Parasites are usually smaller than the hosts they feed off but, in this Republican pre-primary season, actual candidates are being afflicted with a giant publicity-sucking organism that attaches itself to their campaigns and draws away attention.
After driving her bus tour into New Hampshire to overshadow Mitt Romney when he was making his presidential announcement, Sarah Palin is revving up the engines again to move into Iowa this weekend and rain on the parades of Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul et al after they they take turns attacking the President in their TV debate.
“The heartland,” she tells supporters, “is perfect territory for more of the One Nation Tour as we put forth efforts to revitalize the fundamental restoration of America by highlighting our nation’s heart, history, and founding principles.”
Mitt Romney has taken a leaf from Palin by showing up for a couple days and getting out of town before anybody can accuse him of campaigning seriously for Straw Poll attention. Such bite-and-run tactics are intended to infect the balloting without raising expectations.
Palin, who invented the strategy, is showing up in corn country to resume highlighting such “founding principles” of America as Obama-bashing, telling supporters she’s “excited to try some of that famous fried butter-on-a-stick, fried cheesecake-on-a-stick, fried Twinkies, etc. I’ll enjoy them in honor of those who’d rather make us just ‘eat our peas’!”
As a Gallup poll shows Palin stirring more excitement than the declared candidates, one of the dropouts, Haley Barbour, notes that “she could raise enough money to burn a wet mule.”