by Paul Bowers
During the buildup to South Carolina's Republican presidential primary, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry all paid visits to the aircraft carrier docked on the Mt. Pleasant side of the Cooper River. And why not? What could be more presidential than giving a speech onboard a ship that participated in the Pacific Offensive during World War II and recovered the crew of Apollo 8 after the shuttle made splashdown in 1968? And who could pass up the opportunity to have all those pictures taken onstage in front of the biggest doggone American flag you're likely to see outside of a car dealership? Still, the epic backdrop of the Yorktown wasn't enough to put any of the candidates over the top: Perry and Bachmann suspended their campaigns before the Jan. 21 primary, and Santorum came in third place behind Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
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