Thompson's Troops mount campaign surge. Rudy woos Spanish-speaking supporters. Meghan loves Chelsea's shoes.
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.
Thompson says troop surge will be successful--in South Carolina: In yesterday's email to supporters, the Friends of Fred are recruiting a volunteer army to launch an attack on the Palmetto State: "After the successful deployment of Thompson's Troops into Iowa, the time has come to deploy volunteer forces, from all across the country, into South Carolina," and (to mix metaphors) "propel Fred across the finish line on January 19th." We wonder what the army's marching orders will be, to lay waste to his opponents or to get behind him and push.
Gravel"s NH hopes dashed by doctor's orders: While Hillary and Obama raced around the state, rounding up voters Tuesday, Mike Gravel's doctor told him he needed to rest from a respiratory infection. "I'm trying to make a dent, trying to beat Richardson and Kucinich," he explained, adding that he'll need to take time off from campaigning. "There's no sense running myself into the ground." His campaign has given us here at Roadkill such good material; we wish him a speedy recovery.
We thought he was going to West Palm Beach for bagels and lox: Entitled "Liderazgo," (Leadership), Rudy Giuliani's new Florida campaign ad shows him shaking hands with the wax-like figure of Presidente Ronald Reagan and claiming to have 'redujo el crimen' in 'Nueva Yorka.' That may be true, but did we really need to hear Rudy's Bronx-like accent assuring us, "Soy Rudy Giuliani, y yo apruebra este menjase," ("I approved this message")?
Rudy"s no ringmaster: Giuliani's Florida campaign canceled a speech that was to be held in a venue called the Sailor Circus Arena, fearing it might be nationally 'lampooned.' A subliminal message to faith-based voters that Rudy's opposed to human clowning?
How smart is Fred? You be the judge: Fred was in South Carolina, circling his wagons, for a last ditch stand against the GOP front-runners. "All of the other candidates who are running for president are freezing in New Hampshire tonight while I'm in South Carolina," Thompson said. "Who's smart enough to run for president?" Definitely not the candidate, who spent weeks in freezing weather driving around Iowa in a broken-down bus, only to wind up in fourth place.
Not to get ahead of myself, but any advice? Meghan McCain had a great time in NH, with her dad winning and all. But, as she writes on the blogette, one of the highlights was meeting Chelsea Clinton! "She was absolutely lovely and charming and complimentary of the blog. She has been someone I have looked up to for a long time and finally meeting her and being so impressed with her in person was amazing (she also had really cute shoes on)." We're just guessing, but Chelsea probably would have a "no comment" on the subject of Meghan's shoes. You know, because of the potential controversy.
Mitt"s latest change: After losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, "refocus" is the new buzzword in the Romney campaign, which has pulled ads in South Carolina and Florida to put their resources into next week's Michigan primary. "We feel the best strategy is to focus our paid messaging in Michigan," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said. They might want to consider a backup strategy, just in case those unemployed Michigan autoworkers remember Mitt's auto-kingpin father was once their governor.
Rudy bombs again: At a town hall meeting in Florida yesterday, Rudy's latest speech on taxes was interrupted by a bomb threat. Nearly 200 Harris Corp. employees and Giuliani supporters had gathered for the chance to sit through the former mayor's speech, only to find themselves out in the heat after six of the buildings were evacuated. Only 50 supporters heard the speech, and there was no time for questions. But Giuliani called the event a success. "We got a lot of attention for it. We showed that we can go with the punches," noting that at least one national television network covered it live.
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