Is the GOP field too wimpy?

Palin’s elevation of “Mama Grizzlies” as an archetype of female ferocity, and Bachmann’s frequent imploring about the need to “man up,” serve as reminders that both women are more than willing to raise gender issues in a vigorous way.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if a Sarah Palin or a Michele Bachmann called into question their opponents’ — Republican or Democrat — standing as men,” said Charles Knight, a writer on gender issues…

The dissatisfaction conservatives feel with the current Republican field might be partly related to a wish that other, more overtly masculine contenders had entered — or may yet enter — the race. Many among the conservative grass roots were disappointed when rambunctious Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who once described himself as “a fat redneck,” stepped back.

In recent days, there has been a groundswell of encouragement for Texas Gov. Rick Perry to seek the nomination.