The real story from the soap opera that is late night will not be found on Monday, when Jay Leno returns to "The Tonight Show" to face off again with David Letterman, but the next night, when Leno's guest is Sarah Palin and Letterman's is Mitt Romney.
Reading way too much into this, it's Palin, the defacto (or maybe it's by default) leader of the Tea Party movement, going for Leno's heartland audience and Romney, casting himself as the candidate of cooler heads prevail, going for Letterman's more upscale demographic.
Not reading too much into this, Palin probably wouldn't be caught dead doing Letterman at this point, and Romney is embarking on a book tour, meaning he'd probably be just as happy doing Leno.
What's gratifying is the extent to which late night is seeking out politicians not just as novel guests, but as actual draws. We're long past the point of lamenting the fusion of politics and entertainment in the talk show arena to a recognition that these appearances, whether on Leno or Letterman or Colbert or Stewart, often make news, sometime even of substance. It sure beats another star tubthumping their latest project, even if these politicos have their own tomes and agendas to promote.