Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

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“My family and I are taking the first steps on the yellow brick road to the White House.”
–January 20, 2007

“My yellow brick road came just short of the White House this time.”

–October 19, 2007

So long, Sam. Republicans had wondered aloud for a while now how long Sam Brownback could stay in the race. His exit from the prez race made me think back to the Iowa Republican Straw Poll in Ames last August. Brownback’s campaign seemed to go all out to do well in the event. Brownback went negative against Romney for probably a good month before the event. He spent almost as much money as Romney to get one of the prime spots near the voting site. He even brought in barbecue like Romney.

Late that afternoon, I walked around outside Hilton Coliseum. Frankly, I didn’t have much to do at the time. Most people who were going to vote had already done so (not nearly as many as State Republicans would have liked). Tommy Thompson’s place had already cleared out to head back to the land of beer and cheese (or is it, beer and sausage? or cheese and sausage?)

Brownback’s people were sitting in a row outside his tent still working the phones, trying to get people to show up and vote. I remember thinking Brownback would likely to well compared to the others. It just seemed like he had a pretty decent crowd compared to Tancredo, McCain, Fred Thompson. But his staffers didn’t seem to be all that enthusiastic.

And when the numbers came in, it seemed like reality had set in. Later, the camp tried to spin it like he had done well. But it didn’t seem like the staff really believed that. It took two months before Brownback came back to the state. And when he did, he did that dual-event with Democrat Joe Biden.

Perhaps, the writing was already on the wall. Perhaps, there just weren’t enough yellow bricks for this long road to the White House after all.

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