Oh lord. John Fund floats a trial balloon for a Lou Dobbs presidential bid:

Friends of Mr. Dobbs say he is seriously contemplating a race for the first time, although it's still unlikely. They spin a scenario under which the acerbic commentator would parachute into the race if Michael Bloomberg, the New York billionaire and favorite of East Coast elites, enters the field as an independent. With Hillary Clinton continuing to score badly in polls in the categories of honesty and integrity, and with the public's many doubts about Rudy Giuliani and other GOP contenders, Mr. Bloomberg may well see an opportunity to roil the political waters by entering the race late. If so, Mr. Dobbs then sees a niche for a "fourth-party" candidate who could paint the three other contenders as completely out of touch.

His playbook would be similar to that of Ross Perot in 1992, who didn't enter the presidential race until the major parties began holding their primaries but quickly shot up to 25% in many polls.

Similarly, Mr. Dobbs could leverage his name ID and popularity to secure a place on 50 state ballots and generate a mountain of free publicity.

The only thing that makes this scenario less depressingly plausible is the fact that a Dobbs candidacy hinges on a Bloomberg one--and I just don't see the latter happening. But does Dobbs really need Bloomberg? As Fund notes, a Dobbs presidential bid--and even the mere rumors of one--will probably do wonders for his ratings. And that's what Dobbs is after more than anything.

P.S. If Dobbs does get in the race, three words for oppo researchers: Space Dot Com.

--Jason Zengerle