Friday, October 3, 2003

Well, maybe not ...
Bob Graham isn't quitting the presidential race, according to numerous sources.

According to ABC News' The Note, Graham Political Director Tommy Thompson stresses that the Senator will not drop out today, ABC News' Graham campaign reporter Tarana Harris reports. The Senator is also not expected to make any announcements on strategy; it's campaign as usual today, when he is in Miami Lakes. He is scheduled to speak to the Democratic National Committee's fall meeting on Saturday, though as of this writing, that's up in the air, according to the campaign. Peter Wallsten adds that high-level staff changes are planned and that other candidates are positioning to get a piece of Florida.

"Senator Bob Graham canceled a fund-raising event and met with strategists Thursday to discuss his flagging campaign, but a spokesman said the Florida Democrat would remain in the 2004 race for the White House."

More from ABC News' Tarana Harris: Lights were out at the Graham for President headquarters last night after a day of conflicting reports on the status of Graham's campaign. Late yesterday, campaign communications director Mo Elleithee, suffering from laryngitis, said no press conference is planned. Graham's daughter, Gwen, said, 'There have been meetings to decide the direction of the campaign.' She has been heavily involved with Graham's efforts in Iowa, but said she doesn't have concrete plans to return there. The flurry of speculation began when Graham's spokesman, Jamal Simmons, announced he was resigning. Simmons said that he's removed himself fromcampaign operations in recent days because he knew this was coming. 'Just as Senator Graham will choose the best direction for his campaign, I will choose what's best for my life,' he said. Simmons said Graham understands this and that they are parting on good terms.

ABC News' Clark campaign reporter Deborah Apton has learned that Wesley Clark's campaign will make a move to hire Simmons. Graham didn't attend a scheduled fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale yesterday. The campaign says Graham will attend a fundraiser tonight in West Palm Beach. On Tuesday Graham insisted his campaign was going forward. After his speech at an event at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables he left the microphone, but then returned as if on second thought to say, 'On to victory.' reports that Graham has been missing in action in the Granite State since Aug. 19.

It looks like Carl Cameron of FoxNews got it wrong.