AARP Eye Center
Florida Sunshine and DWF
By Alejandra Owens, January 15, 2008 10:42 AM
A dispatch from my colleague, Jeff Johnson, in Florida, who is tracking the candidates across the Sunshine State:
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was two hours late to events in Sarasota and St Pete. We had people in the front row of both stops. Because a couple of us got to the St Pete stop late, we were locked out in Florida cold weather (aka 50 degrees). It worked out though...when his bus finally pulled up, we it let him out right where we were standing, so the first things he saw were Dived We Fail signs.
At the deli across the street from the event, Huckabee and McCain volunteers stayed warm (!) while waiting for a meeting that ultimately never happened. The McCain people had volunteered in New Hampshire and knew immediately who we were and said they saw us everywhere up there. They were excited to see us in Florida too. The Huckabee people said they had all signed the Divided We Fail pledge and were glad their candidate had too.
Giuliani made it to his last stop in Lakeland at an ice cream parlor at 9:30, saw two Divided We Fail volunteers up front, poked one in the chest and said "AARP." It was his sixth stop of the day and he'd seen red shirts at all six.
But the Naked Cowboy sighting still tops the day. That and this little vignette of 21st Century campaigning: Rudy is on the bus in Clearwater, he stands up to put on his coat, and the TV on his bus (turned to Fox News) starts a story on Rudy campaigning in Fort Myers earlier in the day. So Rudy puts down his coat, sits back down, and watched an interview of himself conducted on the bus he's now sitting in. After the segment he gets back up, puts the coat on, and comes out to meet the chilled but rowdy crowd at the rope line.