First Tom DeLay, now Bristol Palin. I'm starting to wonder if "Dancing With the Stars'" producers are employing what might be called a red-state strategy.

Obviously, the goal is to get names that will generate attention, and the political realm (along with sports, music, reality TV) is obviously fertile territory to inspire tune-in among the Washington set. No doubt one or more Salahis will turn up on the show — invited or not — in the near future.

Still, it wouldn't be the dumbest thing in the world to reach out to conservatives, especially those who have a way of seeing everything on TV except the Hallmark Channel as a liberal conspiracy to pollute America and dilute our faith in Jesus Christ.

As for Palin, she completes a rare extended-family hat trick, with her ex-boyfriend/father of her child, Levi Johnston, to headline a reality show, and her mom, Sarah, working on one for TLC.

Palin might be the first person, in fact, to see more value in reality TV than news channels in advancing her political ambitions — a way to circumvent the news media that keeps trying to embarrass her by accurately quoting her words.

Then again, ABC's casting got a lot of people — including me — writing about the show, and in today's climate, that's obviously a small victory.

Can't help but wonder, though, where the Palins will turn up next. "American Idol?" "Celebrity Rehab?" Or maybe an MTV spinoff, like "Anchorage Shore?"

Any way you slice it, they're dancing as fast as they can.

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