Category Archives: Rudy Giuliani

Test Two for National Strategy: NH

Well, Team Rudy’s national strategy passed its second test last night.  McCain won, Huck disappointed, and Hizzoner avoided the awkwardness of having the eighth paragraph of NH primary coverage reading “Ron Paul finished strong in the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, edging Giuliani…”

Avoiding early states and planting a flag in FL immediately before Tsunami Tuesday is looking less and less mad every day.

Still, despite this being about as wide-open a GOP primary as I am likely to see in my lifetime, there’s constant talk of candidates needing to drop out, perhaps even before Feb. 5, due to lack of funds.  Last night could have been a mortal blow to Romney.  Thompson is on fumes before his Southern base ever casts a vote.

And without a NH victory, there would have been talk about McCain needing to drop out after only 10% of Iowans and often intentionally mis-registered New Hampshire residents casting malicious ballots have had a chance to vote.  Now instead there’s talk of McCain being the frontrunner. 

I get to vote in April.

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Filed under Giuliani, McCain, New Hampsire Primary, Primaries, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

IA Results: They’re Just More Important Than Me

Well, the good voters of IA have caucused, and have selected a moderate evangelical democrat from Hope Arkansas, and an even further left wing cipher.

Now, I generally like organic tradition, a la Russell Kirk.  I also generally like heterogeneity and quirkiness.  It is somewhat refreshing that rural Iowans and grumpy Granite Staters have such a large say in our electoral system, especially since so much of what goes on in this country seems predetermined in some well-funded conference room full of people mildly afraid and hugely disdainful of average Americans.

So from that perspective it is gratifying to find those candidates most obviously designed in those conference rooms– Romney and Clinton– dealt a demoralizing defeat by just those Americans over Swedish meatballs and warm cider in a hundred high school gyms and living rooms in the IA caucuses last night

But…

Why, exactly, should the votes of a few hundred Iowans matter so much to the future of our country?  One is reminded of the famous speech in the movie Bull Durham, which I’ve mentioned here before in a different context, about the difference in baseball between a career minor leaguer and hall of famer being one hit a week.  Should the course of our country be based on such obviously fickle vicissitudes?  A couple family crises and a broken-down bus on the way to a caucus site could have made all the difference last night for any number of candidates.  Now we’re stuck with the withdrawal of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden!

It is well established on this site that I think it is an absurdity verging on a representative miscarriage that the people of Pennsylvania– and many other states– have little say in the presidential primary process.  That miscarriage seems all the more obvious when the two winners out of IA are so similar, and so similarly wrong.

In purely parochial concerns, one of my commenters recently suggested GOP bigwig Bob Asher has been recently spotted genuflecting in Mitt Romney’s direction.  Wouldn’t it be funny if such a consummate insider had to find a way to explain that away because his new favorite candidate never got a chance to even run in PA?

Finally, we should note in this space that last night’s result was pretty much ideal for Giuliani, given the fact that Team Rudy chose to skip IA altogether.  Romney is dealt a huge defeat, and Thompson and McCain do OK, thereby keeping the field wide open.  McCain appears poised to win NH.  SC will be a scramble.  Then FL comes around, where Rudy still polls on top.

It’s white knuckle time over at Team Rudy.  Their “national strategy” is about to be tested.  They’ve been quiet, letting the other candidates spend time, money, and moral capital over two early states with not many delegates at stake.  They plan to plant their flag in FL, then roll up delegates in NJ, NY, CA, and IL on Tsunami Tuesday.

So they have to win FL.  Then on Super Duper Tuesday, if they win MO, they will be in the cat bird seat.  If the Feb. 5 results are more mixed, maybe we will get to cast a vote that matters here in PA.  If Rudy can’t win FL, though, it’s looking like McCain or Huck.  Who knows, though?

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Filed under Bob Asher, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Support, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Campaign Looking for DE Volunteers

Got an e-mail yesterday from someone with the campaign looking for PA volunteers to work DE in anticipation of their Tsunami Tuesday primary.  I plan on volunteering, but I am somewhat bemused that they think it’s a good idea to start pounding the pavement and calling people at home the week before Christmas.

I know it seems like the primary is right on top of us.  We’ve been talking about this election for a coon’s age, and we’re now coming up on some actual voting.  Seems to me, though, they have over a month to cover all of DE without hassling people during Christmas.

If other candidates are doing it, I would instead send out a piece of direct mail wishing GOP voters a Merry Christmas, and warning them they’ll probably hear from the campaign in the New Year.  After all, DE polls are pretty thin on the ground, but all the ones I can find indicate Team Rudy has the inside line on those 23 “winner take all” delegates.

I know every delegate counts, but still…

UPDATE: At least one Delaware paper is backing Giuliani:  The Foster Daily Democrat’s endorsement is here.  For today only!  PA for Hizzoner is now DE for Hizzoner.

Seriously, I have no idea what that endorsement does or doesn’t mean.  My knowledge of the First State’s media landscape is pretty sketchy.  That said, I’ve always been a fan of this plucky underdog of a state, and an admirer of their fiscal policy.  It’s true:  I’ve purchased more than one big ticket item at the big box stores right across the border to avoid sales tax.

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Filed under Delaware, Giuliani, Polling, Primaries, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

More Asher and Rudy Talk

While I was off at a professional conference I missed this ABC story— brought to my attention by Josh at The Morning Call– suggesting that Team Giuliani is trying to square a tricky circle with Bob Asher.

Some people– ahem– suggested months ago that aligning with Asher may be politically necessary, but perhaps less than ideal.  For those who’s memories need refreshing, Asher did time in the big house for his participation in the corruption scandal that make public suicide an attractive option to Bud Dwyer.

Since then, Asher has somewhat rehabilitated his image.  He is still a major PA rainmaker, participating intimately in the Kean, Ridge, Specter, and Bush II organizations.  For a time, it appeared he would have some sort of official role with the Giuliani campaign as well.

Well, it appears the campaign is trying to place some distance between Hizzoner and Asher, which is probably wise, even though it was probably wise for him to solicit Asher’s help in the first place.  One wonders, though.  Giuliani’s popularity has always been high in the Keystone State.  Given this, perhaps Asher’s help could have been less vigorously sought.

Of course, there always something to be said from addition by subtraction.  At least Asher wasn’t out raising money for someone elsewhile he was arranging fundraising events in the Philadelphia suburbs for Giuliani.

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Filed under Arlen Specter, Bob Asher, Fundraising, Giuliani, PA Support, PA Visits, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

GOP Delegate Math & PA

Miss me?  Well, I’m back.  And much like Nixon in ’88, I’m tanned, rested, and ready.

It seems the ascension of the Huck– which he may or may not have you believe is Divinely directed— has scrambled every campaign’s electoral math.  McCain thought social conservatives would forget about McCain/Fiengold and give him a boost since he’s been strong on abortion.  Mitt put about 8 million dollars worth of eggs in Iowa, and they’ve rotted prematurely.  Thompson thought he could be the Southern candidate.

And Team Rudy figured a top tier of four candidates and Ron Paul would be crowded enough to diffuse opposition support, but not so crowded that it would keep him from getting a majority of convention delegates with the support of all those big states with just a few smaller ones mixed in.

Well, Huck has ruined all that.  Turns out there are a lot more dissatisfied Red Staters out there with unread copies of Friedman’s “Free to Choose” that seem to dig a cross between Bill Clinton and Huey Long.

What does this mean to humble voters in PA?  Well, it means that I may have to eat my hat.  Our Coelacanth of a primary in the spring may actually mean something.  As this would be a once a generation occurrence– the exception that proved the rule– this does not obviate my criticisms of our silly later primary.  Reform is still necessary.

But the delegate math presented here seems to suggest that not only may all primaries matter in the GOP race in 2008, but we may actually be in for a brokered convention.  Well, it at least isn’t tin-foil hat territory for political geeks like me to start hoping for one.

A brokered convention would be bad, bad news for Giuliani.  His personal platform is, shall we say, a little too quirky to win in that environment, one would think.

It would be fun, though.  It also may be good for the GOP generally, monopolizing all the press coverage for MONTHS while Ms. Clinton (or, less likely, Obama) stuggles to get some attention.  I never thought I’d have to type those words.  Imagine.  A democrat presidential nominee struggling to get attention from the MSM…

So what’s Team Rudy to do?  As much as it pains me to admit it– as to me the entertainment value of a meaningful convention approaches that of a Genesis reunion including Peter Gabriel– he has to get a majority of delegates prior to the convention.  Giuliani is, rightly, the first choice of many GOP voters.  Alas, he is not anyone’s second choice.  Except for maybe my Dad’s.  We are not case studies one would choose if looking for a typical GOP voter.

So Giuliani needs to kill in Florida.  Anyone else noticing all those Florida focused e-mails from the Giuliani campaign, lately?  You know what other state they’re talking about a lot in New York?  South Carolina.  If Rudy kills in FL, and does especially well in SC, he’s off to a good start.

But if he slips in either state, he’s got problems.  He also has problems in CA.  He’ll win the most delegates out of CA on Feb. 5, but CA is also a proportional state, and right now it ain’t shaping up to be a TKO.

Finally, and strangely, it looks like Giuliani’s big mo may need to come out of MO.  Missouri, that is.  MO is a winner take all state on Feb. 5.  Team Rudy is strong there, but not prohibitively.  So here is my prognostication:

If Giuliani wins FL and MO, he will win the nomination.  If not, my primary vote in PA may matter, and we may be in for a fun convention.

What else should be on the top of Team Giuliani’s to do list?  Buttering up John McCain.  Being low on money and long in the tooth, he stands the highest chance of opting out of this mess and retiring from the race.  Of the top tier candidates, he’s the most likely to endorse Giuliani.

Perhaps people should also start explaining to Fred Thompson that the veep slot seems to suit his temperament more than the CEO’s chair…

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Filed under Fred Thompson, Giuliani, McCain, Primaries, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani and Libertarians

A comment in the post below expressed bemusement that Rudy Giuliani could find sympathy amongst those with Libertarian tendencies.  This poster seems to recall Hizzoner as a “gun grabbing”, “police state” mayor.

I understand the question.  You have to look at it from a perspective that respects one of Libertarianism’s fundamental requirements of the State:  That of protecting private property.

Giuliani’s priority as Mayor– the reason he was elected– was to make the City safer and more pleasant.  Read that as “Protect their private property.”

Hence this person’s perception of him as a “gun-grabbing” and “police state” mayor.  I think Giuliani was wrong at the time with his handgun lawsuits, but he thought he had two opposing freedoms he had to prioritize: Civil order and the right to defence.  I am a pretty dogged 2nd Amendment advocate, but even I can appreciate how the priorities of NYC in a crime wave and Idaho are different, and probably require different approaches.  So while aspiring to be President, it is natural for Giuliani to become more sympathetic to gun owners, which he has.

It is enlightening to also understand that the protection of private property is why– as a mayor rather than the President– he was Libertarian-ish on immigration.  He wanted illegals to be comfortable dealing with the local gendarmes so they could report on the bad apples.

Some suggest the Mayor has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  Without getting into semantical arguments, I think it is important to understand that those issues on which he has drifted rightward merely reflect differently weighted priorities of two different jobs:  That of Mayor of NYC and that of President of the United States.  As he has pointed out, it would have been easier for him to just complete the flip-flop and lie.  A look at the GOP field illustrates at least one candidate who is comfortable doing this.  One thing, though, that appears to be consistent with the Mayor is that at the core he is driven by a respect for the freedoms of law-abiding individuals to pursue their own happiness, and an understanding that it is the State’s role to defend these freedoms.

I do not at all suggest that Giuliani would be at home in the Libertarian party.  I do suggest, though, that he is Libertarian-friendly:  His first priority is to protect your property and civil society in general.  His second priority– as evidenced by his actions in NYC and the associated favorable reviews from the Club for Growth and endorsement by Steve Forbes– is to minimize the vigor with which government dips into your bank account.  After that, he pretty much feels the states should decide on all the culturally divisive social issues.

That, I say, is pretty Libertarian friendly.  Does he buy into Libertarian ideology?  Probably not, as his habits of character can be quirky and pretty hierarchical.  Note his apparent distaste of ferret owners.  But when the time comes in a general election for Ron Paul supporters to pull a lever, I hope those that aren’t using their support for Paul merely a way to promote isolationism will do the needful and vote for Giuliani rather than staying home or voting for his opponent.

Assuming, of course, Hizzoner can secure the nomination, which is a whole ‘nother article, as Nordlinger says.  I am not entirely sure how Paul’s supporters effect that process.  Not much, I tend to think…

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Filed under 2nd Ammendment, Federalism, Giuliani, Libertarian, Primaries, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani, Social Issues

Presidential Signage in the Commonwealth

I saw the first sign for a presidential campaign in my corner of PA today.  Someone has put up a Ron Paul sign.

For lots of reasons, I probably would have been on that bandwagon 15 years ago.  My first presidential vote was for Andre Marrou, who was actually Ron Paul’s veep choice in ’88 when he ran for president on the Libertarian ticket.

I have since diverged from my Libertarian brothers and sisters.  Getting married and becoming part of a community have steered me away from radical individualism, and I also happen to think the threat that radical Islam represents to Western ideals is something that must at least partly be dealt with actively.  A passive, isolationist response may very well end up being a demographic white flag.

That all said, I wish no ill will to my former comrades in freedom, and hope over time they will come to recognize that in lots of ways Mayor Giuliani– as a fiscally responsible, and socially Federalist candidate– is the most Libertarian-friendly aspirant to the presidency we are likely to see for some time.

At he is for those in the Libertarian party who take property seriously.  I imagine the more libertine sort of Libertarian bristles at the prospect of the Giuliani presidency…

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Filed under Federalism, Giuliani, Libertarian, Ron Paul, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani