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Rudy’s secret strategy? (You’re getting warmer...)

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Rick Horowitz
January 22, 2008

Sheer genius—that’s what it is!


We’ve been—I’ve been—underestimating the man, picking at his pokey poll numbers, laughing at his lack of progress. As if we had a clue what he was really up to!


Rudy Giuliani, we owe you an apology. The bloviating class—pundits and prognosticators, the entire political commentariat—has been having a grand old time criticizing you for the unusual (not to say bizarre) way you’ve gone after the Grand Old Party’s presidential nomination.


The slams have been pretty much nonstop, but have you fired back?


You have not.


Instead, you’ve kept at it—day after day, week after week—marching to the beat of your own distant drummer. Legendarily combative, you’ve held your tongue as the carping continues, as the rest of the Republican field catches you, and even passes you. You could have gone red-faced, screaming insults back at your critics.


You have not.


More like a nice light brown.


It’s Rudy’s Winter Vacation, and we’ve all been had! “America’s Mayor” has been spending every waking hour in just one little corner of America: Florida. He pulled out of Iowa. He pulled out of New Hampshire. He barely bothered with Michigan, or Nevada, or Wyoming, or South Carolina. While Huckabee and Romney and McCain were piling up their victories, Rudy was out of the picture.


Most presidential contenders would have considered it embarrassing to finish behind Ron Paul. Not our Rudy.


“He’s not getting any delegates!” the wise men cry.


No, but he’s catching plenty of rays.


Frostbitten northerners have been heading south for the winter for generations. But it took the brilliance of Rudy Giuliani to take an escape to the Sunshine State and pass it off as a campaign for the White House.


Sure, there’s a cover story. There had to be a cover story. You can’t just up and leave your busy business schedule—not to mention your fellow suffering New Yorkers—behind when the weather turns foul. You have to have a reason, a reason bigger than yourself.


Disney World. Protecting America. Something like that.


So you run for president. Now, a lot of people who run for president still find themselves tromping through snowdrifts up north. It’s just the way the caucus and primary schedule sets up: the cold states come first. That’s great if you’re into ice fishing. Not so great if you’re not.


Rudy Giuliani is not into ice fishing.


So there has to be a strategy—not just a cover story, but a strategy, too. How about a “Divided Field, Focus on the Big States” strategy? You say to your supporters: “What if a bunch of different candidates win the early contests, so that even after a month of voting, there’s still no clear front-runner? And what if, while all those other candidates have been spending their time and their millions everywhere else fighting over those small-state scraps, I’ve had Florida all to myself? If I win Florida, with all those delegates, I’m right back in the thick of things!”


It sounds plausible. It’s never happened before; it’s never come close to happening before—but hey, there’s a first time for everything, and from the looks of things so far this year, this might be just that time. Who better than Rudy Giuliani to give it a whirl?

If it happens, great. And if it doesn’t? No big deal.


He had a plan. And he’ll have a tan.


Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at rickhoro@execpc.com.

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