Tales from the Trail

Political Surrogate Smackdown!

October 19, 2010

USA/You can tell it’s autumn in Washington: the leaves are changing color, Congress has flown away and the political surrogates are in full cry. For those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, the full cry of the surrogate can often be heard from coast to coast — or at least from Broadway to Reno, Nevada.

Surrogates can do things the candidates can’t, sparring with words most candidates don’t use in places some candidates wouldn’t go. That’s why they’re fun to watch when they figuratively put up their dukes in the struggle before the November 2 vote.

At a Broadway theater on Monday night, Michelle Obama got a glitzy introduction from Sarah Jessica Parker of “Sex and the City” fame, who called the first lady “a role model, an inspiration” and a woman who “doesn’t need a pair of heels to stand tall.”

Mrs. Obama called on an audience of New York City women to come to her husband’s aid. But this was no demure request. President Barack Obama‘s popular wife put it bluntly: “If I hand him over, then you all have got to have his back … because my husband cannot do this alone.”

Across the country, Sarah Palin – ex-Alaska governor, ex-Republican vice presidential candidate, current Tea Party star — took on members of her own Republican party at a stop in Reno. “Some of you need to man up,” Palin told Republicans, “and spend some political capital to support the Tea Party candidate.”

USA/As she has in the past, Palin hinted at a possible presidential run: ” … Mr. Obama and your czars — you’re next, because now we can see 2012 from our house.” That was a reference to a devastating parody of Palin, 2008 edition, on Saturday Night Live, and she turned it into a rallying cry.

What does Palin really have in mind? She said on Fox News, where she is a commentator, that this could be some Republicans’ “last shot,” leaving the field open to a third major U.S. political party. ”It’s their last chance, and we will lose faith and we will be disappointed and disenchanted from them if they start straying from the bedrock principles that can grow our economy.”

Republicans are likely to pick up some seats and possibly the majority in the House of Representatives after mid-term elections. Watch for more surrogate appearances in the count-down to Election Day.

Photo credits: REUTERS/John Gress (Michelle Obama at a campaign fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias in Chicago October 13, 2010)

REUTERS/Brian Snyder (Sarah Palin speaks at a Tea Party Express rally on Boston Commons in Boston, Massachusetts April 14, 2010.)

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