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Tilting at Windmills

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January 2, 2007

GIULIANI'S PLAYBOOK.... Somebody's getting fired.

It's clearly laid out in 140 pages of printed text, handwriting and spreadsheets: The top-secret plan for Rudy Giuliani's bid for the White House.

The remarkably detailed dossier sets out the budgets, schedules and fund-raising plans that will underpin the former New York mayor's presidential campaign - as well as his aides' worries that personal and political baggage could scuttle his run.

At the center of his efforts: a massive fund-raising push to bring in at least $100 million this year, with a scramble for at least $25 million in the next three months alone.

The loss of the battle plan is a remarkable breach in the high-stakes game of presidential politics and a potentially disastrous blunder for Giuliani in the early stages of his campaign.

That's probably a little overstated, but it's certainly not good to have such a sensitive internal document -- basically the entire early campaign strategy laid out over 140 pages -- leaked to a reporter. It's hardly the kind of move that tells the political world, "We're ready to run the White House."

Frankly, as a substantive matter, there's nothing jaw-dropping in the report. Apparently, Team Giuliani hopes to pry away some McCain donors and is all-too-aware of their candidate's flaws (divorces and extra-marital affairs, the connection to Bernie Kerik, his left-leaning positions on social issues). This shouldn't come as too big a surprise to anyone.

Still, as James Joyner noted, "[I]f your chief selling point is executive competence, such stumbles aren't good."

As for how the New York Daily News obtained the Giuliani playbook, the document was leaked by "a source sympathetic to one of Giuliani's rivals for the White House."

The backstabbing between these guys is likely to get pretty serious, isn't it?

Steve Benen 4:02 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (34)

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Comments

Didn't we see this story on The West Wing?

Posted by: Bob on January 2, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Man, oh man! Talk about entertainment! I think we should sell tickets. With sex, drugs, and the promise of much blood, they should sell out in a matter of minutes.

Posted by: Rook on January 2, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Dust the thing for George Will's fingerprints.

Posted by: Roger Ailes on January 2, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

but it's certainly not good to have such a sensitive internal document -- basically the entire early campaign strategy laid out over 140 pages -- leaked to a reporter.

Hah? More likely the liberal media has been fooled by a fake memo again. Remember how Dan Rather was fooled by the fake Bush National Guard documents? Or the various fake photos by AP about the Middle East exposed by conservative blogs like Little Green Football and Michelle Malkin? Same thing happening here I bet. I suggest you start looking at the typing fonts of the memo first before you start acting like the memo isn't a fake.

Posted by: The Real Al on January 2, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Let the Republican Death Match begin!

Posted by: craigie on January 2, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

More likely that the feckless republicans can't keep security tight in their own campaigns, let alone the country. Remember the Karl Rove leaks? Or the Iraq War Plan leaks? Or the leaks from the ooze which replaces the grey matter in my brain, exposed by my constant lies and distortions? Same thing happening here, I bet. I suggest you look carefully at the writing style of my post before jumping to conclusions. Perhaps Curveball can tip you off to the facts...

Posted by: The Real Al on January 2, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

It's high comedy to think that Giuliani believes he can get himself nominated by the bluenoses that run the GOP. Aside from the mobbed-up, philandering Kerik and Giuliani's own blatant affairs, he roomed with a gay couple. I have more chance of getting the Republican nomination than Giuliani does.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 2, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

The evidence has been there all along for those who could see, but now the proof is pouring in almost too fast to catalogue:

Republicans are seriously, incurably, fatally incompetent. It's endemic in the party and epidemic among office-holders.

Unfortunately, the inevitable result is slow to develop. Could take years for the last wingnut to gasp his last.

Meanwhile, I urge all dems to stay a germ-free distance away from all republicans, lest it prove contagious.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on January 2, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Newt, Run Newt, Please run Newt.Newt for President.

Posted by: Thomas3.6 1/2 on January 2, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the record, the ability to keep a campaign document from finding its way to a reporter almost two full years before the election doesn't have much to do with the ability to serve effectively as President.

I point this out as someone whose admiration for Rudolph Giuliani is limited. I think he was a pretty good prosecutor, and a successful albeit controversial mayor of New York City whose pitch-perfect performance under pressure after 9/11 deserved most of the praise it got then and later. But I don't think Giuliani should be President, and do not think he can be nominated.

Having said that, I have to point out that this story is all about campaign tactics, the preoccupation of an American media essentially bored by government and what it does. That reporters can interpret this leak as bearing on Giuliani's executive abilities or -- as the New York Times' reporter did -- on his ability to handle national security says much more about the reporters than it does about Giuliani. Their ceaseless preoccupation with the permanent campaign reflects the dominant attitude of most people in public life now, an attitude to which many of government's recent failures may fairly be traced.

Posted by: Zathras on January 2, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

All Hail the Big Tent party!

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on January 2, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin-
Executive competence isn't about keeping documents secret. It's about sending young Americans to their death because of your own incompetence.

Americans know a leader when he sobers up.

Posted by: 'real' egbert on January 2, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe jusy maybe the people of America should look at what it said,He wants to raise 125 million dollars.How much money can these jerks spend on an election.Will this election cycle break 2 Billion dollars ? WTF.

Posted by: Thomas3.6 1/2 on January 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Whoever the Republicans nominate, that candidate should be labled a "Bush Republican".

The last thing America needs is another "Bush Republican". Repeat until November 2008.

Posted by: AkaDad on January 2, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK
Just for the record, the ability to keep a campaign document from finding its way to a reporter almost two full years before the election doesn't have much to do with the ability to serve effectively as President.

It certainly says something about the ability to choose honest, loyal, and competent staff for sensitive assignments, which might be a somewhat important skill in a President.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 2, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK
The evidence has been there all along for those who could see, but now the proof is pouring in almost too fast to catalogue:

Republicans are seriously, incurably, fatally incompetent.

I dunno. This certainly might suggest at least one Republican is less than ideally competent, but it also suggests pretty strongly that at least one is at least marginally competent but utterly disloyal, corrupt, and lacking in ethics.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 2, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

This is only interesting because it signals just how dirty the GOP side fight is going to be. The left is going to be boring thanks to Hillary's steely resolve. Apparently not so from the Republicans. Let the games begin!

Posted by: Spav1 on January 2, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm finding egbert's "Ah, Kevin" funnier each time I read it. Not sure why.

Posted by: Boronx on January 2, 2007 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

It certainly says something about the ability to choose honest, loyal, and competent staff for sensitive assignments, which might be a somewhat important skill in a President.

GWB has proven that you can be POTUS without that skill....

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

We can expect much more backstabbing, much more gutter politics as the McCain juggernaught gets underway.

Republican Party supporters of George W. Bush promised the GOP nomination to McCain in return for McCain's wholehearted support in the last presidential election. And, by George, old man McCain is going to get it come what may.

Posted by: dwight on January 2, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Disputo, George W. Bush has proven that a man with a brain impaired by 20 years of alcohol and drug abuse indeed can become president of the United States. But George W. Bush has yet to prove that such a man can actually do the job of president of the United States.

Posted by: jim on January 2, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I'm finding egbert's "Ah, Kevin" funnier each time I read it. Not sure why.

And yet none of his imbecilities has come up to the level of his "playing politics like a political football" of several days back. A personal best that may never be matched. Though that bit about lying "prostate" before the Muslim immigrant hordes was a pretty good shot. I don't think a parody "Real egbert" has a chance of capturing the essence of the real thing. A complete buffoon and utterly impervious to embarrassment. A perfect conservative in fact.

Posted by: DrBB on January 2, 2007 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

It was probably the McCain camp that leaked it, don't you think? He recently hired one of the Repubs' hatchet people--the guy who made the commercial against Harold Ford in Tennessee. I'm very much afraid that the good Senator is going to do unto others what was done to him in 2000. Kind of sad, if so.

Posted by: BWR on January 2, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK


thomas 3.6 1/2: Newt, Run Newt, Please run Newt.Newt for President.


"I have more pictures of [Newt Gingrich] than I have of my wife." - Jack Abramoff 3/7/06


Posted by: mr. irony on January 2, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

So John McCain has gotten really good at spying on US citizens?! Makes my heart grow even fonder of this Republican Party as they try to destroy our personal liberties!

Posted by: pgl on January 2, 2007 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Bullshit,

McCain's men broke into the hotel and lifted it. This is small potatoes compared to the amateur porn they were searching for.

Posted by: toast on January 2, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Who cares that Bernie Kerik had connections to the Mafia? He was boinking Judith Regan while she was with FOX News.

Now, THAT'S scary.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 2, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm finding egbert's "Ah, Kevin" funnier each time I read it. Not sure why.

Hard to tell if he is that oblivious to reality, or whether it is just a personalized form of the "Democrat Party" slur. Either way, it's a nice, compact way to impeach everything he writes after it.

Posted by: Disputo on January 2, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Personal attacks aside, I think the point we're all missing, although some of you have touched upon it, is that a sensitive document has found it's way into the hands of a reporter, who subsequently leaked its contents to the public. Whether someone within Giuliani's organization leaked it or someone outside his organization absconded with it remains to be seen. You've already begun a spirited discourse on the implications of such a leak ;-)

As a side note . . good grief people, have we digressed to the point where the only news worth airing is that associated with political deviousness and disdain? Have we become a nation of "good news is no news" and "bad news is the only news worth airing"? How sad . . .

Posted by: donnabella on January 2, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this puts the kibosh on a McCain-Giuliani ticket

Posted by: wren on January 2, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Whoever the Republicans nominate, that candidate should be labled a 'Bush Republican'.

The last thing America needs is another 'Bush Republican'. Repeat until November 2008."

I agree. Any time any similarity between the people running to replace him and the current president comes up, we need to fling the "Bush-style crony" charges at him.

Anyway, can anyone think of any possible scenarios where this was leaked intentionally?

Posted by: Brian on January 2, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this puts the kibosh on a McCain-Giuliani ticket

Just like the 2000 SC primary put the kibosh on McCain supporting GWB in 2004?

Posted by: Disputo on January 3, 2007 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Can we please dispense with the idea of Rudy as the uber-executive?

Yes, 9/11 was tragic and yes, we needed a stern but friendly voice standing on the rubble to reassure us.

But the idea that his performance somehow represents a political tour de force is silly. From a political strategy point of view, the response to 9/11 was an 80mph fastball belt high down the middle to Barry Bonds after a steroid shake. There was only one acceptable response--to try to calm the public, and to shake your fist in an easterly direction and utter something heroically vitriolic about getting the bad guys who did it (which somehow became a war in....Iraq?...story for a different thread).

Did he play it right? Sure. But the idea that he's going to ride his 9/11 performance all the way down I95 to DC is wrong.

Posted by: Sebastian on January 3, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Giuliani's strategy may be to have this "leaked" on purpose so the opposition can churn on it early in the game. The media can milk it to death early on, that way it's nothing new down the road (and not fresh in the mind of a voter). Also, they can determine the viability of spending a lot of cash on a lengthy campaign early on (make an earlier rather than later decision to drop out if need be).

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 3, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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