Ali Akbar and I just dropped by the luxurious Best Western Carriage House Inn in Watertown, N.Y., on our way to Buffalo. This morning, we went by Hoffman HQ in Saranac Lake, where "Dougie" -- as his childhood friends call him -- was thanking supporters who dropped in. The phone kept ringing as well-wishers called in from everywhere to encourage him to keep up the fight. One call came from Silver City, N.M., another from an American working in Japan as an English teacher.
Hoffman said one of his neighbors told him today that this amazing campaign was "target practice." One of his old friends stopped by and mentioned the yard signs she had distributed. "Keep 'em for next year," Hoffman said.
While one staffer had told me immediately after the concession speech that Hoffman had been "crushed" by the narrow defeat, the candidate was feeling decidedly more encouraged by the time his wife, Carol, came by to take him to lunch (their first lunch together in three months, he said).
Hoffman said Tuesday evening, when it became clear that he'd fallen 4,000 votes short of victory, he was disappointed not so much for himself, but on behalf of all the many people who had lent their support to his campaign. Wednesday morning, however, dozens of those supporters had already contacted him -- both in person, and through the Hoffman campaign Web site -- to tell him how proud they were of his effort, and to urge him to keep fighting.
What does it mean? We'll let Michelle Malkin answer that question for now.
Ali's flight leaves Buffalo at 7 p.m., and we'll have to drive hard to get to the airport in time. But I just felt I needed to take a minute to pass along this message:
UPDATE (Smitty): Fred Thompson's winners and losers mentions Hoffman.
UPDATE II (Smitty): American Glob embeds Rush Limbaugh, and here is some more Fred Thompson analysis.
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