Wow, what a day. And I don't mean just because Rob Lowe came to town a hit a birdie (killed one, actually. He hit a goldfinch, the state bird, on the 4th hole during play Wednesday at the Principal Charity Classic Pro-Am at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.)
And to think I didn't really have a good story I was planning for the day. Then Rudy Giuliani's campaign said he would not compete in the Iowa Straw Poll August 11th in Ames. Most of the people with whom I talk regularly weren't all that surprised. Rudy G's pro-abortion rights, pro-gay rights and anti-gun rights stances may not have made some of the conservatives want to party at Hilton this summer. But the subsequent announcement that John McCain would bail out, too, surprised some and didn't surprise others. Critics say McCain isn't the same sexy maverick he was when he ran the first time (although McCain maintains he's still on the "Straight Talk Express").
The Republican Party of Iowa didn't hold back criticizing either one of the candidates following the announcements. Executive Director Chuck Laudner (who hadn't yet heard of McCain's decision when I called) said he knows why both campaigns are pulling out: they weren't going to win the Straw Poll. And says he says they know they can't win the Iowa Caucuses either. Ouch!