By Holly Bailey
In the early states, it wasn't unusual to see the presidential candidates basically campaigning on top of one another. Mitt Romney once bumped into Barack Obama while canvassing for votes in New Hampshire, while Mike Huckabee's bus almost collided with Fred Thompson's bus last month in Pella, Iowa. Meanwhile, John Edwards literally missed Michelle Obama by minutes while campaigning at a library in tiny Monticello, Iowa, last November--prompting loads of joking outrage among rival staffers about advancing their event sites a little better.
With the campaign now moving into bigger states, like Florida, you'd imagine that these near misses would stop happening. Think again. Last night, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain slept under the same roof at a Hilton hotel in Deerfield Beach, Fla., not far from the site of tonight's GOP debate at Florida Atlantic University. Reporters traveling with McCain discovered the coincidence randomly: during check-in yesterday, a photographer noticed a stack of room keys labeled with the names of Giuliani's top staffers sitting at the Hilton's front desk.
Aides say they didn't run into each other-Giuliani arrived late last
night, while McCain arrived early to appear at a nearby fundraiser and
snuck out early for another money event Thursday morning. A run-in
likely wouldn't be too awkward. Unlike the chilly relationship he has
with Romney, McCain and Giuliani are friends, with the former mayor
once even telling an Iowa audience last summer that if he weren't
running for president himself he'd be stumping for McCain. (Way to talk
yourself up, Rudy.) Still, Giuliani might plot a discreet exit out the
backdoor before tonight's debate. McCain is scheduled to host a
pre-debate rally at the Hilton tonight.