I am stranded at Dulles Airport on a delayed flight to LAX. We’re getting the “we’ll give you an update at 3pm” routine. I’m not counting on it, believe me. Meanwhile in political news:
1) Thompson has a new campaign director, Bill Lacy, who ran his Senate campaign. Randy Enwright it will remain, but as the political director. The press release emphasizes Lacy will have full operational control and report to Fred directly. Is this another sign of shake up? A help to Thompson to have his old friend at his side? What is clear is that Team Fred will have less than a month before the expected September announcement to get up to speed. Nervous donors and critics will seize on the latest change as evidence they still have not gotten their organization in order and supporters and fans will say “at last, we have our man.” By emphasizing that Lacy will be top dog I take that they are aware that they must put any discord behind them.
2) Reports are surfacing that South Carolina is moving its primary to January 19, leapfrogging Florida and forcing New Hampshire to move up even earlier. This in turn may force Iowa to move up. Could we be looking at an Iowa caucus in December? A move up in South Carolina will favor Thompson and Rudy (who is running very strongly there in recent polling) and could pose a problem for Romney who has been lagging. McCain is also choosing to stand and fight in South Carolina and he holds, at least for now, support from numerous local officials. All of this serves to emphasize one of my favorite axioms: it’s the organization that is key in a presidential race.