Chris Cillizza EXPLAINS the potential political benefits for Rick Santorum and John Thune that could accrue from their recent jabs at Sarah Palin.
For both Santorum and Thune, going after Palin — whether intentionally, unintentionally or a somewhere in between — is a smart political strategy.
It’s the political equivalent of punching up; anytime a lesser known candidate takes a swing at a better known candidate — and that better known candidate responds — it’s a victory for the little guy.
It’s why long-shot challengers always call for debate against incumbents — and why incumbents almost never agree to them.
But, Palin’s demonstrated willingness to engage almost anyone — literally — who speaks ill of her virtually ensures that other lesser known candidates looking to make a name for themselves in the 2012 field will follow the Santorum/Thune route in the very near future.