WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Continuing with my tour of campaign offices meant stopping in Urbandale, the Des Moines suburb and home to some of the insurgent candidates. When I got to Michele Bachmann's office, I noticed that another campaign had set up shop right across the parking lot, in the same strip mall. Herman Cain's headquarters was abandoned, but not yet cleaned out.
#3: Michele Bachmann. The first thing you notice in the Iron Lady's HQ is memorabilia from her apogee: The Ames Straw Poll. Big "follow me" signs from that event line the windows, and the banners survive on the walls. And there's art.
Not bad. But you can tell that the frontrunning days of July are far, far behind Bachmann. When I was at the office, campaign literature only contrasted Bachmann with Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, even though Newt Gingrich was surging; that's been updated since.
#4: Newt Gingrich. If we're being serious about it, few office parks look much better than randomized squares of brick and adobe. The sprawling complex of one-story offices that houses this HQ? No expection.
Dan Balz took a micro-iconic twitpic of the Gingrich office when the candidate first started to rise in polls -- phones were plugged into wall and pole outlets, not organized strips. That was still true when I visited.