Election battleground invades television

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Back when I was just a wee young 'un, presidential candidates campaigned by traversing the country on the back of a steam-powered locomotive--Iron Horses they used to call them--screaming out their values with a megaphone and kissing babies.

Nowadays, these would-be presidents take the easy way out and just show their mug on television, and three of the major players in this year's election will be fishing for votes in three very different ways.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is taking her Alaskan charm (or whatever you want to call it) to Saturday Night Live. Palin, who has been thrust into the national spotlight since being named John McCain's running mate, will visit the long-running sketch-comedy show and test the laws of physics as she and Palin impersonator Tina Fey will occupy the same room.

Palin's appearance will take place on October 25, according to The New York Post. Saturday Night Live has been cashing in on Fey's Palin impression, given that recent sketches featuring the 30 Rock star doing Sarah Palin have been SNL's most buzzed-about bits in a long time.

Palin's running mate John McCain will also do a television appearance, visiting The Late Show With David Letterman this Thursday. The spot comes on the heels of McCain's last-minute cancellation on Dave's show three week ago, which irked Letterman. Letterman later discovered that McCain's reasons for not showing up weren't exactly the truth; the Senator was filming an interview with CBS news instead.

But it isn't just the elephants getting ready for primetime, seeing as how the big man from the donkey party will also be in your living room. Barack Obama is making the unusual move of outright buying some national television time, and has secured 30 minutes on both CBS and NBC, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. The paid advertisement will air on Wednesday, October 29 at 8 p.m.--less than a week before election day. These types of maneuvers are usually focused on swing states, but Obama's taking his message of change to the entire nation.

And what about Obama's running mate Joe Biden? He's scheduled to appear with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show this Thursday.