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Social nets rundown: Sarah Palin, Huckabee, Dobson and the Chuck Norris on Iowa's GOP governor race

June 3, 2010 |  3:22 pm


If Chuck Norris is late, time had better slow down.

So goes one of hundreds of jokes about the martial-arts master and Torrance native who, our social networks tell us,  this weekend is campaigning in Iowa for Republican gubernatorial challenger and Christian conservative, Bob Vander Plaats. The primary is on Tuesday.

Vander Plaats, who is running against former four-term governor Terry Branstad for the right to challenge incumbent Democrat Chet Culver, has secured the backing of Mike Huckabee and, as announced Thursday, of the Rev. James Dobson of Focus on the Family fame.

Of course,  Vander Plaats has his own version of the Norris spiel.

"When Chuck Norris comes to Iowa, even Chet Culver attends the rallies."

Vander Plaats trails Branstad by 15 points in the latest polls, but it remains to be seen how....

...these high-profile endorsements will affect the race. Huckabee and Dobson both support Vander Plaats' stance on gay marriage and abortion (Vander Plaats has pledged to issue an executive order to halt same-sex marriages until the state votes on a constitutional amendment banning them).

Branstad is running primarily on a conservative fiscal-policy platform, and Thursday afternoon secured the nod of former VP candidate Sarah Palin. At 2:41 p.m., Palin Facebooked: "Iowa, your great state’s motto is 'Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.' That motto will be well served by voting for Terry Branstad for governor next Tuesday!"

Culver is seeking his second term but trails Branstad, his likely Republican opponent, in the polls.

Endorsing Vander Plaats, Dobson said:

Bob has fought tirelessly for conservative family values. He is passionately pro-life and supports the exclusivity of marriage between one man and one woman. Vander Plaats believes that all voters, not just one liberal court, should decide what the definition of marriage should be.

Vander Plaats was Huckabee's Iowa campaign chief when the current Fox News Channel host somewhat surprisingly upset Mitt Romney in the 2008 GOP caucuses.  Norris also was part of Huckabee's 2008 campaign and seemingly is back on the stump. He writes a weekly online column on conservative hot-button issues including gun rights, immigration, taxes and abortion. 
Like a roundhouse kick that just keeps going, time is repeating itself.

Michigan governor seeks perfect pitch

Also on our gubernatorial radar: Michigan's Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has issued a Facebook proclamation declaring that Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a perfect game Wednesday night despite an umpire's botched call on the game's last play that denied him the historic honor. 

She writes:  "As governor, I'm issuing a proclamation declaring Galarraga pitched a perfect game!"

The umpire, btw, has tearfully apologized.

How "oil works"

And tweet o' the day goes to the Atlantic's political editor and CBS News consultant Marc Ambinder, who tweets:

In the Acela lounge, trying not to eavesdrop on the First Lady of Mississippi, who is chatting with her security detail about how "oil works."

-- Craig Howie

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Photo: Huckabee, left, and Norris in 2008. Credit: European Pressphoto Agency