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Remember former GOP Senator Jim Talent, the guy Claire McCaskill defeated in 2006? Just last fall some on the right were hoping that the putative  “intellectual powerhouse” might be willing to take her on again in 2012. The GOP Missouri senatorial field remained Talentless, of course,  and he moved on to a position at the right-wing Heritage Foundation. Currently, he is also counted among the ranks of Romney surrogates. In this regard, Dave Weigel reports that:

… the Romney campaign held two surrogate conference calls today, giving Idaho’s Gov. Butch Otter and Missouri’s former Sen. Talent (and others) space to trash Santorum. Talent did what he’d refused to in January: He criticized Santorum for supporting Medicare Part D. And then a reporter on the call pointed out that Talent had supported the same bill.

It is surely only because Talent is an intellectual powerhouse that he is able to sustain such internal contradictions. Of course, the person who designated him such added at the time that “he is regarded favorably by many Tea Partiers,”  which does rather speak to the limits of the initial judgment.