Category Archives: Rudy Giuliani

The Worst Campaign Strategy Ever

Is anyone else out there as completely astounded by Rudy Giuliani’s campaign as I am?  Here is a man who had everything going for him last year- he had the name recognition, huge fundraising, led in all the national polls, led New Hampshire for a long time, was constantly praised by the media (especially Fox News, namely Hannity), was deemed the most electable, and was still riding the wave of September 11th.

Now some analysts and bloggers attribute Giuliani’s loss to American’s forgetting about 9-11 and others consider it bad luck of the draw in terms of which states were voting first.  This is hogwash.  If a candidate wants to be the nominee of their respective party, they should be expected to finish at least fairly strong in every state and can expect to do well with just a little hard work.

What happened with Giuliani’s campaign falls directly upon the shoulders of him and his staff. Period. There is no other excuse for his loss; it was just a really, really bad strategy. 

What Giuliani did was make a calculated risk that failed.  He figured that with as many candidates as there are, the early states would have multiple winners, thus preventing anyone from having any momentum going into Florida. Florida would then reward Rudy for his dedicated support in Florida and for sticking it to seemingly insignificant states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

In all actuality, his pre-Florida strategy could not have worked out any better.  Three different candidates won the first three states and momentum was not behind any one candidate. 

There are a couple of things that happened that Giuliani did not see coming. First he did not expect that under any circumstances he would finish behind Ron Paul in most states and rarely get above 5%.   He figured (and so did I) that name recognition and reputation would at the least get him 10% of the vote everywhere.  So not only did he lose those early states, he lost them in a big embarrasing way.

Second, he misjudged momentum. While he was correct that no one person had the big mo leading into Florida, he failed to recognize that momentum can be shared and that after 6 contests some people will be considered viable and others wouldn’t.  This year momentum was with McCain and Romney and they sufficiently covered GOP ideology in such a way that it prevented any further rise for another candidate. 

Third, he severly underestimated Huckabee.  It was his campaign that propped up Huckabee in November and December in hopes to have Huck beat out Mitt.  That worked to a tea.  What he didn’t anticipate is that Huckabee’s rise would do more damage to him than to any other candidate.  Not because they are ideologically similar or anything, but because there is only so much room for candidates, five viable candidates were just too much and Huckabee’s rise force voters to re-evaluate the race and determined that the only people really working for their vote were McCain, Romney, and Huckabee.  And really, voters rarely will have room for more than three candidates that they will consider.

4. He also underestimated McCain.  Like everyone else, Giuliani thought McCain was dead in the water, but thanks SOLELY to the media, McCain was resurrected.  In this race there is not room for both McCain and Rudy, they are practically the same ideologically.  McCain’s rise took Rudy’s support. Rudy also refused to attack McCain’s positions until the day before Florida, that is just not going to cut it.  I recognize that they are friends and respect each other, but this is politics and it’s a dirty game.  McCain would not have been afraid to through Rudy under the bus if he were the main opposition, Rudy should not have been afraid either.

Ultimately, Giuliani’s strategy was idiotic.  Who on earth thought it was a good idea to ignore the first six states?  While in theory, taking all realism out of it, his reasoning was sound, but voters just aren’t that smart.  Voters are sheep and are swayed with the wind.  All voters saw was McCain and Mitt winning a lot and Giuliani getting pummeled by Ron Paul.  Only political junkies were aware that this was (supposedly) all part of Giuliani’s plan and he wasn’t really competing.  The average voter had no idea, thus his plan was dead before it even started.

So what really makes this the worst strategy ever is that Rudy had it all, he had everything going for him.  He may well still have lost the nomination, but not like this, not in shame after only one state.   He didn’t even put up a respectable fight.  He cowered in the corner like a scared puppy.  He could have finished with a strong third in Iowa with just a little work, he could have won or finished a strong second in New Hampshire, Michigan and Nevada were great fits for him, he could have been much stronger heading into Florida, but he refused to fight and instead ran away.  He was too afraid of a one on one with Mitt, which, as it turns out, he probably could have one now that we have seen how McCain, Huckabee, and the media loathe Mitt.   Giuliani alone could have prevented the rise of Huckabee and McCain, the two things that completely destroyed his campaign.  What a sad joke of a candidate he turned out to be.  Whomever his campaign manager was should never be hired for another campaign again.

4 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, Politics, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani

Nevada v. South Carolina, a Gutsy Strategy

Yesterday, Mitt Romney practically conceded South Carolina to his fellow GOP competitors for the nomination and announced that he would spend the weekend campaigning in Nevada.  This is wise, yet gutsy, move for Mitt.  It is wise because he knows he has no chance to win.  South Carolina is naturally a better fit for McCain (Military members and veterans), Huckabee (evangelicals), and Thompson (accent) as opposed to the smooth NE state governer Mormon candidate.

So here are the positives:

1. Nevada has more delgates than South Carolina, the SC delegates are likely to be more divided due to more people splitting the vote, including Mitt.

2. Minimizes the impact of a McCain or Huckabee victory, although only slightly. 

3. Winning Nevada gives him a win going into Florida, counters the Mo for the winner of SC.

4. Helps solidify Mitt in the West, the western States are going to be more important than the Southern in the general, as the South will most likely stick with the GOP candidate regardless.

5. Losing SC is becomes not as big of a deal, he can say, “what do you want? I wasn’t contesting there and I, as a Mormon, barely lost to two Southerners and a military hero.

6. His organizational strength, coupled with the strong SC endorsements and the MI win, could still give Mitt a 2nd or 3rd place finish. If in the unlikely event that he finishes 2nd, that would be a major victory for Mitt that he can play up.  It would also all but eliminate Thompson and Huckabee from the race (assuming they finished 3rd and 4th)

7. Mitt is saying that McCain looks like a foregone conclusion in SC, this raises McCain’s expectations, while lowering Mitt’s.  So if Huck or Fred beats McCain, it will look like an even bigger loss for McCain, which could be devastating for him.

Here are the negatives:

1. Demonstrates Mitt’s inherent weakness in the South.  Can he overcome this? (I think so)

2. Nevada is being ignored by Republicans, will Nevada be viewed the way Wyoming was? (By the way, if I were a Republican in a western state, I would be pretty offended that this is the second time that important region is being ignored by the bulk of the party).

3. Possibly being overshadowed by the Democrats in Nevada with media coverage.

4. More positive media coverage for the SC winner (especially because the media doesn’t like Mitt at all) rather than the Nevada winner.

5. Media and McCain will try to pass Mitt’s Nevada win off as only being because of all the Mormons there. The media will conveniently forget that Nevada should a natural McCain state, as he is from the neighboring state and the only candidate from the West.  (I hate the media)

So this is how I see Mitt’s strategy.  It is obviously less than ideal, but considering the circumstances, it was a wise decision.  It is more important for Mitt to have another win to offset the likely McCain win in SC heading into Florida.  This will set up a 3-way race in Florida.  The big question is how does Rudy play in Florida, he has been dedicating all his time and money there, yet he is not getting any traction.  I also think that Rudy and McCain split the vote in Florida and it will provide a great opportunity for Mitt there.

It is way to early to make predictions about Florida, but one thing is for sure, it is going to be a fist fight.  One of the good things, is that it is likely that Fred will drop out of the race if he doesn’t win in SC on Saturday (which he won’t).  I think Fred will endorse McCain, but I don’t see many of his supporters heading that way, they more logically fit with Mitt (and vice-versa, Mitt supporters-like myself-would have moved to Fred’s camp had Mitt dropped out).   If Fred drops out, I definitely give the advantage to Mitt in Florida, but that is all dependent upon how this weekend and the subsequent news coverage plays out. 

One final note regarding strategy for Mitt, I would put in a lot of really quiet effort into getting out Huckabee, Paul, or Thompson voters in Nevada.  I would try to push McCain into third or fourth there.  That would be pretty embarassing for McCain to come in third in both his neighboring and pretty moderate Republican state. An ideal finish in Nevada would be a huge margin of victory for Mitt, someone not named McCain in 2nd, and McCain far behind.  GO NEVADA!

 You’re thoughts?

5 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Nevada, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina

Michigan Mitt: The Mitt I Like

I have been an ardent supporter of Mitt Romney’s since about January 2007, I started looking at who the candidates were who were running, Rudy seemed appealing, I was already anti-McCain from 2000, and then there was this relative unknown, Mitt Romney.   The first thing that intrigued me about Mitt was that he was Mormon, I obviously liked that. 

Then I learned that Mitt was also a Bishop and a Stake President.  This I liked even more, for if there is one thing I have learned from my time in the Church it is that it takes a special breed to be a Stake President.  In fact every Stake President that I have spent an considerable time with were men of great personal integrity, knowledgeable, and simply someone I wanted to be around.  This also gave me enough evidence to know that Mitt is a good man with strong moral fibers and is honest.   I also knew that he would likely have no skeletons in his closet and would be able to avoid scandal; this is something our country desperately needs. But I was still not 100% sold, what about his experience and policies?

Well, I figured that being a Republican, his policies would likely mirror mine to about 70%, as do pretty well all the other GOP candidates (and I have since learned that Mitt and I mirror on about 90%).  So then it came to experience.  I looked into his background and it is incredible.   Mitt spent his career taking small or failing or inefficient companies with good potential and recreated them to being strong and successful companies.  He is a fixer; he did the same with the olympics.   So his business experience is a huge draw, but the fact that it was spent in the field that it was made the draw even bigger. 

I figured back in early 2007 that Mitt would run on the economy and on his record; which is a winning ticket.   He started off really well doing this, if any of you remember his announcement speech in Michigan last year, you will remember that it focused on change in Washington, his business experience, and his experience as a governor.  But slowly Mitt veered away from  this.

He began to focus on social issues and on becoming a defense hawk; the former is understandable because he recognized that he was running against two social liberals (Rudy and Mac).  But has he ran to the right, he seemed to forget what it was that made him appealing to so many of us.  I think most of us Mitt supporters knew that he would be fine with social issues and with defense, but it was having a person who understood the economy and who understands organizational dynamics in such a manner that would result in a complete gutting of the federal government that set Mitt apart.  The biggest thing that drew me to Mitt was that I knew he would immediately go in, surround himself with brilliant people, and go through the books of the giant federal beauracracy and start cleaning house.  This is what Washington needs; yet he got away from it and it killed him in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Finally, Mitt has started playing from his own playbook and not that of his advisors and is running the correct campaign in Michigan.  This is the campaign he should have been running all along.  This is where his appeal is.   This is the Mitt I love.  If Mitt is smart enough to continue to run on the economy, on business development, job creation, and fixing Washington he will have a great opportunity to win the nomination and to defeat the pessimists of the Democratic party in November.  Mitt Romney is the right man for the job, let us all hope that it is not too little too late.

12 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Religion, Rudy Giuliani

First Votes of New Hampshire Counted

At Midnight the small town of Dixville Notch, total of 17 voters, cast their ballots at Midnight in New Hampshire. There were 12 Independents, 3 GOP, 2 Dems. Fox notes that they do not have a particularly good record at predicting the results of the state– should I be hoping that McCain is leading? I think not. (Looking at the ballot counting, I assume the blue ballots are Dems and the Pink are GOP.  They look fairly split.) Here they are:

GOP:

  1. McCain 4 votes
  2. Romney 2 votes
  3. Giuliani 1 vote

Dems:

  1. Obama 7 votes
  2. Edwards 2 votes
  3. Richardson 1 vote

Note that Hillary got no votes, OUCH!

Thank goodness for Mitt that this is not usually a good indicator.  Whew!  VOTE FOR MITT NEW HAMPSHIRE

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani

Mitt Wins Wyoming With Over 65% of the Vote

Now Mitt is leading the medal count in the GOP race: 1-Gold, 1-Silver. Even better he now leads the GOP delegate count with 28 delegates total. Here is the total delegate count in case you are paying attention:

Romney-26
Huckabee-20
Thompson-5
McCain-3
Hunter-1
Giuliani-1

While Wyoming is less meaningful than the other January states (for whatever reason), a win is a win is a win. Fortunately CNN, Drudge, USA Today, and many other news organizations are at least mentioning Mitt’s win. Hopefully, this with solid debates in the next two days, will prove enough to propel Mitt in New Hampshire. If Mitt wins New Hampshire, he will also win MI and NV, and be close in SC.

Ultimately, McCain needs NH more than Mitt does. If McCain loses NH, that could be the end for him. He will continue at least through Feb. 5th, but he would likely have minimal success.

I for one still have a lot of optimism in Mitt’s overall chances. I wouldn’t dare go so far to say that he is the front-runner, I can’t say anyone is at this point. I am confident, however, that Mitt is the GOP’s best candidate and the only one that brings together all conservative facets under one umbrella and has the work ethic to beat the Democrat in November.

PS. Notice that Giuliani came in far behind Ron Paul in Iowa and is tied with Duncan Hunter in the delegate count. That is some campaign he is running over there.

2 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Uncategorized

Should Iowa really have this much control?

Perhaps the real question is do they really have any at all?

Reading the coverage today I was reminded of one of the posters hanging on our wall at work. You know the kind, where they are supposed to have some sort of trite phrase that affects the employee’s morale and motivation? Anyway, you can see the particular poster I’m reminded of here.

Yes, none of are indeed as dumb as all of us, CNN tells us this is true. I will applaud the subtlety.

Looking at that page without understanding the English language you’d be forced to see the pictures only. Which candidates seem to have the most appeal for CNN? What would you say about their personality, or suitability as a candidate based on photo alone? It would appear that according their coverage that Rudy, Hillary and Barack are the only viable candidates. Then interestingly enough compare the adjectives in the descriptions of each candidate. Look at the difference between the Edwards and McCain excerpts. Both of whom were unsuccessful in their seeking of the presidential nominations. Interesting.

The real question becomes, do small things like adjectives, photos and the like have so large an effect on us as individual thinkers? The answer is surprisingly, no. The problem is that those little things have a tremendous effect on people as a whole. In an election nobody wants to back the loser, so often times they pick the person who has the highest likelihood of winning. Not the best person for the job. That is what is alarming to me in this presidential race. There are only three people (or so) that I will be able to vote for, in no particular order: Barack, Mitt, Mike (Bloomberg). I’m half joking about Bloomberg, but if it’s a choice between Hillary and Rudy, I will either abstain or be voting some independent third party (if any real ones emerge).

My prediction will be that harnessing the power of Chuck Norris, Mitt will edge Huck by a few points with McCain a distant third, Ron Paul a close fourth.

Let’s hope the all of us are not dumb enough as some of us that buy into the garbage that Huck is presenting during the race.

~RationalZen  – part-time contributer, full-time thinker.

Go Seahawks!

1 Comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Candidates, Democracy, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Iowa, John Edwards, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Race, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani

Iowa Caucus Predictions

The day we have been waiting for is finally here!  After months and months of campaigning, the voting starts tonight, and the race is much murkier than it was even 3 months ago.  As a result, attempting to make a prediction on what will happen is futile.  Nevertheless, it is an obligation that we bloggers have to throw our two cents in so here it goes.

1. Mitt Romney-33%

2. Mike Huckabee – 28%

3. Ron Paul – 13%

4. Fred Thompson – 12%

5. John McCain – 11%

6. Rudy Giuliani – 2%

Yes, I have Ron Paul third.  This was a hugely tough decision, but I know how passionate Ron Paul supporters are and I think they will turn out in droves to the caucuses.  It appears that McCain, Fred, and Giuliani fans in Iowa are less enthusiastic because they aren’t going to win the state.  So even though Paul is only polling at about 7-8% now, his passionate supporters and his organization could be good enough to propel him into third.

Organization is what should ultimately separate Mitt from Huck.  They are virtually tied heading into tonight and Mitt’s machine should propel him to victory.  That being said, Huck has the support of a lot of Churches, they too are quite effective at organization, so I would no be shocked with a Huck win. That being said, if Huckabee wins, I will lose all confidence in the judgement of Iowans and will call for them being punished to be the last state to vote in 2012.  I can understand voters choosing Thompson or McCain, but Huckabee? Really?

Finally, Thompson gets the edge over McCain because he has spent more time and resources in Iowa.  I think his organization is a little better.  However, his supporters could be dejected due to his poor overall standing and that may affect turn out.  McCain supporters on the other hand may turn out in higher percentage because he is now surging nationally and especially in New Hampshire. 

Ultimately, the race for first can go either way and so can the race for third.   Although, I find third place is harder to call.  It all comes down to how truly dedicated Paul supporters are and how positive Thompson supporters can remain.  One thing we do know is that it is highly likely that anything besides a third place finish and Thompson is dropping out (and I think he is praying for a 4th place finish to give him an excuse).

Leave a comment

Filed under Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iowa, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani