The Tale of the Campaign Schedules

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 18 2012 2:17 PM

The Tale of the Campaign Schedules

GREER, S.C. -- Reading a campaign schedule is a bit like reading runes, or a sheep's entrails -- you can divine secrets from it, and then shake your fist as no one else takes the reading seriously. My plan for the day was to follow Rick Perry closely, which would be easy: Perry would start near Greenville at noon, head to Bob Jones University at 2, then go to a party in Greer, then head back to Greenville for a Personhood USA forum. The changed schedule for today: Greer around noon, then Personhood. Nothing else in person, mostly just radio interviews, even as the candidate reminded voters that the election was in 72 hours.

Compare this to the schedule for Newt Gingrich: A 9:00 a.m. town hall (a speech and a Q&A), an 11:30 Q&A, town hall meetings at 1:30 and 4:30, a "tele-townhall," and the Personhood event. Rick Santorum: Three town halls, then Personhood. Which campaign seems to be grinding it out, and which one is marking time?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.