Ballet comes to mind for what GOP divas as doing in the Hawkeye State, a new variation on the graceful duet in which dancers make their moves in harmony but in this case as if the other were invisible.
La Palin comes into the state on tiptoe for the premiere of an adoring movie about her, cloaked in classic subtlety that sets off equal and opposite images in the eyes of two leading political blogs:
“Sarah Palin team reaching out to Iowa activists for meetings headlines Politico as Real Clear Politics reports, “Palin Not Reaching Out to Key Iowans Ahead of Visit.”
No such ambiguity is seen as the new ballerina bursts on the presidential stage, swathed in patriotic clichés and gaffes, sometimes in the same metaphor as she proclaims her love for “John Wayne’s America” in Waterloo, Iowa, hometown not of the cowboy hero but John Wayne Gacy, the celebrated serial killer. Oops!
For political dance critics, Bachmann’s exuberance may be both her strength and...er...Achilles heel. Her surprisingly positive performance in the South Carolina debate was surely at least in part due to the hiring of veteran Ed Rollins as an adviser.
But moving his new client centerward has a Tea Party price, as Rollins soon learned after being bashed for jibing at the iconic non-candidate.
Now an official entrant, Bachmann will have to go beyond patriotic postures and start tangling with Mitt Romney and even Tim Pawlenty, if he shows signs of life, in Iowa.
Palin may keep striking poses, but her doppelganger will have to accept the reality that running for president, unlike ballet, is a contact sport.
Update: On the fact-checking meter, Bachmann has climbed (or fallen, depending on your perspective) halfway to a rating of two Pinocchios: “Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily.”
That sounds like progress.