03/28/2008 02:48 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Rudy Camp Taps FEMA Failure For Advisory Roll


Rudy picks Brownie's old boss for his catastrophe committee. Fred says he's the poorest of them all. Hunter says Michigan should build tanks, not cars.

The following piece was produced through the Huffington Post's OffTheBus. Edited by Richard Riehl and Denise Wheeler. Reported by Kirsten Anderson, Ken Bank, River Curtis-Stanley, Jodi Lampert, Julie Pierce, Debbi Plummer, and Theresa Weathers.

Mitt says this time it's personal: In his latest TV ad, released in Michigan Saturday, Romney tries for a pandering triple-play: he'll "unleash the power" to "turn Michigan around" (hear that, unemployed autoworkers?), "change Washington" (didn't work in NH, but might find traction here), and be a "new" leader with "experience and energy" (not like that tired old John McCain). But why is he so motivated to win this one? "Because Michigan is personal for me." He wasn't all that fond of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Heckuva job, Rudy! Pandering to Floridians Thursday, Giuliani announced the appointment of a catastrophe insurance advisory committee to look into the creation of a fund to spread insurance risks associated with natural disasters. Who did he choose to head the committee? Former FEMA director, Joe Allbaugh, a long time Bush crony. Allbaugh's the guy who hired Michael Brown as his deputy and later recommended him to take over FEMA. And Brown was the guy Bush said did such a heckuva job with Katrina. That should show Floridians how much Rudy loves them.

Brother, can you spare a dime?Fred wants voters to know how deprived he was growing up compared to the other candidates because his dad was a used-car salesman with an eighth-grade education. "I can out-poor any of them," Thompson said. "I grew up under more modest circumstances than anybody." Of course, if Fred loses he can always follow in his dad's footsteps and sell used cars. He's had lots of practice.

He'll even cut taxes and balance the budget too: Duncan Hunter soldiered on in Michigan, where he told a group of sympathetic listeners, "This is a state where we had the arsenal of democracy. This is where we built a bomber aircraft every 60 minutes in World War II. This is where we built tens of thousands of tanks. I want to bring back that arsenal of democracy because I think it's important." With all that arsenal he might consider taking on the Grand Duchy of Fenwick.

A fresh twist to the old Rudy: Claiming the U.S. hasn't made advances in 30 years (not like France!), Rudy actually used the words 'nuclear' and 'energy' on the same stage, proving that, like The Rolling Stones, bell-bottom jeans and the Clash before it, everything old can be new again. Hey, the sun's even older than nuclear power plants.

Freddie packs a pancake house and even he's surprised:So maybe it wasn't Carnegie Hall, but according to police estimates more than 200 people not only packed the room at Surfside Jenny's restaurant near Myrtle Beach on Friday, but dozens more were jammed outside, poking their heads in through the windows wearing "FRED '08" stickers. Even more impressive, after saying little more than "We're out of here" during last week's NH primary, he actually spoke for an hour. No word if anyone actually listened, but we hear the pancakes were darn good.


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