and give families relief at the pump. They typical family could get $70 in relief, and families that drive more for work could get even more. Truckers will get a $50 break every time they fill up their tanks.

“At the same time, we need to set a new course for our long term energy strategy, and move away from oil and towards new sources of clean energy. That’s why I have proposed a $50 billion Strategic Energy Fund that will invest that money in clean energy sources like wind and solar.”

I try not to deploy this term, but it’s the only description that fits here: hack. Unfortunately, this is probably the only race she’ll drop out of any time soon.

Post Script: Per Mark’s comment to yesterday’s entry, I’m including Libertarian Party candidate Bob Barr in the race. The LP nomination is far from certain, although I suspect Barr will win it. And I’ve already discussed my concerns with the other leading candidate for the LP nomination, Wayne Allen Root. I’ll also set a deadline of Monday. (This story doesn’t have legs.) Any candidate who shows restraint will receive an entry of praise about some policy position.

Post Post Script: Here’s an excellent essay on the actual issues involved in oil and profits.