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The GOP Field as Old Country Buffet

What is it about the Republican presidential field (or GOP electorate) that inspires all-you-can-eat buffet metaphors? 

From today's column by right-leaning syndicated Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker:

Things sure do change fast around here. One week it’s Rick Perry, the next it’s Herman Cain. Now it’s . . . Newt Gingrich?
The Republican voter is like a starving man at a free buffet. He gorges on this, then that, then spies a steaming plump pork roast at the far end of the table. Charge! (No anatomical parallels intended. I’m a little hungry myself.)

From today's column by the New York Times' left-leaning Frank Bruni, the paper's former restaurant reviewer:

Maybe [Gingrich's] flamboyant knowledge-flaunting and ceaseless crowing are indeed liabilities, but ones that Republican voters forgive him as they stand at the 2012 salad bar, famished for a protein other than Mitt Romney and forced to choose from what’s there. The baby shrimp absent, the chicken strips missing, they settle for legumes. Gingrich is their bloviating garbanzo bean. Onto the romaine he goes.

Just as long as they're using clean plates when they go back for the inevitable seconds...