How the 2012 Candidates Spent the Fourth of July

Mitt Romney got sweaty, top Herman Cain staffers quit, Gingrich's campaign is in debt

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Did you go dancing this holiday weekend? Did you get incredibly sweaty? Did you see an old friend in the club at 2:00 a.m. who greeted you with an unfortunate hug and and then commented that you must have been dancing your little heart out, while casually wiping the sweat off his hand? Embarrassing! But at least you didn't have a dozen reporters there to chronicle your Independence Day perspiration, like poor Mitt Romney. Not only did Romney have to meet his frenemy, the similarly-resume'd 2012 rival Jon Huntsman, at a New Hampshire parade, but tons of people were there to see him "dripping with sweat" by the end of it. Oh, the indignities one must suffer to become president of the United States! But Romney wasn't the only one to have a cringe moment over the holiday weekend.

Bring It On Romney and Huntsman met each other in Amherst, New Hampshire July 4, and managed to smile while doing it. "Welcome to New Hampshire," Romney told Huntsman, who said thanks. "It’s not Beijing, but it’s lovely," Romney said, according to The Washington Post's Nia-Malika Henderson and Rosalind S. Helderman. "The air is breathable," Huntsman responded. What did it mean? The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg offered this analysis:

One can parse these sorts of candidate interactions to ridiculous degrees: Was Mr. Romney subtly digging at Mr. Huntsman for his service to Mr. Obama? (Relaying the Beijing comment later, Mr. Romney told a group of reporters, “You all can decipher that.”) What about that whole “Welcome to New Hampshire” thing? Given that the state is a must-win for both men, was it a sort of “Welcome to the N.F.L.” taunt?

We humbly submit that a more apt reference would be the 2000 cheer battle classic Bring It On, because politicians' behavior is usually more clearly understood when viewed through the prism of the nakedly Machievellian behavior of teen girls. Just look at these Mean Girls smiles:

Breakups Herman Cain had a tough weekend. The rising Tea Party star won third place in the Des Moines Register's poll last week. But as Politico's Kendra Marr and Juana Summers report, top campaign staffers in New Hampshire and Iowa have quit, saying Cain wouldn't put enough money in those states to win. The departures come "after weeks of swirling rumors between Cain's staff and volunteers in the Hawkeye State accusing each other of affairs, homosexuality and professional misconduct," Politico tantalizingly reports, without offering details. Cain's spokesman insisted this wasn't a "Newt Gingrich situation."

Down and Out Meanwhile, Gingrich is still suffering the fallout of his own "Newt Gingrich situation," in which more than a dozen of his top staffers quit. Gingrich marched in an Iowa parade with Michele Bachmann Monday, and even though Gingrich has almost 20 more years in the political limelight than Bachmann, he was stuck walking in the 30th parade position, while Bachmann was close to the front, with the 10th. While Bachmann had her nifty tour bus, Gingrich had a teal convertible. Gingrich told the Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta, "The fact is a month of media barrage is painful, and it slowed a lot of things down... Our numbers will not be as good as we would like, and candidly, the consultants left us in debt. But every single week since they left we’ve been cutting down the debt, and we raise more than we spend in a week."

Closer Look Though Bachmann had a successful parade day--impressing The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny with her ability to run in heels--her husband Marcus is coming under increasing scrutiny. Since Bachmann has never held statewide office, her family has not yet been subjected to hardcore opposition research from rival campaigns. That's changing. Politico's James Hohman and Byron Tau report that Marcus, who runs a Christian-centric counseling clinic, "is not registered with any of the three boards that certify mental health practitioners and professions in the state."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.