AMES -- Rudy Giuliani showed up to the campus of Iowa State University hearty and hale, but three months late for the straw poll. A lone protester held a "Free Bernie Kerik" sign -- he was not allowed in.

Giuliani was in professional mode today, giving long disquisitions on tort reform, Social Security and the political economy of Asia. As he worked the crowd after finishing, NBC News's John Yang stood on a chair about ten feet away and did what they call in the biz a "stand-up bridge" -- that's when a correspondent is shown on camera transitioning from one thought to another. Yang's bridge mentioned Kerik.

Earlier in Keokuk, Giuliani held court with reporters and called his stewardship of Kerik's career a "mistake." Some decisions, he said, "you make wrong."

Giuliani is off to Nevada -- but without his traveling press corps. Their flight was canceled.

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