Indeed, the Kerry campaign's 2/3 infrastructure has solidified since the upset in Iowa only a week ago. Press secretaries have been dispatched to Arizona, New Mexico and Missouri, and political directors are working in South Carolina, North Dakota, and Missouri as well. But, the true influx of advance and support staff must wait to hear Tuesday's results before scattering across the nation.
On Election Day, Kerry holds only three events, two press opportunities early in the morning and one to gather with supporters while awaiting returns. The intervening time, dubbed affectionately by The Note as The Whouley Hold, remains subject to the whim of Kerry's ace strategist Michael Whouley's and his target turnout concerns.
Don't They Get It?
LACONIA, N.H., Jan. 22—In Iowa, Sen. John F. Kerry clawed his way back from the political graveyard attending upwards of seven events per day and, in the final week of harried campaigning, traveling 1,880 miles in search of a momentum-building win. Three days into a seven day New Hampshire stint, it appears the Massachusetts Senator will take a different approach in attempting to win the Granite State. At present, the Kerry campaign seems content to hold the lead, avoid mistakes and turn the calendar's pages as quickly as possible.
At the Senator's first press availability in five days en route from Manchester to Laconia, NH, the Senator spoke for six minutes with his traveling press corps before remarking, "I feel so cob-webby today."
In Laconia, 400 people filled the Elks Lodge with an overflow crowd. Kerry, who arrived nearly a half hour late for his first and only event of the day, abbreviated his stump to a twelve minute presentation, then took forty-four minutes worth of audience questions. After the event, as is quickly becoming custom, a media swarm engulfed the candidate, eventually forcing Kerry to wade step-by-step into a throng of immovable reporters, cameras, and stills. Having finally broken through the crush of media, Kerry stormed onto the "Real Deal Express", ripped off his Timberland Barn Coat, and tossed it into the gray and red striped seat by his side.
"Don't they get it?," Kerry bellowed to no one in particular. "I can't have this," he continued, referring to the media horde now watching his every move. David Wade, traveling press secretary, entered the bus and immediately faced the Senator's wrath. Thrashing his arms, Kerry asked several times, "Where are my boots?" Once located, the previously nervous Kerry seemed a bit more serene. Surrogates continue to flank the state, while the candidate grows less willing to take any risks or chances given the current volatility of the Democratic field. Former Senator Max Cleland, arrives Friday for a Veterans' event with James Rassmann, the special forces soldier who was saved by Kerry in Vietnam. Teresa Heinz Kerry returns to New Hampshire to campaign through this weekend for her husband. And, naturally, the Kerry campaign will be dependent upon its most influential surrogate so far: big Mo(mentum).
The most dramatic scene at Thursday's debate occurred before most of the press arrived. Senator Kerry, who stands six foot, four inches tall decided to walk from the "Real Deal Express" to the debate site several hundred yards away.