"We are doing so poorly I thought maybe I would announce on this show that I'm running for president," McCain told Jay Leno in an appearance taped for broadcast Tuesday night on "The Tonight Show." "We have obviously made mistakes," the Arizona senator said...
McCain turns 71 Wednesday - if elected he would become the oldest first-term president. Leno mentioned the birthday and McCain noted that his 95-year-old mother was refused a rental car in Paris because of her age. So she bought a car and drove around sightseeing. "I'm taking her with me wherever I go," McCain said.
The latest averages show Giuliani's lead still comfortable, with Thompson second, Romney third, McCain fourth, and Huckabee the new found distant fifth.
Romney, as anticipated, topped (bought) the Iowa Straw poll and used the resume indent to prop up fundraising, which some rumors say may be slowing down. Impressive organizational structure and handling of confrontational interviews were staples of his campaign strength.
Since his mildly surprising second place finish in Ames, media-induced popularity has gone for Huckabee like Senator Craig goes for the guy in the stall next door. Local papers, national papers, every afternoon talk show and practically network news station arranged interviews within the following weeks. While a PR miracle, and popularly called a "shocking" second place finish, it could be anticipated for several reasons.
With no other serious competition (Giuliani, McCain, and Fred Thompson were absent from the ballot) Romney was a shoo-in. The only intrigue in existence is how "also" prospects would stack up. Huckabee stole the fire from the last two Republican debates with witty one liners and eloquent charisma. Thommy Thompson looked like an insurance agent, Tom Tancredo like, well, a Congressman, and Sam Brownback more like a preacher than the Rev. Huckabee himself. While being the de facto second tier leader in the debates and media portrayal, he was near the bottom of the totem poll in fundraising, the only discrepancy in which Brownback had the upper hand. Ultimately, perceived vision and eloquence trumped cash.
Thommy Thompson's non-existant support encouraged him to finally fold his campaign, while the deeply depressed Tancredo may follow suit. Ron Paul, who has a surprising amount of cash on hand, took a Steve Forbes finish in standings. Unlike Forbes, however, Paul has a radically active group of libertarians and online activists who may keep his campaign pumping for several months.
Far more telling than the Straw Poll, however, may be the September 5th debate on Fox News. Biggest question- will Thompson be there?