Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 2, 2008

GIULIANI'S COLLAPSE....I suspect Josh Marshall speaks for many (including me) when he notes that now is an "appropriate moment to give thanks for something we can all be thankful for, even across our political divisions and support for contending candidates -- that's right, the collapsing campaign of Rudy Giuliani."

In Iowa, where admittedly Rudy hasn't made much of a run at it, he now appears on track to come in last place among the major candidates. And, to be clear, I'm here defining 'major' rather generously as including Ron Paul. In other words, sixth place.

In New Hampshire, Rudy is similarly dropping like a stone. He may still come in third ahead of Mike Huckabee, though they now seem to be roughly tied there.

Nationally, Rudy appears either tied with Huckabee or in a three or four way tie with Huckabee, Romney and McCain, depending on which of the very most recent polls you look at. And expect that number (to borrow the Army aphorism) not to survive first contact with his drubbing in Iowa and New Hampshire.... Even in his 'firewall' states like Florida, Rudy's lead is rapidly diminishing.

This comes on the heels of polling evidence that shows the more Republicans voters see Giuliani, the less they like him.

I realize the Giuliani campaign claims to have a plan -- premised almost exclusively on big victories in Florida and the Feb. 5 states -- but it seems pretty far fetched. The thing about losing repeatedly is that one starts to look like a loser. That's particularly true if an assumed frontrunner can't actually win when people start voting -- exacerbated if he finishes behind Ron Paul.

At this point, the former mayor's campaign apparently doesn't see the stars aligning exactly they way they'd hoped, so they're moving on to Plan B: more war talk (via Greg Sargent).

Steve Benen 5:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Giuliani's "plan" concerning Florida seems eerily reminiscent of Howard Dean's regarding Wisconsin in 2004. As Dean lost state after state disastrously (not just Iowa and New Hampshire), he said that the future of his campaign depended on winning Wisconsin. He, of course, lost Wisconsin by a huge margin, and then said "I am no longer effectively pursuing the presidency." Giuliani will probably be too arrogant to give up after he loses Florida, though.

Posted by: Lee on January 2, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why doesn't he put his money where his mouth is, and just have all the other candidates arrested by Kerik and a few other goons? When questioned about it, he can just say, "Yipee-ki-yay, motherfucker; 9-11 changed everything." I'm sure all the Republicans will cheer.

Posted by: lampwick on January 2, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and where the heck is Drum? What self-respecting progressive blogger would be on vacation in the middle of excitement like this? Jeez.

Posted by: lampwick on January 2, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

When questioned about it, he can just say, "Yipee-ki-yay, motherfucker; 9-11 changed everything." I'm sure all the Republicans will cheer.


Posted by: shortstop on January 2, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think Giuliani's strategy is plausible. I still believe he is the likeliest GOP nominee.

Posted by: Linus on January 2, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

While I'm not willing to write him off yet, I'm pleased that the predictions of those of us who lived under this asshole in NYC appear to be coming true -- i.e., that once people got to actually know Giuliani rather than that particular fictional creation, "America's Mayor," he'd sink like a stone.

Posted by: Glenn on January 2, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ditto what Glenn said.

I've been stunned that Guiliani's been riding high, but took solace in knowing that the long primary season would let people see what a shitbag he is in person. His own children don't talk to him, for God's sake.

Posted by: TR on January 2, 2008 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Thank Allah.

Posted by: Hostile on January 2, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting is that Giuliani is tanking without the patented "meltdown" that so many were predicting.

Posted by: PaulB on January 2, 2008 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

What I find interesting is that Giuliani is tanking without the patented "meltdown" that so many were predicting.

I just find it sad. Everything we've had to hear from this clown and now we're being denied the simple pleasure of watching a theatrical unraveling? Unjust!

Posted by: shortstop on January 2, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, what is Ron Paul doing with all that $20million he raised, anyway? (I mean besides trading it in for gold bullion.) Does he have ads or rallies or big gotv efforts or what? Inquiring minds etc.

Posted by: lampwick on January 2, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, my lord, the mod corrected my boneheaded mistyping (changing "denying" to "denied"). Um, thanks, mod.

Posted by: shortstop on January 2, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

You must hate America. If a man can't have Mafia friends and give away expensive taxpayer-provided freebies to his goil who's already rich, then the terrorists have won.

Next you'll be putting dung on canvases and calling that "art," you deviants. Away Deviant Art!! Away Primitive Art with your Jungle Rhythms!!

I demand a plastic Madonna and Krazy Paving in every 10' x 10' front yard!! You start worshipping a plastic, light-up Madonna in your front yard (an additional birdbath on top to make a "grotto"?--that's your choice) and then you'll begin to learn your place, yeeewww with your eddduuucashiiin.

Posted by: Anon on January 2, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

We should be thankful for Giuliani's collapse -- why, exactly?

Wouldn't we be better off watching (and helping) Giuliani implode AFTER he secures the GOP nomination (or at least becomes the "presumptive nominee", leaving his party scrambling throughout a long, hot political summer)?

This is so fundamental, it's second nature to anyone who deals in politics as a discipline of consequences.

Josh has pushed the plunger on a Giuliani edifice wired for demolition ... but his timing seems all wrong.

Posted by: RonK, Seattle on January 2, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

I'm happy to see Giuliani going down, but a couple of comments. First, be careful what you wish for. The image that Giuliani is currently projected is almost certainly deliberately to the right to try to try and compensate for being the mayor of the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah (as far as Evangelical and Middle Americans are concerned).

This is not to say that he didn't conduct himself like a mini tyrant in New York, but I would be surprised if there wasn't something of an inverse relationship between what hurts a candidate in Iowa versus what works in Florida. Even more so on the Republican side than the Democratic side.

Frankly it's absurd that states that are the least representative of the country as a whole like farm-subsidies Iowa, wealthy educated B&B owners in New Hampshire, and that haven for backwards racist bigots that is South Carolina, are the states that first get to play king maker for our presidential candidates.

You won't get a sigh of relief from me until Giuliani tanks in states that matter, like Florida.

Posted by: Augustus on January 2, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Josh has pushed the plunger on a Giuliani edifice wired for demolition ... but his timing seems all wrong.

But Josh Marshall isn't singlehandedly bringing Rudy down, nor, sadly, will the collective ill wishes of everyone in the left blogosphere.

I agree with you that it'd be better for Rudy to get the nomination and then blow up (now that we know that he WILL blow up; it was touch and go for a while as to whether the mainstream media would ever wake from its long winter's nap), but this is not something that is largely in our control. I say we enjoy the blessing of a batshit insane winger losing all hope of becoming president whenever the universe tosses such a magnificent gift our way. We weren't so lucky in 2000 and 2004.

Posted by: shortstop on January 2, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

it will be so dull and boring without him.
remember the speech to the nra when he took
a staged cell-phone call from his 3rd wife?
performance art, that was.

Posted by: daveminnj on January 2, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's busy creating a template for all the excuses, polemics and fatwas about to be issued by Rudy's brain trust. The John Normanson page alone needs at least a gig of capacity.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on January 2, 2008 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

After the Giuliani/mistress/cop protection thing came out, the Giuliani backers I knew got cold feet overnight, because it made him real dicey in a general. That was the punch that knocked him reeling, although he was already wobbly because of his mediocre campaigning, and because Huckabee caught fire and provided a genuine contrast to show Giuliani in proper relief. He also isn't, to use the media's beloved phrase, a very "likeable" guy on TV -- several people I know commented on this, especially women. You can only go so far on the promises to kick brown skinned ass and give conservatives the opportunity to jeer at liberals, and Giuliani has gone about that far. That being said, I think people who are writing him off now are being a little quick. His strategy hinges on Florida, and how muddled the picture is coming out of Iowa, and that picture looks pretty muddled right now. A really strong McCain (remember, "exceeds expectations", and McCain's friends in the media get to define that) or Romney showing there probably knocks him, and the rest of the field, out, but other than that he hangs on 'til Florida.

Posted by: Martin Gale on January 2, 2008 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

I understand the reasons for wishing he was the Repub nominee, but as far as I'm concerned, the further that authoritarian, racist prick is from even a long shot at gaining the presidency, the better. Some rethugs are scarier than others, and he's near the top of the list.

Posted by: thersites on January 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy's tanking too early, dammit. I was looking forward to sporting my "9iu11ani '08" bumper sticker, which has got to be one of the wittiest things to come of this whole sorry show...

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on January 3, 2008 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm overly sanguine about this but I don't think any Republican can win the presidency this year.

I think/hope that the nation has a certain visceral understanding that Republicans like Bush (and other than RP the candidates aren't straining to repudiate Bush) are good at sowing chaos but clueless as to how to stop it. Take what is happening now in both Kenya and Pakistan. Bush doesn't know what to do with a conflagration other than to pour gasoline on it.

Posted by: mattski on January 3, 2008 at 6:24 AM | PERMALINK

No one wants to see RUDY THE WEASEL out of it more than I...but hold on...member all the memorials for McCain just a little while ago and now he's ROARING BACK AS THE COMEBACK KID (so original)...don't count Rudy out...we are ALL being manipulated by the MSM in this process...and for them it's all about "Look at me (us)" and more money/ratings for our corporation...and then you can listen to the fools our alternative (AAR) puts on - LIONEL rant on about the caucuses without being even moderately informed about how they proceed...YEGODS, it's no wonder the voting public is ignorant and turning to their bibles for guidance!!!! Everyone should be assigned homework on C-Span to raise their electorate information level!!!

Posted by: Dancer on January 3, 2008 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with Ronk. While Giuliani's collapse has been terrifically satisfying to behold, imagine how bad it'd have been in the general election. He can't even muster much GOP support, imagine how little sway he'd have with dems and independents if this stuff had come out six months later. It'd possibly make Goldwater's results look like spectacular wins. Imagine Rudy unable to pick up a single electoral college vote. Now, how satisfying would that be?

Posted by: The Critic on January 3, 2008 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK
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