As writers began walking the picket line on Monday, most of the news coverage was focused on Hollywood. But few immediately realized the devastating effect this strike would have on another area of American interest, Presidential politics.
Fred Thompson exited his campaign bus Monday evening, and was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of well over twenty fans. But the event was about to come to a stand still. Thompson was informed at the last minute that his writers were striking, and there was no script for him to read. "That's OK," said the veteran actor. "I can improvise." He then asked the audience for a round of applause. But, as it turned out, the worrying was all for naught. While talking with individuals in the crowd, Fred discovered that they were all sent by Fox News; to report on his astoundingly successful campaign.
The day went in a different direction for front-runner Rudy Giuliani. At a town hall meeting with supporters, Rudy spent two hours taking questions. When asked how strongly he was committed to gun control, Giuliani responded "91.1%." Another man asked how far into a pregnancy the candidate would allow an abortion. "9 months, 11 days," replied the former Mayor. The event was interrupted at one point by an urgent phone call, after which Giuliani reported that he had switched his long-distance service; and now has the most fiscally conservative phone bill in New York. Later, when asked by reporters about the effect of the writer strike on Rudy's campaign, his spokesperson laughed, then walked away.
Mitt Romney was absent from his scheduled morning events, so we visited his campaign headquarters. Inside, we found six wardrobe consultants. The rest of his staff, we were told, consists only of writers - all of whom are on strike.
Our reporters caught up with Ron Paul halfway through the morning. A spokesperson said that Paul's writers are not involved in the strike. He further explained that the Congressman's speech writers have been dead for about two hundred years.
John McCain's bid for the presidency may also feel the sting of the striking writers. We can be sure, though, since we quit covering him weeks ago.