Joe Trippi: "We Were Coming Up On Her"

COLUMBIA, S.C.—We’ve just been informed that John Edwards did not actually win the South Carolina Democratic Primary! Some other people (who are not at the Edwards not-victory party) may have heard about this by now from Wolf Blitzer. From the front of Jillian’s restaurant, a plaintive wail went up: “Joe, please come to the host, your dining table is ready.” This is a very sad moment here, for those who are not actually at the Edwards party but instead are here to celebrate birthdays or, you know, to just eat. Wait—we’re just hearing that John Edwards will not place second either. Worse, John Edwards is not here—he is with his family, we hear, but campaign adviser (and internet visionary!) Joe Trippi is now with us in the dim press room. (Apparently he was not the Joe being seated for chicken wings.) Edwards himself will speak circa 9:30 p.m. EST.

“We feel we really had a strong showing and we came back,” Trippi said. Hillary Clinton “clearly did the robo-call thing last night because we were coming up on her—and they knocked us down.”

Trippi said the Edwards campaign was “already ahead of this” on a lot of states. He cited Oklahoma and Missouri as states in which they expected to perform well. (So, Missouri really is a state!)

As for South Carolina: “We fought back, we got our share of the vote.”

And! “Don’t look at the numbers,” he said. “We could go all the way….. We have the money to go on.” He said that they’d raised a lot of money in the last 23 days—something like more than they had in the last quarter, but I couldn’t really hear that part that well, nor do I tend to believe statements like that anyway, so no matter. And not to be ungrateful, but the rather paltry buffet table does not look much like the snack offerings of a rich campaign.

Aww. They’re playing John Cougar! Ain’t that America.