Tag 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.

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics, 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.

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

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).

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

GOP Race, One week out

Well, I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember crazier primary race than the one going on right now.    I for one figured that by the time Iowa rolled around it would be down to a two man race, three at the most.  I thought Huckabee would still be in, but not “in”.   I thought McCain would stay dead.  I thought Giuliani would be making a push in New Hampshire and in second in Iowa. And I thought Romney would still be dominating Iowa.  About the only two things that turned out the way I thought was that Fred Thompson would fade and that Romney would come back to the pack in New Hampshire.

Well, now that I have sufficiently demonstrated how inept I am (although in my defense I did nail the predictions-including the margin of victory-at the Ames straw poll,  and everyone was completely off on their predictions, so I am not alone).  Allow me to give a quick run down of the current state of the race and make some predictions that are sure to be wrong.  First the candidates:

1. Mitt Romney.  I rank Mitt #1 because he has the most paths to the nomination.  He could lose IA, win NH, win MI.  He could win IA, lose NH, win MI.  He could lose both IA and NH, win WY and MI.  Or he could win IA.  Two things I tend to strongly believe, however,  First, if he wins IA, he wins the nomination.  Second if he loses IA, Michigan is a MUST win.  

All this being said, Mitt is still a wild card even if he loses MI.  He has the money and organization to compete in later states.  But I wouldn’t give him much of a shot.

2. John McCain.  I can’t believe I am ranking him second. But this is what I see.  I think a solid 3rd place finish for him in Iowa will be treated by the media as a win; much like Huckabee’s second in straw poll.  If he wins NH, he will have a good shot at MI.  Voters know him, for good and bad, and that will prove to be a positive thing for him.  They also know that he is considered the most electable, and in a group of candidates that no one can decide on, it may come down to who can actually win.  

Additionally, McCain has two scenarios for the nomination.  If he wins NH, he will be in a good spot.  But he could lose the first two and still win the nod, here’s how: A solid 3rd in IA (with Huck winning), propels him to a close 2nd place loss to Mitt in NH, say 1-3 point loss.  The media will rave about the resurgent McCain.  This “mo” leads him to a win in Michigan and on to the nomination.  I think this scenario is HIGHLY unlikely, but it is plausible.

3. Mike Huckabee.  Mike has only one scenario: Win IOWA.  A win in Iowa may be enough to keep him afloat into South Carolina.  A win there and he could sweep the southern states, including Florida.  If he does this, he could be the guy.  He is leading nationally now and leads in a lot of states. But that lead is contigent on Iowa.

However, Iowa is going to be a tough victory.  He has to contend with Mitt’s superior organization, which some pontificators argue gives Mitt an additional 5% to the current polls.  If Mitt draws closer, say within 3-4 points, a victory for Huck will be very difficult.  Not only that, but Huckabee has become the most divisive candidate in the party.  A win in Iowa will only strengthen the voices of opposition, it will be difficult to win SC without winning or placing in NH, WY, or MI and while facing a barrage of attacks from many conservatives. 

It should be noted that McCain and Huckabee’s rankings are almost interchangeable.

4. Rudy Giuliani.  His collapse has been astounding and incredibly quiet.  The most news he has received in December is about a hospital stay.   Rudy has gone all in in Florida.  A loss there and he is done.  He may still pull a few states out on Feb 5th, but one of those won’t be California. 

The problem Rudy has in Florida is that he is flailing there also.  Huckabee is surging and Mitt is right there as well.  I just don’t see Rudy being able to hang on in Florida after placing 3rd or worse in the first 6 contests.

This being said, Rudy has the most room for improvement, check back in a month and don’t be surprised if he is up to 2nd. 

5. Ron Paul.  That’s right, not Fred.  Why?  Neither is going to win a state, but with Ron’s grassroots support and huge financial advantage, don’t be surprised if he pulls out 4th in Iowa and 3rd in New Hampshire.  Ultimately, it doesn’t mean anything, except that he is in a better position than Fred.  At least Ron has the money for an independent run in ’08.

6. Fred Thompson.  Has there been a more disappointing candidate in the race?  While he may have some good ideas, they certainly aren’t his (at least that’s my perception).  Fred feels like a complete puppet to me.  His wife wants victory more than him.  He was coaxed into the race by a bunch of GOPers who saw him as a shoe in because he talks slow, has an accent, and is an actor.  

The only shot Fred has is with a third place finish in Iowa and he needs to pray that the media plays that up.  But even so, if there are only two tickets out of New Hampshire, he won’t have one of them.

So here are my state by state predictions through Jan 19th:

Iowa: 1. Huckabee (as of today) 2. Mitt 3. McCain 4. Fred 5. Paul 6. Rudy

WY: 1. Mitt 2. Huck 3. McCain 4. Paul 5. Fred 6. Rudy 

NH: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Rudy 4. Huck 5. Paul 6. Fred

MI: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Huck 4. Rudy 5. Paul 6. Fred

SC: 1. Huck 2. Mitt 3. Fred 4. McCain 5. Rudy 6. Paul

NV: 1. Mitt 2. McCain 3. Rudy 4. Huck 5. Paul 6. Fred

And if it plays out like that:

FL: 1. Mitt 2. Huck 3. Rudy 4. McCain

And Mitt is your nominee. 

P.S.  This outlook will probably change tomorrow. 

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Filed under Election 2008, Politics, Republicans

The Real Deal

Mitt Romney is far and away the best candidate for President that the GOP has had since Ronald Reagan.  The fact that the GOP race remains as convoluted as it is, is baffling to me.   Mitt has the best resume, a track record of success in both business and politics, is a natural communicator, seeks differing opinion, is the most moral and ethical candidate in the race, has unparalleled character, and is the smartest.  He is the kind of candidate that, in previous elections, people wished they would have, yet now that they have him they don’t recognize it, nor realize how good they have got it.   Instead voters, pundits, and bloggers focus on little things and symantics in day to day coverage.  So, rather than outline a defense of these claims, I will let Ronald Kessler of Newsmax do it for me.  Here is the first section of this must read article on Mitt Romney:

Last April, Newsmax magazine ran a cover story headlined, “Romney to the Rescue: Romney’s Got the Right Stuff for 2008.”

Based on interviews I conducted with Mitt Romney and his friends, family, and aides, as well as with critics and neutral observers, the profile depicted him as a remarkably successful businessman and conservative governor with impeccable character.

Since the Newsmax article appeared nothing has changed.

No one has revealed that Romney appointed a close friend as police chief who has since been indicted for dealings involving figures with ties to the Mafia, as is the case with Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani did this even though he was warned about red flags in the candidate’s background.

There have been no revelations that Romney commuted or pardoned 1,033 criminals, including 12 murderers, as did Mike Huckabee. To the contrary, Romney granted no commutations or pardons as governor. Nor did Romney raise taxes. In contrast, by the end of his 10-year tenure, Huckabee was responsible for a 37 percent hike in the sales tax in Arkansas. Spending increased by 65 percent — three times the rate of inflation.

Huckabee joined Democrats in criticizing the Republican Party for tilting its tax policies “toward the people at the top end of the economic scale.” He aligned himself with Democrats and showed an ignorance of the Bush administration’s extensive diplomatic efforts when he said the White House has an “arrogant bunker mentality.”

In contrast to his nice guy public image, when Huckabee asked in a New York Times Magazine interview, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” he belied nastiness and demonstrated what George Will has rightfully suggested is bigotry.

Huckabee’s serial ethics violations and misuse of funds to maintain the governor’s mansion in Arkansas for restaurant meals, pantyhose, and dry cleaning bills recalls Bill and Hillary Clinton’s improper appropriation of White House furniture and chinaware for their Chappaqua, N.Y, home.

Unlike Fred Thompson, Romney has not been revealed to have a lazy streak. Aside from being a key backer of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill, in his eight years in the Senate, Thompson was the primary sponsor of only four pieces of legislation, none of any significance. On the campaign trail, the sour-looking Thompson has distinguished himself as someone who schedules two or three events a week and often cancels at the last minute.

A former CIA officer recalls what happened when Thompson and seven other members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee visited Pakistan in late 2002.

“The other senators, including John Edwards, attended the classified intelligence briefing,” the former officer says. “Thompson blew it off and spent a lot of time drinking and eating.”

Finally, Romney has not been found to have a vicious, out–of-control temper, as is true of John McCain. Nor did he twice oppose President Bush’s tax cuts — a key ingredient in the current the economic recovery — as did McCain.

“He [McCain] would disagree about something and then explode,” said former Sen. Bob Smith, a fellow Republican who served with McCain on various committees. “[There were] incidents of irrational behavior. We’ve all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I’ve never seen anyone act like that.”

Over the years, McCain has alternately denied being prone to angry outbursts, admitted he struggles to control his anger, and claimed he only becomes angry over waste and abuse. But those who have experienced it say his anger does not erupt over policy issues or waste and abuse. Rather, his outbursts come when peers disagree with McCain or tell him they won’t support him.

To read more of this article click here.

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

What if Bloomberg, Paul Make Indy Runs in ’08?

It is being reported this morning that staffers to NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg will make an independent run at the White House in 2008.  David Andleman reports in Forbes:

Folks close to New York City’s twice-elected mayor suggest that he’s made up his mind to end one of the city’s long-running rumors and become an Independent candidate for president.  The date of his announcement? Pencilled in for right after Super Tuesday–Feb. 5.

Additionally, there is a lot of speculation that Rep. Ron Paul will also make an independent run at the Presidency.  Dr. Paul will likely lead the fundraising pack for the GOP in Q4 2007 and much of that will likely go into a warchest for the general election.

Mr. Paul already has a solid base of support as he is polling as high as 7% nationally among the GOP, and if that is indeed the case, we can assume that he is at about 3% nationally overall.  I would argue that this number is likely high, however, it does illustrate the point that Paul has a solid base.

If Ron and Mike both jump into the race in 2008, we will have four candidates with a good base of support and more influential than most 3rd party candidates.  What will be interesting is to see what effect this has on the general election. 

Both Ron Paul and Mike Bloomberg  have close GOP connections.  Ron is considered a Libertarian Republican and Mike, well, was elected Mayor of NYC as a Repub after converting from the Democratic party and is now a registered Independent.

I would argue that a Mike Bloomberg candidacy would hurt the democrats more than the Republicans, especially if Hillary is the nominee.   Bloomberg has a legitimate moderate-liberal record and with all the baggage Hillary carries, he would be viewed as a solid and acceptable alternative for the Democrats.  At the least he makes New York state up for grabs, and not only for him, but for the GOP candidate.

However, Bloomberg may not only negatively affect the Democrats, he would likely have a devastating affect on the GOP if Rudy Giuliani gets the nomination.  Considering the already negative taste Giuliani has put in many Republicans’ mouths, me included, and the fact that Bloomberg and Giuliani have somewhat similar resumes; it is quite feasible that a large portion of Republican voters will vote for Mike, potentially throwing red states to Hillary (all the while throwing blue states to the GOP!). 

I also think that Bloomberg could have a negative affect on Mitt Romney.  One of the key platforms that Mitt runs on is his business record and his experience in the private sector, with Bloomberg coming from a similar background, he could take a significant percentage away from Mitt.

On the other hand, Mitt may prove to be the best bet against Bloomberg because of their similar backgrounds and the fact that Mitt is running in one of the two major parties.  Voters may look at both Mitt and Bloomberg and think there is little difference between the two (remember that the average voter doesn’t get into the details of candidates like we nerds who blog) and decide that Mike doesn’t have a legitimate shot at winning so will vote for Mitt to keep Hillary out of office.

A Ron Paul independent campaign will have a much lesser affect on the campaign.  While I wrote above that his national support may be as high as 3% across the board, it is unlikely that in any event, he would garner more than 1% nationally come Nov 2008.  The places where Paul will likely have the most influence are states with very independent and libertarian thinkers.  I could see Ron taking more than 1-2% of the vote in states like Vermont, New Hampshire, Texas, Montana, and Idaho.  However, the only state that is really considered a swing state here is New Hampshire, so a Ron Paul candidacy would likely have less impact. 

Additionally, Ron Paul will gather supporters from both parties.  He will likely get a majority of the registered libertarian vote, and will get votes from the anti-war right and the capitalist-left. 

Ultimately, if there are 4 real candidates running for President in 2008, we will be in for a wild ride.  I think that would be fantastic for Democracy and hopefully open up our future elections to at least 3 legitimate candidates rather than 2.  Further, it would not surprise me one bit to have Bloomberg win a few electoral votes and maybe even win New York or New Jersey, he simply wins a few votes, but not a state, it is quite possible that we will have no candidate reach the 271 minimum electoral count.  If he happens to win a state or two, they will likely be “blue” states and he would push the election to the Republicans (unless Giuliani is the nominee).

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Filed under Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Politics

Will Hillary Lose Because She is Female?

Many supporters of Hillary Clinton attribute many of the troubles she faces to the fact that some people just won’t vote for a Woman.  They act like Hillaries biggest stumbling block is her gender.  So the question begs to be asked, “Will Hillary lose because she is a Woman?”.   In short, No! She will lose because she is Hillary.

We are at a historic time in our history as a nation.  We have a very diverse Presidential field; it is quite possible that we will have a “first” as our next President – First woman, first Black (or even more inclusive, first non-White), or first Mormon.  Many argue that the country is not ready for the first woman or black president.  They say we are still too bigoted and unaccepting.   While there are certainly some ignorant and bigoted people in our country (and in higher percentage in the South), I strongly disagree that America is not “ready”.   

While critics of America (especially internal critics) like to portray America as being racist and sexist while portraying Europe as inclusive and progressive, the reality is that America is far advanced in terms of race than any other country.  Racism is rampant in England, France, and Spain.   At Soccer games in Europe, bigoted fans throw bananas and mimic monkeys to denigrate Black players.  What sets America apart is our inclusiveness and our continued ability to be self-critical and, thus, self-correcting.  Europe never had their own Civil Rights Movement and race is a real problem.

The fact is, most Americans will vote according to whom they perceive to be the best person for the office; the definition of “the best” is relative to each voter however.  There is absolutely no grounding in the claim that an American will not be elected because they are female.   I, for one, would have voted for Condoleeza (a woman and Black!), but I won’t be voting for Hillary.  Why? Again, because she is Hillary.   And for Hillary it is not even about the Politics, on which I pretty well disagree with her, it is about her – her lack of integrity and insatiable desire for power.  She cannot be trusted.

I have a similar problem with Rudy Giuliani.  I won’t vote for him either, he has shown a propensity to be involved in scandal and seems to lack any sort of sound moral judgement;  I can’t trust him.  If we have a Rudy-Hillary race in 2008, I will be voting 3rd party or will simply withhold a vote for President.

On the other hand, I have a more positive disposition towards Barack.  With him, I completely disagree with his policies and politics, I even think he is more left-wing than Hillary.  But I also have the impression that he is a good man, had real convictions, and believes what he says.  In the event of a Rudy-Barack race, I would vote for Barack.  Additionally, I would seriously consider Barack over Huckabee (depending on how his subtle anti-Mormon views play-out) and Fred Thompson (who I think is incompetent and too lazy to be President).

For me my determination for who should be President is first dependent on character and integrity, followed closely by political ideology.  I strongly prefer GOP policy and will choose a person of mediocre character over a democrat of strong Character.  However, I will choose the Democrat over a GOPer that has no character and integrity or is simply unfit for the job.

Certainly, I will not make the determination on race or sex.  And I think that most of America feels the same way on that point.  There is just no evidence that Americans as a whole would fail to vote for Hillary because she is a Woman.  They will not vote for Hillary because she is Hillary.

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