“[Mayor] Giuliani is going to have to step up and begin to empty his treasury and advertise if he wants to catch Romney. This is my opinion about this part of the political season: Once [Mayor] Giuliani finally starts to spend his money on advertizing, it will be the beginning of the end for him” argues some guy named Vic Lunquist in an electromneyin2008.com post titled The Beginning of The End of the Giuliani Campaign?

Apparently Lunquist is neither an operative, activist, nor an analyst of any sort. To his credit he characterizes his claims as opinion as opposed to inferences or conclusions drawn from data:

… Mr. Giuliani is going to have to step up and begin to empty his treasury and advertise if he wants to catch Governor Romney. This is my opinion about this part of the political season: Once Giuliani finally starts to spend his money on advertizing, it will be the beginning of the end for him …

Lunquist bases his opinion on a syndicated article by Russel Berman titled Giuliani’s Hold on Lead Spot Is Eroding. Berman bases his own opinion on a conflation between national standing and local polling. Berman claims, and he cites others as claiming, that Romney is the true—as opposed to the apparent—front-runner as polls at the moment depict Romney as poised to take both New Hampshire and Iowa. The article reduces to an uncritical endorsement of Romney’s early-state strategy disguised as analysis.

But even the most generous reading of Berman’s “analysis” hardly supports Lunquist’s conclusion:

“Once Giuliani opens up his treasury to advertise in order to catch Romney,” argues Lunquist, “it will be the beginning of the end of his campaign. Gov. Romney will simply eclipse him in every way from that point forward. Rudy has been playing the game his way. Once he shifts course and decides to play the game Governor Romney’s way, Giuliani is done. Rudy Giuliani simply does not have the national organization or treasury to compete with the likes of Gov. Romney. All year, America has been slowly awakening to the fact that Governor Romney is the superior leader by comparison. Unfortunately for Giuliani, he is just now waking up to the fact that he may have been ambushed both strategically and tactically” … etc.

Um, right. Various responsa, comments:

(1) First observation: The Romneys and their entourage have never been known for their prudence, temperance, moderation, or subtlety. Even so, you sort of have to wonder why the Romneys are trying so hard to retail this GAME OVER! WE WIN! WE ADVISE THE OTHER CANDIDATES TO GO HOME theme.

Way to manage expectations.

Now what happens if Romney fails, or fails to win overwhelmingly or decisively in either New Hampshire or Iowa?

(2) Note the groveling, courtier stance of the writer, i.e. this strange obsession with the person of Romney that you frequently encounter among Romney supporters. Note the flattering-courtier language:

“Rudy Giuliani simply does not have the national organization or treasury to compete with the likes of Gov. Romney. All year, America has been slowly awakening to the fact that Governor Romney is the superior leader by comparison. Unfortunately for Giuliani, he is just now waking up to the fact that he may have been ambushed both strategically and tactically.”

Compare Lunquist’s fawning prose to this example we found on a Kim Jong Il tribute page:

Kim Jong Il is a great thinker and theoretician, a great statesman, a great man and the sun of the 21st century. His thought, statesmanship and achievements, all of them reach the acme of charm.

Anyone cannot but be captivated by his greatness as an outstanding thinker and theoretician when recollecting a few facts such as the programme of modeling the whole society on the Juche idea, the idea and theory on global independence, the socialist idea and theory of the present times and the idea and theory on the Songun politics.

(3) Follow Lunquist’s reasoning. (i) Mayor Giuliani has fallen behind in the early-state primaries; (ii) he will therefore lose; However (iii): “Once Giuliani opens up his treasury to advertise in order to catch Romney, it will be the beginning of the end of his campaign,” because “Rudy Giuliani simply does not have the national organization or treasury to compete with the likes of Gov. Romney.”

Conclusion: Mayor Giuliani is damned if he does, and he’s damned if he doesn’t. Either way, he loses. Hence, the game is over.

(4) Lunquist’s argument is based on questionable assumptions.

Assumption (i): Romney has concentrated his efforts on the early states, hence: the early states are what you should concentrate on. It is not simply a strategy, it is the strategy. This is not so much an assumption as it is a projection. (Romney did it. So it must be right.)

Assumption (ii): Romney has spent months and upwards of US$20,000,000.00 on his early-state strategy. Hence: it will cost Mayor Guiliani at least as much in terms of time and treasure to capture leads in either state. Assumption (ii) is also a projection in the form of a generalization from Romney’s own experience.

Assumption (iii): There are no other players on the field—none—in this universe, e.g. Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain do not exist—the race is between Mayor Giuliani and Romney.

(5) Assumption (i) is risible on its face. Yes, there are other strategies. If an early state strategy were the only strategy then why should anyone ever campaign outside of New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina etc.? See:

Romney’s early state strategy; an investigation
Romney’s early state strategy—an addendum

Also: an abridged primary calendar decreases the importance of these states—the perception of momentum takes time to develop.

Assumption (ii) boggles the mind. No, it does not follow that because Romney has spent months and upwards of US$20,000,000.00 on his early-state strategy that he cannot be deprived of his leads in an instant—within days, perhaps hours—by his rivals. Romney’s appalling ROI is unprecedented and unshared by his rivals. See:

Even the most underfunded and un- or under-organized of the other campaigns enjoy a higher ROI for every campaign dollar than Romney. Here would be an example of an under-funded, under-organized campaign drawing blood from the Romneys almost effortlessly:

eyeon08.com: “[Huckabee’s] authenticity and Romney’s phoniness seems to have stopped Romney’s forward momentum”

This means that other campaigns are capable of achieving far more with far less—and have—and will again.

(6) Contra assumption (iii), there are players other than Mayor Giuliani in this race. Gov. Huckabee is increasingly competitive in Iowa and has consolidated the religious right. See:

Sen. McCain will contest New Hampshire, and Mayor Giuliani is active in Michigan and South Carolina. Precisely because Mayor Giuliani continues to lead in the polls nationally and to lead in the delegate rich larger states, he enjoys strategic depth—i.e. he can allow other candidates to disperse Romney’s energies and hold Romney to at best a split or unclear decision in the early state primaries. In other words, contra Lunquist, Mayor Giuliani does not need to win in the early state primaries. He doesn’t even need to fight a holding action in the early state primaries. He only needs to allow others to fight a holding action in the early state primaries—which is what they will do anyway. In this way Giuliani conserves his own strength even as Romney nails himself insensibly to the cross of his own early-state strategy, disperses his energies fighting off several other campaigners, and hemorrhages further millions of his own money.

Further: Romney is perceived as the front-runner in Iowa, New Hampshire etc. He is the one whom the other candidates will position as their foils, will draw distinctions against. For evidence and analysis see:

We have no idea who Lunquist is. Our intuition: he is a random Romney supporter issuing opinions on the fly. But: we hope and pray that his remarks represents the thinking of the Romneys. 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. 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.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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