Two more candidates have left the stage: Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson. Neither much of a surprise exit.
Both issued statements. Duncan Hunter, who could have called himself the 'true' conservative if he was so inclined, which he wasn't, showed dignity throughout the process. With little money and national recognition he had little chance to break out in such a crowded field. He never went negative against his fellow Republicans, whether you call it a comparison ad or just plain negative. It's all about tone. He has gone back to his Congressional seat and will press on for more border security - he's actually written law and accomplished it in his area of San Diego, and back to his expert guidance on national defense.
"The best way to maintain a new era of peace is for the U.S. to remain strong. Over the coming year I will endeavor to help craft a defense bill that meets the new security challenges." Peace through strength. Very Reagan.
His son is serving in Iraq, after also serving in Afghanistan. They have a proud Marine tradition in that family, mulitgenerational. "The failure of our campaign to gain traction is mine and mine alone. But we have driven the issues of national security , the border fence, the emergence of China and the need to reverse bad trade policy. Because of that , this campaign has been very worthwhile, and for the Hunter family, a lot of fun."
He won the straw poll in Texas last Fall.
Fred Thompson bowed out today with his own statement. Like Hunter, he hasn't spoken of any endorsement of another candidate. Maybe he'll endorse McCain, as he did in 2000, one of only a handful of elected politicians in Congress at the time to do so.
One week from today, the Florida primary will be telling the tale of Rudy Giuliani. And probably the tale of Huckabee, too. Huckabee is wearing thin with voters. His buddy Chuck Norris isn't helping him any more than Bill is helping Hillary, with the nasty remarks. Norris flat out claimed McCain is too old for the presidency. Considering Chuck is well into his 60's himself, only a few years younger than McCain, that was rather tacky. His young blonde wife thought it was clever, though. I'll take Jon Voight's endorsement of Giuliani any day.
Still interesting out there.