One of my favorite voting events of the year is coming up, and I'm not talking about Super Tuesday.
“Dancing With the Stars” begins a new season next month, and the “stars” will be revealed Feb. 28 on “Good Morning America.”
Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) has announced she doesn’t have time for the popular reality show, despite having won a polka contest in the 10th grade. Of course, she does have a day job that would impinge on the rigorous rehearsals required of DWTS contestants. (Although, how often was she absent to campaign when she was still in the presidential race?)
Another former presidential contender, Herman Cain, is also counting himself out, so to speak. A spokeswoman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Cain "can’t dance in an eight-count. He can only dance in a nine-count." (Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan, get it?)
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was the first politician to take to the dance floor on the show, in the fall of 2009. After proving he could shake that convicted-for-money-laundering booty, he was forced to drop out of the competition because of an injury.
But it was Bristol Palin who really brought the drama when she competed — and finished third — in the fall 2010 season. The daughter of the 2008 vice presidential campaign drew complaints about mediocre performances and potential voting irregularities.
But she also helped bring stellar ratings. By contrast, last fall’s season finale had the lowest ratings in the show’s history.
So ABC execs have no doubt tried to find someone from the political world.
Over at Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch, there’s a move to draft Bachmann’s fellow Minnesotan and former candidate for prez Tim Pawlenty.
There are other options, too. Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell turned down the show last spring to write a book. (Remember that book? Didn’t think so.) She’s not the hot name she was last spring, but her personality still would be fun on the show.
And what about another Palin? Perhaps even Sarah herself could step into the contest. She proved at CPAC she’s still got plenty of fans. And the show would be over long before a brokered GOP convention could put her back in the hunt.
Perhaps some Democrats could get in the mix. Could former vice president Al Gore balance Current TV with the cha-cha-cha? Would the secretary of state let husband Bill Clinton tango with one of those hot pros? Or maybe daughter Chelsea could follow up her NBC News stint on another network?
Of course, the impossible dream for “Dancing” would be to move the entire GOP presidential contest to the dance floor. Let the fans vote and award the winner both the Mirrorball Trophy and the nomination. (But would you let them debate policy with host Tom Bergeron and the judges?)
Not gonna happen, of course. But it’s not too late to call Gloria Cain, whose husband is on record saying that America needs to lighten up.
Sandra Fish teaches journalism at the University of Colorado and has reported on politics in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @fishnette.