The Drudge Report at times functions as an adjunct of the Romney campaign.

Saria Dy / Flickr.com

Last night was one of those times.

It was a treat to learn first of the Drudge’s “surprise veep frontrunner” teaser headline, and then the “surprise” itself, via Twitter, where opinion leaders collectively scoffed at Drudge’s essential unsoundness and yet could not stop themselves for falling for the ruse that Mitt Romney is strongly considering ex-Bushie Condoleeza Rice as a running mate.

The first reaction to the “scoop” was that the Romney campaign was feeding fake news to Drudge as a way to get talking heads to talk about something other than Bain Capital.

Other no-less-plausible theories quickly emerged.

TAC friend Michael Brendan Dougherty had a good one: the Condi balloon is a clever feint: “Floating Condi and getting all the MSM to drool over a pro-choicer makes the selection of boring Pawlenty more appealing to GOP voters.”

I’ll buy that.

In fact, I’ll buy almost anything other than the patently absurd notion (Larison is characteristically on point this morning) that Rice is a legitimate veep contender or that Matt Drudge is a legitimate newsmaker.

My advice: Stay on the trail, Bain hunters.