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Tales from the Trail: Trump Gets Yawns; Bush's Guac Accident

Tales From the Trail is a daily dispatch from NBC News’ 2016 campaign embeds following the presidential candidates through Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond in the race for the White House.

Want to know what the NBC News Embeds saw? Follow their daily journey to the inside of the 2016 presidential campaign here:

Did Trump Just Face His Harshest Attack Yet?

Donald Trump has been accused of many things. But on Monday, a potential voter in the Granite State called Trump something that not even his fiercest critics have accused him of.

"Bor-ring!" one man yelled during a stop in Windham, New Hampshire as the GOP front-runner talked about Syria and then suggested that Trump tell jokes instead. Trump was not amused and it didn’t help that the man was wearing Trump’s signature Make America Great Again hat. Within minutes, Trump had him tossed from the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center.

Trump then headed over to the famous Red Arrow Diner in Manchester for interviews and a “Newton Burger,” topped with a scoop of mac-n-cheese between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

— Kailani Koenig covering Donald Trump in New Hampshire.

Why does Jeb Bush have Blood on his Shirt?

For more than a week, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has nursed an injured thumb – the casualty, he says, of a guacamole making mishap. But until this past Saturday, it was only noticeable by a large Band-Aid.

“I will point out something,” he told reporters Monday, adding: “I probably shouldn’t give this much detail. But since you all travel as much as I do, my thumb has been still in recovery,” he told reporters.

“Is it getting worse?” Bush was asked by a group of reporters.

“No,” he said, “but this morning I didn’t have a Band-Aid on it and I tried to put my buttons on, the buttons for my shirt, because it’s hard to do it with a thumb that doesn’t work. So I had to wear a tie today to cover up the blood on every one of the buttonholes,” Bush told us.

It wasn’t clear whether the guacamole was being prepared in Bush’s famous $75 Guaca Bowle.

And it wasn’t even the only wardrobe malfunction to plague the GOP presidential candidate recently. His suit was left “languishing on the fifth floor” of a Boston Hilton Hotel late last week after an aid forgot to retrieve it.

— Jordan Frasier covering Jeb Bush

Sticker Shock In Iowa

“Bernie” bumper stickers have become a mainstay across the Hawkeye State.

In Des Moines, an electronic billboard flashes “Donald Trump is unhinged,” a Jeb Bush quote feature in the ad paid for by the pro-Bush super PAC, Right to Rise.

In Perry, about 30 miles northwest of Des Moines, another billboard features a smiling Ben Carson – paid for by the pro-Carson super PAC.

So who is winning the signage war? You can give Sanders the nod.

The investment by the campaign into those stickers and yard signs is for more than merely giveaways at rallies. The signage is being used, and despite many having faded since the summer, the signs continue to persevere through the state's bitter cold and winter flurries -- at least enough for allegiances to be seen in these final weeks before the caucus.

For all the displays of political affection, it may all come down to the weather on Feb 1st when caucus goers choose their winners. It’s easier to put up signs then to get voters out on a bitter cold night.

— Vaughn Hillyard covering the Iowa caucuses in Des Moines

Marco Rubio really loves Florida

The Republican senator from Florida spent Sunday and Monday in his home state, speaking at a Sunday rally and fundraiser in Miami where Latin Grammy-nominated duo Periko and Jessi Leon were the opening act. On Monday, he stopped at Marine Concepts, a boat design and manufacturing company in Sarasota to deliver a speech on economic policy.

There, Rubio offered a preview of the themes — and attacks — he’s likely to hit on at the next GOP primary debate Thursday in South Carolina. He knocked unnamed Republican candidates for supporting a value-added tax and an Internet sales tax, likely references to Ted Cruz and Chris Christie, respectively.

But the real purpose of the swing back home seemed to be more monetary than anything else.

The Florida senator has struggled in the past to keep up with the fundraising strength of grassroots favorites like Ted Cruz and Ben Carson, despite a busy fundraising schedule that’s at times kept him off the trail or away from the Senate for key votes and hearings, prompting criticism from his rivals.

He had six fundraisers scheduled for his two-day swing through Florida, and again drew criticism for planning to attend a fundraiser at the same time as a a classified briefing on North Korea that evening.

Rubio canceled the fundraiser and returned to D.C. for the briefing, but only made it for the last 20 minutes or so.

— Alex Jaffe covering the Rubio campaign in Florida

High-energy Ben Carson?

Three weeks from now, Ben Carson hopes to have won the support of at least a plurality of Iowans participating in the Iowa caucuses. So on Sunday, he charged through Iowa with what was one of his busiest days of campaigning yet. From 8:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night, Carson led four town halls meetings and participated in one roundtable discussion.

And the former neurosurgeon was happy to point out his new energy level. He told reporters in Iowa Sunday night that his new campaign staff -- assembled following a high-profile campaign shakeup -- is at the heart of the pep in his step.

"If you’ve been very observant, you’ll notice that I’ve been a quite a bit more energetic in the last week or two, have you noticed that?" Carson asked. "I have a campaign now that is much more energetic in terms of, you know, getting materials to me in a timely fashion. Getting materials out for public, surrogates who could go out and talk so that I don’t have to do all of it. All these things are strengthening me."

— Shaquille Brewster covering Ben Carson