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Mitch Perry Report for 2.4.16 – The field narrows

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Nashua, N.H. —

Good morning from the Extended Stay America motel in Nashua, where it was an absolutely balmy 53 degrees at 5:30 a.m. It’s not, however, expected to get any warmer. No rain in the forecast (I don’t think) after a day that, well, if this were Florida, you’d have been hearing of severe flooding by lunchtime.

By I digress. Rand Paul and Rick Santorum quit the race yesterday — er, “suspended” — their campaigns.

Whatever.

I’m genuinely disappointed to see the Kentucky Senator, in particular, call it a day (although the writing had been on the wall for awhile). I don’t mean to sound naive because it’s extremely unlikely that the “lane” (as the parlance goes) for Rand was ever that big in the party to win the nomination – that Libertarian/pro-civil liberties/anti-war persona.

And yes, he certainly added (literally) to the debate.

Yet eight months ago, Paul was leading in the polls (believe it or not).

His refreshing stance on certain issues makes him an outlier in his own party, or didn’t you notice at last week’s Fox News debate, that Paul was the only candidate asked about solutions to the criminal justice system (he referred to a visit he took to Ferguson, Missouri, and how the war on drugs had disproportionately affected the black community).

Fox anchors neglected to follow up with any of the other candidates. It was like, you do that thing, Rand. It’s nice. But nobody else is really all that interested.

So, so much for the “most interesting man in politics,” as Time dubbed him less than two years ago.

Rick Santorum‘s departure? Nothing much to say here, as he joins Mike Huckabee as former Iowa caucus victors who never really came close to winning the nomination.

Will Ted Cruz be the next Republican to fill that description?

In other news …

Hillary Clinton is pushing her advocacy for financial regulation hard. She certainly did last night in a speech in Manchester, N.H.

Marco Rubio’s flip-flop on immigration is still giving him trouble on the campaign trail.

The Republican presidential candidates are debating again on Saturday night in New Hampshire — well, all of them except for Carly Fiorina, despite the fact she did better than some of them Monday night in Iowa.

And Lisa Montelione is bashing Shawn Harrison over the Temple Terrace Republican’s vote on an abortion bill in the Florida House earlier this week.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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