Busted Bus

FORT MADISON – It’s fun to watch the evolution of a non-story from the inside.

Today the LA Times campaign blog “Top of the Ticket” posted an item about the John Edwards bus breaking down during his 36-hour marathon bus tour—a metaphor for his flagging candidacy!

Edwards aides played down the incident, calling it an “electrical problem.” (Wait, isn’t that just another word for breakdown?) But they were right that on the day before the caucus, a bus breakdown that results in a barely perceptible delay shouldn’t be big news. (By now we really should have moved past the If he can’t run a bus tour, how can he possibly run the federal government? logic.) The incident did, however, lead to this little exchange:

A group of reporters are asking Edwards spokesman Mark Kornblau what caused the breakdown.
“I think it was the alternator,” he says, joking.
“Really?” says one reporter.
“No, I have no idea what it was. That’s just speculation .”
“The Obama campaign is speculating it was the fan,” I offer.
“Yeah, the bus was getting too angry , there was too much heat,” Kornblau says. 
“You’re saying it generated more heat than light ?” another reporter asks.
Kornblau, laughing: “Don’t you dare use that.”