While GOP presidential candidates mud wrestle in Iowa, Rick Perry surfaces deep in the heart of Texas

Thursday night was completely consequential in the GOP presidential race.

Frontrunner — for now — Mitt Romney wanted to be the large peacock commanding center stage with seven other presidential candidates in a contentious Iowa debate.

They all let the bullets fly — at President Obama as well as one another.

No surprise, of course, that they all ran over Obama as if he were a somnambulist.

Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty waged their own Minnesota backyard brawl, flicking snake tongues — whoo-eet! whoo-eet! — at each other, unloading verbal shots that shivered synapses and split nearby trees.

Granted, all their rhetoric may have been overshadowed by Rick Perry, who pilfered some of the spotlight from Texas by making it known hours before the debate that he’s running, too. Perry will be joining the spectacle with a tour to early primary states.

Then there is Sarah Palin, bound for the Iowa State Fair with more on her mind than milking cows.

Presidential candidates these days tour more than rock stars. Obama is taking a Midwestern bus tour next week where he likely will continue to chant his mantra that there is nothing wrong with our country, there is something wrong with our politics.

Yeah, but politics is more fun than the circus. What other sport leads us to true renunciation of one another based on partisan blind spots and allows us to all freak out?