WASHINGTON (CNN) - All the pieces were there, from base-pleasing social stands to an undeniable (and inescapable) TV presence. But somehow, Fred Thompson’s campaign whole was never the sum of its parts – with a sell-by date that passed long before Saturday’s disappointing South Carolina showing.
The remaining Republican contenders are all staking their claim to their share of Florida real estate today - though Rudy Giuliani yesterday downgraded the state he’d wagered his presidential bid on from a “must-win” to a mere “important win” (a distinction that may be raising the question in the minds of some of his donors: just when does the White House hopeful believe it’s absolutely necessary to start, you know, winning something?)
Meanwhile, John McCain’s strong showing on the former mayor’s home turf in New York polls released this week – and the Arizona senator’s trip to the Big Apple yesterday to pick up a million dollars’ worth of campaign cash - can’t help Giuliani’s frame of mind heading into that Super Tuesday contest.
On the Democratic side: Barack Obama’s tough new persona is out in full force, with the Illinois senator telling the Christian Broadcasting Network last night that the waves of below-the-radar e-mail rumors that have hounded his campaign for months are part of a “systematic political strategy,” conveniently timed according to the primary calendar.
In more socially-acceptable slash-and-burn campaign news, Hillary Clinton’s oppo team went into overdrive with yesterday’s effort. The approach: Why bet the news cycle on just one attack of the day when you can send out half a dozen, all helpfully summarized and bullet-pointed in a single e-mail?
– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand