Urgent memo to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: You can still get a cheap, one-day round-trip flight to make the California Republican Convention.
With state Republicans scheduled to meet at the Hyatt Regency just south of San Francisco International Airport on the weekend of Feb. 24-26, Calbuzz has taken to Kayak.com to scope out travel arrangements for the two Republican presidential front-runners who will be damned sorry later if they miss the event.
Yeah, yeah, we get that the GOP field will be a bit preoccupied and focused on the key Michigan primary the following Tuesday, Feb. 28. But we also know that with the race playing out the way it is, it’s looking more and more likely that the June 5 California primary could be the decisive contest of the long campaign – and that anyone with the brains they were born with will hightail it to SFO the weekend after next.
So we’ve found a couple ways for the candidates to have the best of both worlds.
Act now and you can get a $1042 non-stop round-trip between Detroit’s Wayne County Metropolitan Airport in time to make a speech at CRP’s Saturday dinner and back in time for Sunday morning services with a friendly Michigan minister.
Or, if you’re really smart, or excessively cheap, you can speak at Friday’s dinner, grab a good night’s sleep and get back to Motor City for some afternoon pandering for only $702 round-trip.
Close readers will recall that we similarly urged the GOP contenders to show up at last fall’s Republican convention, for the very reason that California, and its huge cache of 172 delegates would end up being the big prize in the primaries.
But no, you – and we’re looking right at you Mittens – thought it would be shrewder to spend your time tramping around New Hampshire and (cough, cough) Iowa instead. How’s that working out for you now?
Since last we wrote on the presidential race, Santorum has suddenly surged and now leads Romney both in national polls and in Michigan. In fact, he’s only two points behind the alleged “front-runner” in California, according to a new SurveyUSA poll this week (if you believe their loopy numbers.)
To his credit, Newt Gingrich, who’s been spending the last few days in the Golden Gate state raising money, appears to be the only one smart enough to have figured out the long game – he’s the current headliner for the state convention. The Grinch, who was in the Central Valley on Tuesday, has more lives than a cat in the primary and seems to have settled on a Southern-West Coast play to accumulate enough delegates to keep things interesting.
And in case the rest of you have forgotten why you need to be here, let us remind you that:
It’s a global media village. San Francisco offers monster free media exposure that will be carried in California and nationally (including Michigan) and clips of you being cheered by thousands of die-hard Republicans – coverage worth millions – will demonstrate your wide appeal.
It may actually matter. With none of the candidates rolling in delegates, the primary season may well slouch right into June, when having throngs of activist California Republicans in your camp could make a huge difference because it’s so damn expensive to advertise on TV here.
It’s a cheap date. Bring along some Michigan reporters and give them one-on-one interviews on the way. Hold a little press conference with the California media. Give Calbuzz an exclusive sit-down. Schmooze with delegates. Show them they really matter. The 24 hours that you miss in Michigan will be a great investment in winning the nomination when crunch time comes in June.
So get the travel office busy, fellas, before these great fares expire. Calbuzz will even schlep you to and from the airport, which gives us an excuse to miss the debate over the party platform.