Sunday at 9AM & NOON ET

March 8th, 2012
02:54 PM ET

ASK CANDY: Why do candidates stay in the race?

A special weekday edition of Ask Candy. Thanks for all the questions. Candy answers three questions from Twitter this week.

Twitter question from @seangraf:
Since Gingrich can no longer get the total # of delegates needed to win, why is he saying in the race?

Great question. There are practical and political reasons and one very big human reason that candidates stay in races past the time many think they should get out.

They might want something from the winner, like a speaking slot at the convention or a specific plank in the party platform. The more delegates you have, the greater your power to effect convention issues.

They may want the attention, keeping their profile up for future book sales or speaking fees. Remember, every place they go (almost), local cameras are there and will talk about it on the local news, not to mention the constant national television presence.

They may be a message candidate, anxious to use the limelight to promote a specific issue or doctrine. (think anti-war candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich who ran in 2004 and 2008)

You know that old saying “Hope Springs Eternal” ? Yes it does. Improbable does not mean impossible. Hundreds of “what ifs” swirl a campaign on life support. EG: “What if the frontrunner says something really egregious and his numbers plummet? Then I’ll be there.! What if I change our message? My strategy? etc, etc.”

Finally, regardless of what you think of politicians, they are human beings. They have worked for years, decades to get where they are. They dream of being President. If you have ever had to let go of a dream, then you know the first stage is denial.

Twitter question from @collywolly1989:
What is the most difficult experience with interviewing you have had? And what did you do to make it through?

There is no contest for me. The most difficult interview I ever did was on the streets of New York City, the day after 9-11, with relatives of people who died in the Twin Towers . They all held pictures of their “missing” in front of them and told me about their experience and why they still thought maybe their loved one was somewhere.. in a hospital, or alive but beneath the rubble or as one put it “wandering the streets, hurt not knowing who they were” Like everybody during those days, I thought, I am going to cry and not stop. It was so unrelentingly almost suffocatingly sad on those streets, I felt like I had grief in my pores. I got through by continuing to talk, ask, report and say to myself over and over , “this is not your story, this is their story and it needs to be told”

Twitter question from @Lizh_pa:
No questions, but a big thumbs up! love your show! Been following you for years now!

A thumbs up can change a day. Thanks you.

Filed under: ASK CANDY! • Behind the scenes