Posts Tagged ‘mayor rudy giuliani’

“Ha-ha! Boy, that Rudy Giuliani, what a loser! Boy, did his strategy backfire! The man’s an afterthought! Barely got fourth place, barely ahead of Ron Paul, not expected to be much of a player in Michigan, not expected to be a player in South Carolina,” writes writes Jim Geraghty in a Campaign Spot blog burst titled Meanwhile, Down in Florida …

… he’s going to have to be desperate, and hope that in Florida he can… he can…

…he can, uh, keep his lead in Florida. Where he’s up, 24 percent to 19 percent for Huckabee, 19 percent for McCain, 13 percent for Romney, 8 percent for Thompson.

Where there are 57 delegates, winner take all; 114 delegates if the RNC doesn’t enforce the penalty.

Hmmmm [...]

Yuh-huh. We predicted all this—precisely this—weeks and weeks ago.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Mitt Romney built his campaign on a carefully managed strategy to win early and often, and Iowa was arguably the most important piece of the puzzle for the former Massachusetts governor. But that did not stop Romney from putting a positive spin on last night’s damaging defeat,” writes Scott Conroy in a http://www.cbsnews.com release titled Romney is “Delighted” With “Important Victory”—nota: the scare quotes around “important” and “victory” are in the original!

(Question: Is this naive and transparent spin? or is this delusion?)

“Things look very good for me at this stage,” Romney said at a morning press conference that felt more like the middle of night to the slew of staffers and reporters who hadn’t slept in over 24 hours. “I’m very, very pleased. I was delighted, as you know, with a second place finish. I wish I’d have had a first-place finish, but being able to beat three household names — John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson — was an important victory for me.” [...]

Only here is the problem for the Romney: Sen. McCain, Mayor Giuliani, and Sen. Thompson wisely invested almost nothing in the Iowa contest. Gov. Huckabee, Romney’s nearest competitor, got outspent by Romney dollar for dollar about 20 to 1, yet he defeated Romney decisively.

Rubin of Amspec on Iowa: “The national media doesn’t know squat,” the Conservative media is ineffective, and Romney paid US$322.58 per vote against Huckabee’s US$47.44 per vote for many more votes

Back to Conroy. Here Romney elaborates on the lesson he took from Iowa:

[...]“The message I got out of Iowa was that people in Iowa said they want change,” Romney said. “The two Washington insiders — John McCain and Hillary Clinton — both lost. John McCain by a lot. And I look at that and say what you’re seeing from the people of Iowa is that they want someone from outside Washington to come in and change things in Washington. And that’s right up my alley. There’s no way Senator McCain is going to be able to come to New Hampshire and say he’s the candidate that represents change and he’ll change Washington. He is Washington” [...]

Only here is the problem for Romney. He has spent an entire year and US$80 million dollars to cast himself as an agent of continuity and conservative orthodoxy (as he construes it in his unreconstructed, ingenue way), not change.

Brooks of the NYT: “But [Romney’s] biggest problem is a failure of imagination—Market research is a snapshot of the past—With his data-set mentality, Romney has chosen to model himself on [And the painfully literal rubes of the National Review have chosen to endorse] a version of Republicanism that is receding into memory—As Walter Mondale was the last gasp of the fading New Deal coalition, Romney has turned himself into the last gasp of the Reagan coalition”

Sen. McCain, on the other hand, has spent his entire career driving the GOP establishment and its institutions—think tanks, party operations, talk radio shock-jocks—hopping mad with white-hot rage. Sen. McCain doesn’t even need to argue that he is an agent of change. He has respected Democrat, Sen. Leiberman, to do it for him, a gesture that in itself represents change and national unity.

Conclusion: Strangely, bizarrely, Romney once again develops and retails a message that requires his audience to

(a) interpret facts as their opposites

-and-

(b) construe events not on their face, but according to a tormented casuistry

Only in the post-Iowa phase of the process Romney’s Humpty-Dumpty rhetoric (see our post-script) provokes derisive laughter instead of strained credulity. Please note Conroy’s sneering scare quotes in the title of his article. Please note how he invites his reader to laugh behind the hapless candidate’s back. These are not good signs for the hapless candidate. The media has scented blood.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. From Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, CHAPTER VI, HUMPTY DUMPTY:

[...]`When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

`The question is,’ said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

`The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master — that’s all.’ [...]

“[Mayor Giuliani's slide] would seem great for Mitt Romney, the Rudy Giuliani challenger,” writes the all-seeing eye in an eyeon08.com post titled Huck rises, Rudy slides, Romney’s strategy breaks down

But not so much. I think that this dynamic of Rudy falling and Huckabee rising creates a very serious challenge for Romney. You see, his proposition has long been that conservatives should rally around him because he can defeat Rudy. But if Rudy is … falling … then that argument goes out the window …

… Well. It seems like, on the day before the big Mormon speech, the Romney guys might need a new rationale for how they get conservatives.

And the Rudy guys, without being the frontrunner, may have a real problem on their hands.

They may have a problem on their hands, or they may not.

It is possible that losing now sets Mayor Giuliani up for victory later. As we have argued elsewhere, Hizzonor is historically a balance-of-power player, one who thrives in a crowded field, a unique entity in US presidential politics as most presidents tend to rise from the strong executive offices of state governors. Regard:

The question that has dominated the GOP contest is, “Should we nominate someone as liberal as Rudy on social issues?”—writes Dick Morris in a dickmorris.com post titled HILLARY, RUDY MAY KNOW LIFE AFTER DEATH

The answer among the stalwarts is obviously no. As long as the social conservatives are divided among four candidates, Rudy has a shot. But when they rally behind one man (probably Huckabee) conservatives outnumber moderates in Republican primaries, particularly if the independents are drawn into the Democratic primary by Hillary’s new vulnerability.

But by losing, Rudy shifts the focus. Republicans will ask, “Is America ready to elect a Mormon?” (unfortunately not) and, “Are we ready to go with Romney or Huckabee who have no experience in foreign or military affairs?” Once again, Rudy will profit from the shift in focus his defeat in the early contests will trigger.

Of course, the real question that will determine Giuliani’s fate is how seriously we take the threat of terrorism. There is no reason to nominate Giuliani except for his demonstrated ability to fight terrorism. This threat is the only way a Republican can win and Rudy has a huge edge in making terrorism his issue. But the subject has been virtually absent from the Republican debates of late and the national discourse. Rudy needs to get that fixed if he is to have a chance to recover from early defeats.

But recover they both likely will. Remember how Gary Hart beat Mondale in New Hampshire in 1984 and Mondale came back to win? And how Paul Tsongas beat Clinton there in 1992 and Clinton eventually won? And how McCain defeated Bush in New Hampshire in 2000 but how Bush came back to win? Different year. New candidates. Same deal.

Others agree:

“There’s a new term this year in the political lexicon: ‘momentum-proof,'” writes Charlie Cook of the nationaljournal.com in an Off to the Races post titled Hey, Mo! Early State Victories May Not Figure Into Who Wins Nomination Nods

It was coined a few weeks ago by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s top strategists to make the point that their candidate’s support in the states that come after Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina was sufficiently large enough that he could lose in the early states and still hold on to win enough delegates to capture the GOP presidential nomination.

While no candidate has lost the first four contests and come back to win the nomination, Giuliani’s handlers made a case that this was plausible, and it could turn out to be true. Indeed, itmay be even more likely now than it was when Giuliani’s people first articulated it.

If former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney loses the Iowa caucuses to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee or wins unimpressively, and if subsequent victories in his next-door-neighbor state of New Hampshire and his native state of Michigan ring a little hollow because they are viewed as home games for Romney, Giuliani might be able to mount a successful comeback.

While Giuliani has been hit with some tough and potentially damaging stories about his personal life and expenditures during his tenure as mayor in recent days, it hasn’t been a good time for Romney, either.

If Huckabee had resources and a real organization, this would be the perfect scenario. But he doesn’t, and it isn’t clear that he’ll get them in the next month. If Romney has an ace in the hole, it’s that he will be in a position to outspend Huckabee by a 20-to-1 ratio over the next month — more if necessary. Any Romney victory may require him to win ugly.

The sharp delineation between Romney, the front-runner in the first three or four states, and Giuliani, who leads most other places, makes this race so confounding and wonderful. Historical nomination patterns are being challenged …

We drew the same conclusions weeks and weeks ago. Should it please us that others finally—finally!—are beginning to see through the Romney fog? Well, it does. See:

Update, 12.8: Patrick Ruffini also agrees with us. See Mitt/Hick fight helps Rudy.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“It’s getting increasingly hard for Mitt Romney to stick to the script about his record,” writes the estimable Jennifer Rubin for the New York Observer in an article titled A Bad Fight for Mitt Romney

As he traveled through chilly New Hampshire on his post-Thanksgiving campaign tour, he found himself in a toe-to-toe fight with Rudy Giuliani about their respective records.

This is particularly dangerous territory for the Romney campaign.

In broad strokes, Mr. Romney should be happy to tout his executive experience – which he contends Hillary Clinton and many of his opponents sorely lack – as a business executive, Olympics chairman and Governor. But the details of his Massachusetts record are problematic, especially in New Hampshire, where many voters are Massachusetts transplants or live within the Boston media market. Indeed, the more specific the arguments get, the worse they are for Mr. Romney.

The problems start with his immigration stance … The Annenberg Center’s factcheck.org confirmed that Mr. Romney’s plan was a last-minute gambit that never went into effect and that he had a handful of his own sanctuary cities. The result: his latest immigration ad mentions neither issue.

Likewise he has been challenged on his economic record. Mr. Romney contends he “never raised” taxes and balanced the budget despite a liberal legislature. However, that provided an opportunity for the Giuliani campaign to talk about Mr. Romney’s “C” rating from the CATO institute, his failure to deliver on his promised reduction of state income taxes and his efforts to raise revenue by “closing loopholes” in the tax code.

Most troublesome for Mr. Romney is his record on healthcare. Mr. Romney trumpeted his record of achieving near universal healthcare with “no taxes.” Mr. Giuliani and other Republican rivals responded by pointing out that the “no tax” plan sounded quite a bit like Hillary Clinton’s health care plan and included fines on businesses and individuals who did not comply with the mandate to buy insurance. Meanwhile, Fred Thompson and other pro-life rivals were more than happy to highlight another feature of Mr. Romney’s healthcare plan: subsidized abortion services.

And this weekend, Mr. Giuliani seized on a Romney-appointed judge’s decision to release a convicted murder (who proceeded to kill a newlywed couple) as an opportunity to label his rival as weak on crime. Mr. Giuliani produced FBI crime statistics to argue that murders went up over 7 percent during Mr. Romney’s tenure. Mr. Romney shot back that crime rates overall decreased (by over 8 percent). But still, comparing crime-reduction records with Rudy Giuliani is surely an activity the Romney campaign will want to move on from as quickly as possible … etc., etc.

In an NRO The Corner post, Andy McCarthy comments on Romney’s bitter and personal attacks on Mayor Giuliani:

… I am a declared Rudy guy who likes Mitt, so I’m not enjoying the cross-fire. But after reading Byron’s piece, I gotta say I’m surprised — and offended — that Mitt claims voters are worried about a candidate who has “been married more than once.”

Like Ronald Reagan, I’ve been married twice. So have a lot of people. It’s to his great credit and good fortune that Mitt found the right person at a young age and has obviously enjoyed an enduring, wonderful marriage. But, y’know, Bill Clinton’s only been married once, too. Does Mitt really think there is upside in playing this game? I think he’s gonna turn off many more people than he’ll appeal to. It’s not the sort of thing people base their vote on, but I liked him less after reading it than I did before …

Also see:

Mayor Giuliani: “Romney fail[ed] as governor of Massachusetts to lower taxes, [failed to] fight illegal immigration, and [failed to] stand by politically tarnished allies and friends”

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“HAMPTON, N.H. — Mayor Giuliani is attacking his closest rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, for failing as governor of Massachusetts to lower taxes, fight illegal immigration, and stand by politically tarnished allies and friends,” writes SETH GITELL for the New York Sun in an article titled Mayor Giuliani Attacks Romney on Record as Mass. Governor

Mr. Giuliani embarked on two-day bus tour across the Granite State over the weekend as a political controversy surrounding Mr. Romney rippled across New England.Prosecutors in Washington State have charged Daniel Tavares Jr. — who was freed in July by a Massachusetts Superior Court judge appointed by Mr. Romney, Kathe Tuttman — in connection with the murder of Brian and Beverly Mauck. The story has played out on the front page of a local tabloid, the Boston Herald, whose reach extends into the voter-rich districts of southern New Hampshire, where Mr. Giuliani campaigned yesterday.

On Saturday, Mr. Giuliani told the Associated Press that Mr. Romney would “have to explain his appointment” … etc.

Remarks:

Why does Mayor Giuliani call out Romney directly when Romney himself couches his bitter attacks on Mayor Giuliani in expressions of friendship and affection (see here)? Because he can. Mayor Giuliani’s negatives are far lower and he is a nationally respected figure in his own right, apart from the primary process.Can Mayor Giuliani win NH? Probably not. But he doesn’t need to. The Giuliani campaign’s task at this stage, pre-Florida, is simply to further diminish Romney’s ROI for his every campaign dollar by

(a) placing NH back into play such that Romney must spend more and more money to defend his lead; see:

Sargent: “[Grrrr-Romney] was spending $100,000 a week through October, and he’s now upped the ante to $200,000 a week [in NH]”

(b) raising Romney’s already ultra-high negatives

Giuliani’s strategy? See here:

how hizzoner brings the fight to Romney—Romney caught in a punic pincer

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“With rival Rudy Giuliani also spending the weekend in the Granite State, Mitt Romney called the former New York mayor a ‘friend,’ but said he said he ‘left a bit of a problem’ in New York City by leaving a three billion dollar deficit,” writes the cerebral and remote Sareena Dalla, the New Hampshire Producer for CNN, in an article for the CNN Political Ticker titled Romney attacks Giuliani’s fiscal record

“Mayor Giuliani is a friend of mine, I think he is a good man, the former Massachusetts governor said. “And I know he did a good job as mayor of New York City, but on spending and fiscal matters, they left a bit of a problem there, because when he came in, there was a budget gap, but when he left, he left a budget gap twice as big as the one he inherited – over three billion dollars” … etc.

Note the sniveling language: “Mayor Giuliani is a friend of mine, I think he is a good man.” Recent events have taught Team Romney the painful lesson that their their candidate’s ultra-high negatives and cold, remote demeanor will not support a negative message. Their solution—strangely, unbelievably—is to couch their bitter attacks in expressions of friendship and affection, a gesture redolent of a mafiosi kiss of death.

But what about Romney’s record?

“Anti-tax advocates are scrutinizing Mitt Romney’s (R) record as governor of Massachusetts and focusing on the fact that he increased fees in the state by $500 million and proposed nearly $400 million in business tax increases,” writes Alexander Bolton in a thehill.com release titled Romney’s tax record gets a closer look

This could erode whatever advantage on tax policy he hopes to have over 2008 presidential rivals such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (R).

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, published a fiscal-policy report card for 2006 that gave Romney a C grade, ranking him behind 11 other governors, including Democratic White House hopeful Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico.

Cato found that Romney increased annual state fees by $500 million as governor and proposed two corporate tax increases totaling close to $400 million a year.

When he took office, Romney faced a budget deficit of $3.2 billion, which he eliminated. He did not hike personal income or sales taxes. He is now highlighting his efforts to cut Massachusetts’s income tax rate from 5.3 percent to 5 percent and his successful shepherding of a $250 million capital gains tax refund through the Democrat-dominated state legislature.

But he increased fees for getting married, buying a house, bringing a case to court, and using a public golf course, to name a few reported examples. However, in a move that could prove controversial with social conservatives, Romney decided not to raise fees for convicted sex offenders. He vetoed a $75 fee for offenders required by law to register with the state.

“Romney’s people are trying to spin this by saying he kept his ‘No new taxes’ pledge,” said Stephen Slivinski, director of budget studies at Cato. “I guess if you consider only personal income taxes and sales taxes, he’s within bounds. If you take a broader view, he is not.

“The spirit of [anti-tax pledges] is to force governors to find more innovative ways of funding government,” he added. “If the spirit is to save money before you increase revenues, I don’t think Romney has held to the spirit of the no-new-tax pledge.”

Slivinski said he based his report on publications by Tax Analysts, a non-partisan group that tracks state and federal tax activity, and by the National Conference of State Legislatures … etc.

Also see:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Klein hits on the prime issue regarding Romney and the NRLC. Romney, for all his business skill, is too good of a salesman. People watch his debates from 1994 and 2002 and don’t just see someone promising to uphold the law, but someone who is not only persuasive, but passionate and convincing. Now, fast forward to this year, you have Romney passionately and convincingly arguing for the pro life cause,” writes the estimable Tommy Oliver as he attempts to divine the intentions of the NRLC board of governors in a race42008.com post titled National Right to Life Committee to Endorse Fred Thompson, Here [be] why ...

eye of eyeon08.com, OTOH, speculates on the meaning of the endorsement itself in a post titled NRLC goes with Fred Thompson

… It has been conventional wisdom for a while that Romney and Thompson are fighting over the same voters. You can expect the mailboxes and phones of those voters to light up with detailed explanations of why Mitt Romney is not the right man to be president, or at least our nominee. From a very credible outside group. I have long asked who is actually going to attack Romney. We have our answer. In the end, this will move numbers.

On a deeper level, though, one wonders if this is a split in the conservative movement. With so many people going so many different ways, a shatter seems inevitable. There are a number of endorsements left, but you almost wonder if this is a direct challenge to James Dobson. Does Dobson dare to come out now, challenging NRLC and setting up a deep split? After all, Dobson actually can move votes and money, as can NRLC. But if the ultimate goal is to stop Rudy, then perhaps they need, at least, implicit agreement.

The other question is what happens if Romney really fights for this turf. Can he undermine the interest groups? Can he go back to his pragmatic self after his strange rightward lurch[?] …. etc.

Team Romney has failed at every task it set for itself—e.g. it has failed to secure its right flank, and it has failed to consolidate the religious right. It clings tenaciously to its “early state” strategy, but this move by the NRLC—a move that “has juice” according to eye, as it comes with money, volunteers, and organizational resources on the ground—could effectively open another front for Romney in Iowa and even New Hampshire, especially if it forces Dr. Dobson’s hand.

Fascinating, wouldn’t you say? Why, it’s almost as if Romney faces a rival who has mastered the art of dividing his opposition. But no, this couldn’t be. A far simpler hypothesis: Romney has failed, and continues to fail, to make his case.

but still

how hizzoner brings the fight to Romney—Romney caught in a punic pincer

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. Also see:

Giuliani can win without S.C., campaign says—yes, OK, this is true on its face, but here is what the campaign is not telling you—they are active in the early states, including SC, only indirectly, as evidenced above. To understand the former Mayor of NYC, you need to understand the Byzantine character of NYC politics and the art of balancing players off of one another. Romney, the data-driven, linear-thinker, now faces his point-for-point antithesis. Romney has no idea what he’s up against.





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