Tonight's Hardball post-mortem special on the just-concluded Memphis straw poll of GOP presidential hopefuls was a treasure trove for political junkies.
One obvious conclusion: it was good night for Mitt Romney. As a northerner, someone from Massachusetts and a Mormon at that, finishing second in the South was a notable accomplishment.
But Chuck Todd of the Hotline suggested another headline:
"The biggest thing: we'll look back at this conference by saying this is when we found out that Haley became McCain's southern sherpa. He has made McCain bona fide. I think a Haley-McCain coupling from this weekend sends gigantic shock waves to Republicans."
When Chris Matthews suggested Barbour would love to be "a king-maker," Todd dissented:
"No, actually Haley is not that kind of guy. I think Barbour in some ways could end up being the most logical running-mate choice. The governor that cleaned up the disaster. And Haley is going to fix domestic [problems] like he did for Katrina."
Solid analysis, or the MSM looking for a silver lining for McCain, who didn't even dare compete?