Tennessee Presidential Primary News Notes

Cain Raises Cane for Gingrich
Herman Cain, no longer in the race for the Republican nomination for president, brought his charismatic style to Williamson County on Friday night in hopes of drumming up votes for Newt Gingrich, the Tennessean reports.
For an audience of fewer than a hundred, he stumped fervently on Gingrich’s behalf while also taking shots at President Barack Obama, the media and the “character assassination” that forced him from the contest — all of which played well with the crowd.
“Today, we have a dishonest president,” Cain said, wrapping up his unscripted remarks. “There. I said it.”
The rally in downtown Franklin was part of a tour with one of the candidate’s daughters, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, that will take them into Chattanooga, Cleveland and Knoxville over the weekend.

The Candidates Are Here!
The Tennessean rounds up some of the campaigning afoot in Tennessee:
Newt Gingrich is coming back to Tennessee after surrogate visits by his daughter and former rival Herman Cain. Mitt Romney is coming through for the first time, following on the heels of another former presidential contender who’s in his camp.
A group of socially conservative women barnstormed on a bus tour Friday for Rick Santorum. And supporters of Ron Paul continue to play their ground game.
As the four remaining Republican candidates enter the final weekend before Tennessee holds its presidential primary Tuesday, their campaigns are taking different approaches to sealing the deal in the Volunteer State, which could play a significant role in the results of the 11-state bonanza known as Super Tuesday.
“The two key ones are Ohio and Tennessee,” political analyst Howard Fineman of Huffington Post said on MSNBC’s Hardball earlier this week.

The Whirlwind in Knoxville
Georgiana Vines has observations from Knoxville Republicans caught up in the “whirlwind” of pre-Super Tuesday presidential politicking. For example:
“Tennessee isn’t used to being in the crossfire. Everybody is so new to it,” said Daniel Dunn, a local spokesman for the campaign of Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who came to Knoxville on Wednesday.
And some political junkie stuff from outside our fair state:
GOP Superdelegates Sit and Wait
The Associated Press has polled 106 of the 117 so-called superdelegates — members of the Republican National Committee who will automatically attend the party’s national convention this summer and can support any candidate for president they choose, regardless of what happens in the primaries.
The results: Romney got 23 endorsements, far more than anyone else but a modest figure for the candidate many consider the front-runner. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich got four endorsements while former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul each got two.
Seventy-five RNC members were either undecided or not ready to make a public endorsement.

The Santorum Disorganization
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (AP) — Rick Santorum’s advisers outlined a new strategy for staying on message in the hours after he lost to Mitt Romney in Michigan’s Republican presidential primary. Just as quickly, the strategy fell by the wayside.
It was a victim of the disorganization that’s marked the Santorum campaign and raised questions about his ability to compete against Mitt Romney over the long haul.
Full story HERE.

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