Call it the march of the surrogates. The surrogate concept is as old as it is effective: Bring a bigger name than yourself to town, to hype the legitimacy of your campaign and possibly excite the local media enough to give you some coverage which, in turn, is worth its weight in advertising dollars.
Republicans, so far, seem to have the trump cards on newsworthiness. This week Vice President Dick Cheney touches down in Couer d'Alene. The Veep's trip to that northern reach of the First Congressional District is designed to lend a hand to Republican Bill Sali's attempt to sweep aside Democrat Larry Grant. It is the second time that Cheney has been to Idaho for Republicans, but Democrats sneered at the relatively small turnout he garnered at the fundraiser he held in Boise this summer.
Earlier this week Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican with presidential aspirations, showed up in Boise to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidate Butch Otter.
Romney showed up just a week after another governor stopped by. Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat who regularly gets touted as the Next Big Thing, came to Boise to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady and also for Grant. That same week Congressman Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, came through for a fundraiser for Grant. Former Democratic Senator Max Cleland of Georgia has also made a stop for Democrats, who crowded into the Nampa Civic Center for a fundraiser.