After finishing a disappointing third in the Delaware primary -- and after spending more than five years and $60 million of his personal wealth chasing the presidency -- publisher Steve Forbes dropped out Wednesday morning. The two front-runners quickly began flirting with Forbes supporters.
While George W. Bush sheepishly declared that he was, "honored by the vote" that won him 51 percent of the Delaware primary, John McCain capped the day with his own bit of understatement. "I'm extremely surprised and pleased that we'd get this kind of vote in a state we never visited," said McCain of his 25 percent.
Morris comes up for air
Dick Morris' latest gem of wisdom? It's the independents, stupid. Morris says that Nixon's old rule -- run to the extreme in primary season but run to the middle once you're out -- no longer holds true. Now, the partisans no longer control the primaries.
McCain campaign to stage IPO?
Just when you thought that all the Internet angles of campaign 2000 were played out, the McCain campaign reports that it has raised $2.2 million and lured 26,000 new volunteers to his campaign since his New Hampshire victory through his Web site. The Washington Post also reports that Bush campaign manager Karl Rove didn't want to rely much on Internet campaigning because he was skeptical of its impact. Rove is a direct-mail expert.
No lasting embrace
Just last month, Bush and McCain embraced before a debate and swore not to campaign negatively. Now, with Bush cracking wise that he's the "reformer with results," and McCain saying that Bush "twists the truth like Clinton," that televised clinch is a quick-fading memory. Now, acrimonious allegations rule the day, according to the New York Times. Bush says, "It's sad, isn't it? The true nature of John McCain evidently is coming out." McCain says, "I was embraced! I didn't know that we knew each other that well! He said, 'You're my buddy. You're running a great campaign. I'm proud of you.' We were 30 points behind. Now, all of a sudden, he's turned into Mr. Hyde." Maybe Alan Keyes is right about the United States being in the midst of a moral collapse.
The Bush campaign is now referring to McCain as "Chairman McCain," a reference to McCain's position on the Senate Commerce Committee, a job the Bush campaign really wants to emphasize now that it's hell-bent on portraying George W. as the true outsider.
Buchanan enraged by American fascism
Pat Buchanan continues to mix it up. The Associated Press reports that Tuesday night the Reform Party candidate said that Freedom Party leader Joerg Haider posed no threat to the European Union or the United States and went on to say that, by censuring Austria, the governments had "willingly climbed into bed with genuine fascists and people who are Stalinists and communists."