Posts Tagged ‘nationaljournal.com’

“[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.





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