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May 16, 2011, 2:30 p.m.

Need to know when your fa­vor­ite can­did­ates are de­bat­ing? Want to be there when Pres. Obama or House Min. Lead­er John Boehner stump in your dis­trict? Book­mark this to check out up­com­ing events. And add an­oth­er book­mark to re­call what’s already happened.

We’ll pub­lish today’s events in each edi­tion of The Hot­line, but you can al­ways find our com­plete list at those per­man­ent homes.

Have events we should in­clude? Email Aman­da Mun­oz-Temple to add your fun­draiser, de­bate, rally or oth­er gath­er­ing.

Mon., Oct. 11

“¢ Obama fun­draises for DCCC in FL and at­tends a fun­drais­ing din­ner in Cor­al Gables, FL with Speak­er Nancy Pelosi

“¢ Biden is in PA for a joint fun­draiser for Reps. Kathy Dahlkem­per (D-03) and Mark Critz (D-12). He will also host a fun­draiser for PA-10 Rep. Chris Car­ney (D) in Scrant­on.

“¢ PA SEN Sen. Ar­len Specter (D), Sen. Bob Ca­sey (D), & Sen. Charles Schu­mer (D-NY) stump for Rep. Joe Ses­tak (D) in Phil­adelphia

“¢ KY SEN Bill Clin­ton cam­paigns for Jack Con­way (D) at the Univ of KY

“¢ Rudy Gi­uliani (R) hosts a fun­draiser for CA-19 nom­in­ee Jeff Den­ham (R) and CA-11 nom­in­ee Dav­id Harm­er (R)

“¢ ME GOV can­did­ates Paul LePage (R), Libby Mitchell (D) and Eli­ot Cut­ler (I) de­bate

“¢ MD GOV Gov. Mar­tin O’Mal­ley (D) and Robert L. Ehr­lich Jr. (R) square off on WJZ

“¢ WI SEN can­did­ates Ron John­son (R) and Sen. Russ Fein­gold (D) will de­bate in Wausau

“¢ KY SEN can­did­ates Jack Con­way (D) and Rand Paul (R) de­bate at North­ern Ken­tucky Univ.

“¢ NC SEN can­did­ates Sen. Richard Burr (R) and Elaine Mar­shall (D) de­bate

“¢ IN SEN can­did­ates Brad Ell­s­worth (D), Dan Coats (R), Re­becca Sink-Burris (L) de­bate at In­di­ana Univ.-Purdue Univ. In­di­ana­pol­is

“¢ NV-03 can­did­ates Rep. Dina Tit­us (D) and Joe Heck (R) de­abte

“¢ ND-AL can­did­ates Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D) and Rick Berg (R) de­bate

“¢ AR-01 can­did­ates Ken Adler (G), Chad Cau­sey (D), Rick Craw­ford (R) de­bate at the Univ. of Cent­ral AR in Con­way at 11 am

“¢ AR-02 can­did­ates Joyce El­li­ott (D), Tim Griffin (R), Lewis Kennedy (G) Lance Levi (I) de­bate at the Univ. of Cent­ral AR in Con­way at 3 pm

Mi­chael Duka­kis was the first politi­cian I ever heard de­scribe the pres­id­en­tial cam­paign as a “mara­thon, not a sprint.” But he was not the last.

Since the first cam­paign I covered in 1988, I’ve al­ways been sort of im­pressed by can­did­ates who — win or lose — just hang in there.

Some­times it is un­fathom­able. Hope­fuls stay on the trail long after their vi­ab­il­ity has been ex­pen­ded, as a race for the White House morphs in­to a cam­paign to get polit­ics’ ul­ti­mate con­sol­a­tion prize — a speak­ing role at the party’s nom­in­at­ing con­ven­tion.

Patrick Buchanan and Jesse Jack­son both had to know they were not go­ing to be pres­id­ent well be­fore the primar­ies ended in the years they ran. Years. But by hanging in there longer than elect­or­al reas­on dic­tated, each got to his party’s con­ven­tion po­di­um (and were launched in­to the luc­rat­ive world of par­tis­an cable pun­ditry as well).

Now that we are well in­to the 2012 primary sea­son, some of the con­tenders seem to be start­ing to no­tice how bleak cam­paign­ing can be when the vic­tor­ies are few and far between.


Newt and Cal­lista Gin­grich (Flick­r­CC/Gage Skid­more)

Newt Gin­grich is stak­ing his polit­ic­al feas­ib­il­ity on Geor­gia next week, the state he rep­res­en­ted in Con­gress for two dec­ades, in­clud­ing as speak­er of the House. But it has been a long six weeks since Gin­grich pulled off his biggest vic­tory of the year in South Car­o­lina.

It is clear he real­izes his pre­dic­a­ment.

“I have to win Geor­gia, I think, to be cred­ible in the race,” he told a break­fast meet­ing with Geor­gia busi­ness lead­ers on Thursday. “But if I win Geor­gia, the fol­low­ing week we go to Alabama and Mis­sis­sippi and I think I’ll win both of those and we have a good op­por­tun­ity to win in Kan­sas.”

But he has to sur­vive next Tues­day first.

The path is not quite as nar­row for Rick San­tor­um. Even though he lost to Rom­ney in Ari­zona and Michigan last week, he has still been able to scoop up del­eg­ates along the way. He sees the mara­thon as­pects of this race.

“This is an epis­ode of Sur­viv­or,” he said on Thursday, ac­cord­ing to Ya­hoo’s Chris Moody. “We just need to stay on the is­land, not get voted off, stay on mes­sage.”

But San­tor­um has used that meta­phor be­fore — just be­fore he lost in South Car­o­lina.
“Our hope is that we come out here in a very strong po­s­i­tion hope­fully with the field a little bit nar­rowed, maybe a lot nar­rowed,” he said on a Jan. 16 vis­it to Columbia. “I al­ways felt like this cam­paign is like an epis­ode of Sur­viv­or. It’s just a mat­ter of stay­ing in there and do­ing well.”¦ I’m con­fid­ent that once the field nar­rows and we get a one-on-one shot at Gov. Rom­ney, we’re go­ing to do very, very well.”

Since then, San­tor­um has won a few — in Col­or­ado, Min­nesota, and Mis­souri — and lost a few, most not­ably in Michigan.

And al­though the field has nar­rowed and San­tor­um is cer­tainly the strongest can­did­ate stand­ing not named Mitt, the defin­i­tion of “stay­ing in there and do­ing well” has shif­ted. It now means main­tain­ing a lead in Ohio strong enough to dent Rom­ney’s now for­mid­able mo­mentum.

“Mr. San­tor­um’s can­did­acy will real­ist­ic­ally be at an end if he loses the Buck­eye State, though he could linger for weeks,” Bush White House polit­ic­al dir­ect­or Karl Rove writes on his web­site this week. “Even a win leaves him on life sup­port un­less he can also best Mr. Rom­ney in Tues­day’s South­ern con­tests, com­ing in first or second with Mr. Rom­ney trail­ing in second or third place.”


GOP Pres­id­en­tial Can­did­ate Mitt Rom­ney (CNN)

As long as the pos­sib­il­ity of a re­bound seems pos­sible, every com­pet­it­or wants to gut it out. “They keep ask­ing about win­ning par­tic­u­lar states in this cam­paign,” Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said on the night he lost in not one, but two states. “But guess what? We’re still win­ning a lot of del­eg­ates!”

What Paul means is that a lot of del­eg­ates haven’t yet been awar­ded, and he could still win some of them.

Leave aside for a mo­ment that no one ever gets elec­ted pres­id­ent that way. Mitt Rom­ney was cor­rect when he claimed the vic­tory stage in Michigan on Tues­day night, say­ing, “We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough and that’s all that counts.”

But, thanks to su­per PAC fin­an­cing and the shad­ow of a pos­sib­il­ity, can­did­ates still get to stay on the stage. They con­tin­ue to or­gan­ize ral­lies and give speeches. They run tele­vi­sion ads and spon­sor mis­lead­ing rob­ocalls. They say it’s not over un­til it’s over.

And no mat­ter how far be­hind they fall, even after all the votes are coun­ted, they nev­er, ever give a con­ces­sion speech.

That too is gut­ting it out.

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