Posted By: Carla Marinucci | August 21 2010 at 03:15 PM

Memo to Meg Whitman’s bigtime, big pay, Beltway consultants:

You’re getting paid to think big thoughts, so just think about this: maybe it’s time to let the candidate get off the campaign treadmill once in awhile. Free Meg Whitman.

We came to the conclusion someone has an iron grip on the GOP candidate and her schedule after catching Meg at a morning event which may have been one of her better, most authentic — and refreshing — in some time.

Go figure: it was kept totally under wraps from reporters.

We caught wind that Whitman planned to meet with about 100 female supporters and walk the mall in downtown San Diego early Saturday morning. (Hmmm…after being told she was doing no events and planned to leave town Saturday?)

We showed up. There they were: an excited crowd of women, all wearing cool lime green “Meg” shirts (with poppy), and really jazzed to meet the candidate. Whitman showed up in running shoes, khakis and a big smile. Husband in tow.

She hung out, talked and walked. Last time we saw her, she was getting hugs and gossip. Not exactly the “Queen Meg” of those protests.

Night before, she surprised reporters by hanging around or a bit as they were breaking out the cold ones after a long day. And whoa, she was funny — and accessible.

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