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GOP Hopefuls Emerge from Shifting Sands in S.C.

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GOP Hopefuls Emerge from Shifting Sands in S.C.

Election 2008

GOP Hopefuls Emerge from Shifting Sands in S.C.

GOP Hopefuls Emerge from Shifting Sands in S.C.

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A 20-foot-high sand sculpture at Myrtle Beach features the likenesses of the six current Republican presidential candidates. Andrea Hsu, NPR hide caption

toggle caption Andrea Hsu, NPR

A 20-foot-high sand sculpture at Myrtle Beach features the likenesses of the six current Republican presidential candidates.

Andrea Hsu, NPR

After the Michigan primary, the presidential candidates turn their focus to South Carolina. Some of the Republican candidates are already there — sort of.

There's Fred, then Mitt, then Rudy, Mike, John and Ron — not the actual candidates, but their faces carved in sand at Myrtle Beach, S.C.

South Dakota has Mount Rushmore. South Carolina now has Mount Myrtle, a sand sculpture almost 20 feet tall of the six current Republican presidential candidates.

And while it took Gutzon Borglum more than 14 years to complete Mount Rushmore's four granite faces, an outfit called Team Sandtastic took just four days to carve the Myrtle Beach sculpture.

It's quite an attraction: Cars slow as they pass, groups of tourists gather. Visitors come with camera and critiques: Mike Huckabee looks a bit thin; Rudy Giuliani's forehead is really big.

Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, came up with the idea for Mount Myrtle. He talks to Michele Norris about the sculptors' creative process, how the candidates responded to their likenesses and how they decided the arrangement of the faces.

Work on the Democrats' sculpture begins Wednesday.

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