Iditarod, Alaska - Oblivious to the impending avalanche predicted for November 4th, John McCain trudged on through the drifts of his campaign today. Delirious and frost-bitten, McCain rambled, "I love being the underdog. You know, every time that I've gotten ahead, somehow I've messed it up."
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was quick to capitalize on her running mate's remarks. "Every hockey mom and Joe six-pack in America loves an underdog," shrieked Palin. "This is just what we need in the run up to Election Day."
"First Dude" Todd Palin has now been appointed as Republican Presidential Campaign Chairman to mush the team to victory. Palin, with a fondness for dog-sled racing, is known for his racing skills and is four-time champion of the world's longest Tesoro Iron Dog race.
"Well, the Iron Dog is actually a snowmobile race. Duh! Iron-dog, get it?, explained Palin. "But I think the Iditarod is way cool too, dude. So here's the deal. I'm putting together a Republican dog-sled team to tour the country in the next few weeks in the final push to win."
Palin, his broken arm still in a plaster cast after being flung 70 feet from his sled in an accident during the last Iron Dog race, was upbeat about his team's chances.
"Hey, it's going to be phat. I've got my wife Sarah as lead dog. She's definitely the alpha bitch of the pack. A pit-bull with lipstick, it's a musher's dream."
"Then there's that under-dog dude, John McCain, right behind her sniffing her behind all the way. The view may not be great for him, but hey, he said he loves being the under-dog, so..."
Palin ticked off the rest of his Republican dog-sled team for the assembled shivering reporters whose Blackberries were beginning to freeze off in the falling snow and sleet.
"We've got Swing Dogs, Governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee lined up as well as Team Dogs, Senators Olympia Snowe of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Lisa looks particularly good in her harness," drivelled Palin.
Asked about the rumours surrounding one of his dogs, Palin confirmed that he had to make a last minute change in his dog-sled team line-up.
"Ok, it happens. I had Colin Powell all set to go, but then he joined another team. It doesn't matter that much. He's more used to the desert than the arctic anyway. We've replaced him with Randy Jackson, dude."
Randy Jackson, currently of American Idol judge fame, seemed tepid about being chosen. "Yo, yo, dawg, ummm, man, yeah, I just don't know, man, dawg," deliberated Jackson.
Democrats, socialists, and animal rights groups have been quick to criticise the Republican plan to harness John McCain, Sarah Palin and the rest of their team to a dog-sled mushed by Todd Palin for the final campaign sweep through all 50 states.
"Dog-sledding is terribly cruel to dogs and may even be so to Republicans," asserted Fang Shui of the Harmoanious Universe Coalition.
"They won't get an ounce of Qi from this ridiculous campaign stunt," Ms Fang predicted. "Just look at the positioning of the dogs. Todd Palin's got it all wrong. No one is going to vote for McCain when they see him sniffing Sarah Palin's backside across the entire country. It would be far better to switch the team around and have Randy Jackson in that under-dog position."
Ms Fang produced more statistics to back up her cruelty claim. "At least 136 dogs have died in the Iditarod race alone that we know of. Besides death, the dogs are subjected to paralysis, frostbite of the penis and scrotum, bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons, vomiting, hypothermia, sprains, fur loss, broken teeth, torn footpads and anemia."
Todd Palin defended his decision to harness his wife together with John McCain. "Hey, I've been racing for years and have suffered every one of these hardships, frostbite of the penis and scrotum included. But if that's what it takes for the Republicans to win this race, they'll just have to stop whining and suck it up. It's the American way."
The Great 2008 Presidential Dawg-Sled Race seems set to go. McCain, Palin and the rest of the team have been receiving last-minute instructions from Todd Palin on commands.
"Gee means turn to the right. Haw means turn to the left," instructed Palin. "We'll be doing lots of Gee and maybe a little Haw, so make sure you've got it memorized."
John McCain appeared upbeat and raring to go. "This is great! I knew there must have been a reason why I picked that dizzy dame to be my running mate. Frostbite of the penis and scrotum, and behind-sniffing be damned! I suffered more intimate torture than that in the Hanoi Hilton."
A now snow-blind and disorientated McCain shouted out to no one in particular as he twirled around in the swirling snowfall, "Obama, your skinny ass doesn't stand a chance from here on in. Come on, come and get me! I dare you! Ha, ha, ha-ha!"