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Tilting at Windmills

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January 28, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CONVERSATION STARTER....Rudy Giuliani is the Phil Gramm of 2008. Discuss.

Kevin Drum 1:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

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Comments

I thought he was more of a Werner Klemperer for 2008.

Posted by: eightnine2718281828mu5 on January 28, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another conversation starter:

"Barack Obama is the new Colin Powell"

Am I right or am I right?

Posted by: The Fool on January 28, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I would say he's even worse. My memory of the Gramm campaign is that while the political press was touting him because they assumed all the money he raised would fuel a rise in the polls, he never actually did rise in the polls. But Guiliani pretty much led the Republican race nationwide for all of 2007, leaving aside the Thompson boomlet last spring and the Huckabee boomlet at the end of the year.

Posted by: Hyde on January 28, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, worse. Gramm had far lower name recognition, and of course no purported status as a national hero.

Posted by: penalcolony on January 28, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

They were very different types of candidates. Gramm started with a lot of money, but most people didn't know who he was. Rudy started with an image as a symbol of defiance, but people initially knew less about his baggage. Gramm just never caught on, while Rudy lost his luster.

Posted by: nodakdude on January 28, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Bad comparison. Gramm wasn't involved in a "Shag scandal" that tanked his numbers. Gramm never got any real traction. Rudy had plenty and lost it.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 28, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

got to agree with hyde. rudy's campaign crashed and burned but it at least got off the ground. gramm's never did. i don't know that rudy has run a poor campaign so much as he was a fatally flawed candidate from the beginning.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 28, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

My first response was "Who?" But the truth is that Gramm was a typical senator who woke up in the morning and saw the next President of the United States looking at him in the mirror. (BTW, Bill Clinton still does.) It's the same sad song.

But Rudy Giuliani took a very different route to prominence. He was also a northeastern Republican in a party dominated by Southern social conservatives. Those are the main differences.

--Dan

PS I'm looking forward to Rudy's return to obscurity because I've never learned how to spell his name and always rely on cut & paste.

Posted by: Dan on January 28, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Gramm wasn't involved in a "Shag scandal" that tanked his numbers.

While it's true Gramm never had any numbers to tank, he did manage to have a sex-related skeleton fall out of his closet. He was found to have bankrolled a porn film years earlier. Embarrassing for a Xtianist "family" candidate.

Posted by: jimBOB on January 28, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Please. If Giuliani is the something of something, then he's clearly the 9/11 of 9/11.

Posted by: blah on January 28, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say Rudy is more like John Connelly... More name recognition than Gramm.

Posted by: nonplussed on January 28, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Whereas Rudy WAS a porn film...

Posted by: Kenji on January 28, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Gramm reminded me of an affable Southern sheriff who went to church on Wednesdays for the chicken and Sundays for the Lord but who beat his wife behind closed doors. Charming, fat, sinister.

Guiliani reminds me of a rodent gnawing on a piece water logged shoe leather. Twitchy, malocclusive, twitchy.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 28, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Rudy was the "Italian Leader in Search of a Balcony" of 2008.

Posted by: redterror on January 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

More like the Bugs Moran of 2008.

Posted by: calling all toasters on January 28, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

eightnine2718281828mu5 - though that too but more as Rudy in the character Colonel Klink

Posted by: ET on January 28, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Malocclusive. Love that! Please, Rudy, doncha give me da evil eye! Noooooooo.....

Does this mean we're not going to be able to run against him?

Posted by: Kenji on January 28, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say Biden and Dodd were the Phil Gramm of 2008, except for, you know, that whole political party thing.

Posted by: F. Frederson on January 28, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy always reminded me of Colonel Klink.

Posted by: Th on January 28, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

My son who years ago misremembered the word 'cellulite' as 'Sunny Delight' has labeled Rudy as 'Rudy Galooney' and the name has stuck, at least around our house.

Posted by: Tripp on January 28, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

well, gramm assumed assumed all his money would get him the nomination. rudy tried to do it on his personality. also, gramm was never the frontrunner. rudy is 100x the flop, although the voters' quick repudiation of the loathsome turtle Gramm was quite sweet to a young me.

Posted by: benjoya on January 28, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: I think an even more apt comparison would be: Rudy Guiliani is the John Connolly of 2008.

Posted by: Jasper on January 28, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly, Gramm got a lot of his money based on the 'hillarycare' issue as well as some national attention. A healthy campaign coffer has typically indicated success, thus giving Gramm what should have been an easily assumed lead for the GOP nomination. The problem is that the money didn't represent widespread support for Gramm. Like Newt and DeLay, Gramm had made some Republicans uncomfortable, if not unsupportive of a Gramm presidency. So, Gramm didn't go from a poll leading candidate to a Ron Paul wannabe.

But here's where I think they are alike: both peddled Republican branded negative themes. Gramm used hatred of the government and Democrats and Rudy uses the fear of anything he can put in the same breath as 9/11. And even Republican voters failed to support these fire breathing campaigns.

They also share poorly run campaigns and strategies.

Posted by: tx bubba on January 28, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

An insult to Phil Gramm; and The Fool is at least half right about Obama.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 28, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Giuliani was the frustrated Mussolini of 2008.

Posted by: Orson on January 28, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Lieberman '04 the last candidate who started out with good national poll numbers but proved to be unpopular in Iowa, New Hampshire, and every other state where the voters paid attention to him and realized he was less inspiring than John Kerry?

Rudy's poll numbers in any given state are 40-x, where x is the number of days he has campaigned in that state up to a maximum of 37 days.

Posted by: reino on January 28, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Which Republican said that not even Phil Gramm's friends like Phil Gramm?

The New Hampshire primary really earned its keep torpedoing Gramm's campaign. Too bad it couldn't sink Junta Boy in 2000.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on January 28, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly, Gramm got a lot of his money based on the 'hillarycare' issue as well as some national attention.

Gramm got campaign contributions from the Republican fat cats because he was the staunchest advocate of trickle-down economics.

Even though he wasn't shuttling his mistress around on the government's dime, Phil Gramm has screwed far more people than Rudy Giuliani. It was Gramm who wrote the legislation exempting Enron from federal oversight (an act similar to what his wife Wendy did when she wrote an exemption for Enron while serving on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission). Gramm also wrote the legislation deregulating energy markets--a law in which Enron was the chief beneficiary. The Gramms were well rewarded by Ken Lay and company: Wendy Gramm was appointed to Enron's board and Phil Gramm was the second highest recipient of Enron bucks in the Senate (fellow Texan Kay Bailey Hutchison got slightly more). The fact that Gramm is now an economic adviser to John McCain is yet another reason a John McCain Presidency has the potential to be as big a disaster as George W. Bush.

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave on January 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Which Republican said that not even Phil Gramm's friends like Phil Gramm?

It wasn't a Republican. That zinger was from Molly Ivins.

Posted by: "Fair and Balanced" Dave on January 28, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Phil Gramm was short(ish) and bald. And he had little charisma. That's about all Rudy's got. Gramm probably was actually smart. Rudy, no.

Posted by: luci on January 28, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

"I thought he was more of a Werner Klemperer for 2008."

LOL, got it in one. I was going to post that Rudy was the Il Duce of 2008, but that is much better. Just think of him ineffectually flailing his riding crop in the air and yelling "Hooog...err, Rooooomney!"

Posted by: Marlowe on January 28, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, they both have odd accents.

Posted by: Rula Lenska on January 28, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK
Rudy Giuliani is the Phil Gramm of 2008.

He's a Republican that seems likely to turn out to have unsuccessfully sought the Presidency, so on at least that level, sure, why not.

On any more substantive level, I don't see it. What's the point? If you've got something substantive to say about Ruby, you can do it far more clearly, directly, and usefully without mentioning Phil Gramm, I suspect.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 28, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

As a Texan, I take umbrage at your comparison of Giuliani and Gramm. And I HATE that pig-eyed hypocrite from College Station. He's a guy who went to Congress as a former college economics prof (He couldn't serve, because he had to teach economics to the people who were going to go to Vietnam, remember?) So when Gramm retired from Congress he owned three mansions. Sorry sumbitch.

Posted by: Long Memory on January 28, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'll agree with the guys above who think that Rudy is closer to John Connally of Texas. John, of course was the Texas Governor riding with JFK and was wounded when Kennedy was assassinated. Then John switched parties because Nixon asked him to. He was considered for the Vice President job when Agnew resigned, but Ford was easier to get through Congress.

Unfortunately he had a scandal involving cash payments from the Milk Producers lobby. No sex, but still corruption. He spent about $11 million (from memory - don't hold me to the amount but it was very high for those days - it was more than any other Republican candidate for the nomination in 1980 including both Bush 41 and Reagan.) and got one (count them - just one) delegate.

John later filed bankruptcy following business reverses, as Rudy may well find himself doing after this debacle.

Posted by: Rick B on January 28, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Benito and Phil Gramm?

Posted by: Luther on January 28, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

If Rudy is the Phil Gramm of 2008, why is McCain using him as an advisor and taking Gramm with him and taking him to meetings with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board about economic policy? Pretty scary considering Gramm is a radical, mean-spirited free market fundamentalist.

Posted by: BernieO on January 28, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

The big question I want to ask about Rudy is what does he do now? Frankly, I was surprised he ran because I thought he had the most to lose of all the candidates. He was popular and massive amounts of money based on a vague, feel-good aura surrounding him because of what he did during 9/11 (and I don't know if anyone exactly remembers what that was). But now that people have really gotten a good look at him and now that he's been branded a loser, what happens to that aura? It's hard to imagine Rudy continuing to earn $200,000 a pop speaking in front of audiences. So what happens to Rudy after he drops out of the race?

Posted by: Guscat on January 28, 2008 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

Gramm's retirement from the Senate was a vastly greater improvement to the world than Rudy's retirement from New York City.

Posted by: Jalmari on January 28, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Phil Gramm worked ceaselessly to deregulate the kinds of transactions that Enron used to commit fraud.
Phil Gramm's wife was on the board at Enron.
A better symbol of modern Republicanism would be hard to invent.

Posted by: joel hanes on January 28, 2008 at 8:49 PM | PERMALINK

Rudy Giuliani was the Max Schreck of 2008.

Posted by: lobbygow on January 28, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Nah. Insufficient Elmer Fuddness.

Posted by: Paul Camp on January 28, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Guscat: I saw Rudy speak last summer before he declared himself a candidate. He came out to fireworks and crazed fans screaming and jumping up and down. After speaking for 15-20 minutes, everyone was so let down that only about half the people managed to get to their feet for a standing ovation. And this was one of those Zig Ziglar things full of right wingers. My 17 year old son laughed when I told him Rudy was running for President. Unimpressive in person is an understatement.

Posted by: Th on January 28, 2008 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

David Petraeus is the Rudy Giuliani of 2012.

Posted by: calling all toasters on January 28, 2008 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK
If Rudy is the Phil Gramm of 2008, why is McCain using him as an advisor and taking Gramm with him and taking him to meetings with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board about economic policy? Pretty scary considering Gramm is a radical, mean-spirited free market fundamentalist

What better place for Gramm to have your back. He will give all those mean-spirited free-market hacks at the WSJ lots of warm fuzzies. He's one of them.

Posted by: natural cynic on January 29, 2008 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

There's a difference. No one ever liked Phil Gramm (it was once famously said that even his friends didn't like him). Various people have liked Giuliani, and he was popular amongst his constituents for a while (which Gramm never really was- we just kept re-electing him cuz he had that R after his name, and the Dem sacrificial victim didn't). But, all that aside, yes, he is very much the Gramm of 2008, in that he has crashed and burned in such a spectacular fashion; ole Phil was never really a frontrunner, and never had Rudy's national 'acceptance', which I guess makes Rudy's collapse even that much more spectacular.

Posted by: Reddragyn on January 29, 2008 at 4:51 AM | PERMALINK

Not a bad analogy, but then who's the Pat Buchanan of 2008? Mike Huckabee?

How about John Connally? Or better yet, John Glenn?

Posted by: Sean Scallon on January 29, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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