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Pols on a Plane: Return From Orlando

Today's 11:55 am USAirways flight from Orlando, Fla. to Washington's Reagan National Airport boasted one of the highest concentrations of political firepower to come out of DisneyWorld's hometown in years. As presidential campaign advisers and journalists made their way back from last night's GOP debate sponsored by the Florida Republican Party and FOX News, the biggest surprise was not that so many political junkies were sitting on the same craft, but where some of them were sitting.

Unsurprisingly, FOX anchor Chris Wallace and Mary Matalin, who's advising Fred Thompson's campaign, were seated in first class. But the former Tennessee senator's wife Jeri was in coach. Rudy Guiliani's advisers were all stuck at the back of the plane as well, including former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-N.Y.) and Chris Henick. But they were in fine company there, what with Barbara Comstock -- a Mitt Romney backer -- and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker sitting in nearby rows.

Apparently, the campaign trail isn't all about pampering. On the other hand, plenty of of the candidates' staffers took advantage of the spa facilities at Orlando's Ritz-Carlton, conveniently located Shingle Creek Resort debate site, so Trail readers don't have to feel too sorry for them. And Duncan Hunter, who made an impassioned plea for imposing tariffs on foreign goods in order to solve the nation's entitlement crisis last night, was spotted heading out to the golf links Saturday afternoon at Shingle Creek, so the weekend wasn't a total loss for him either.

--Juliet Eilperin

By Post Editor  |  October 22, 2007; 5:26 PM ET
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