The following piece was produced through the Huffington Post'sOffTheBus. Edited by Richard Riehl and Denise Wheeler. Reported by Kirsten Anderson, River Curtis-Stanley, Jodi Lampert, Julie Pierce, and Debbi Plummer.
Thompson discovers sticker shock. Hunter the next TR? Mitt moves Jersey City to The City.
"Dunc's not all work and no play": In an interview with Duncan Hunter posted Monday by WorldNet Daily, the America-first candidate summarized the three pillars of his campaign: a strong national defense, enforcement of our borders, and restoring high-paying manufacturing jobs. While all that stuff's really important, he confides he's really all about the kids. "I'd also like to be the outdoor president. I believe we need to get our kids' heads out of the television and get them into the great outdoors...and I'd like to see in America where we have more participants and fewer spectators and I think that's not necessarily the result of legislation (i.e. let's not go wild and spend any government money on it). But I think we need to be using that bully pulpit of the White House..." If you squint really hard you can almost see TR himself, charging up that windy rhetorical hill.
"Is Huck hustling himself?": The Huckster quotes Newt Gingrich in his Sunday's email to supporters: "I think Huckabee is very effective, and if he can find money, he will be dramatically competitive almost overnight. He's probably the best performer in terms of giving speeches and being appealing...I mean, there's something about him that is just--you just have to like Mike." Wow. With endorsements like that, who needs money? What follows, though, shows the likeable Mike either struggles with grammar or with giving himself a pep talk to support his own campaign. "As someone that hasn't yet contributed to my campaign, I would like you to immediately consider supporting us with one of the options below..."
"All stoners to the back of the bus, please": In two emails last week John McCain urged folks to donate to his campaign before the Sunday deadline to get a chance to ride with him aboard his Straight Talk Express. Yet Saturday, in a speech in Exeter, NH, the no-surrender candidate revealed he doesn't care that much about raising money: "Money doesn't matter that much. How you do in Town Hall meetings ... matters," he said. So how would he rate himself on his answer to a question posed by a college student at that town-hall meeting about his stance on federal raids on medical marijuana patients? "It would not be a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire without some young man sent to talk about medical marijuana," McCain jabbed back. He assured the student he would not arrest the "sick and dying," but does not approve of the use of medical marijuana. Looks like he'd be his own bad cop, good cop--"Yer busted, unless you can prove yer bad sick."
"What, they're not the same?": The event is called, "New York, NY Joins Mitt for Golf Fund-raiser." Now the Mitt event page doesn't give an exact location for the outing, but look closely at the URL that got you there. You'll find it includes the words, "Golf at Liberty National Golf Club." Oh right--Liberty National Golf Club! That's in Jersey City, isn't it? You know, the golf course built on a landfill they're calling "remediated land." Enjoy the view of the city, Mittsters! land.
"Is Thompson's IQ dropping with his polls": While campaigning in Iowa, Thompson told a rapt audience of about 60 cafe diners that he was certain Hussein had weapons of mass destruction before we invaded Iraq. "We can't forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, he clearly had WMD. He clearly had the beginnings of a nuclear program," Thompson said, explaining why he felt the war was justified. Thanks for stopping by the diner, Fred. But can we please get back to our corn cobs? Even out here in Iowa we know that debate ended a long time ago.
"No votes, but plenty of autographs": Fred Thompson and his bride made all the new friends they could Saturday night at the Iowa Christian Alliance dinner. The Rocky Mountain News reported the Thompsons worked the buffet line like newlyweds greeting guests at their wedding. Dozens of folks asked for autographs and to pose for pictures. "He's going to be given a good reception. He's a candidate with credibility," said one of the night's hosts, before adding, "skeptical is also a word that would describe this crowd here." Meanwhile, back in the buffet line, a guy's "Huckabee for President" sticker fell off while he was shaking the candidate's hand. Apparently, sticker support was pretty weak that night, too.