Sen. John McCain, way behind in national polls and struggling to defend a state that's normally a lock for GOP presidential candidates, campaigned in Wilmington yesterday. The rally at Cape Fear Community College was notable for a couple of things. First, the size of the crowd. While Sen. Obama routinely speaks to crowds of 20,000 or more, and Gov. Palin has been drawing 10,000 or more to her rallies, McCain often has a hard time attracting similar numbers of followers; the Wilmington rally, for instance, drew around 3,000 to 3,500 people, including those who stood outside the auditorium. Second, McCain's coattails are considered so short in this suddenly purple state, no other major Republican candidates specifically, Sen. Liddy Dole and would-be governor Pat McCrory took the stage with McCain. In the past, whenever a GOP presidential candidate came to North Carolina, other Republican office seekers would cling so closely to him, you would have thought they were conjoined twins. Not so this time around; Ol' Johnny and his robotic moneybags housemate looked pretty lonely up there.