The Mayor, CA, and Bill Simon

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Rudy Giuliani’s old colleague at the Justice Department, Bill Simon, has been on his presidential executive committee for some time.  Today it was announced he will also chair his campaign in CA.

While some campaigns obsess over NH and IA, Team Giuliani knows they matter less than they used to.  While Bill Simon is not some sort of electoral genius when it comes to CA politics, I think it can be safely said it would be shocking if Giuliani did not win the CA GOP primary with both his federalist approach and his support from Simon, who is one of the more popular GOP politicians in the state, and is also what passes for a conservative there.

Like the Vietnam military leaders who were stilling using the WWII and Korean playbook, the other GOP candidates all seem to think building momentum in IA and NH– and maybe SC and FL– is the path to victory.  Team Giuliani knows better.  A lot of states matter, and many of them are very hospitable to the Mayor.  And it’s a losing strategy to spend too much money now in states with only a handful of convention delegates.

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4 Responses to “The Mayor, CA, and Bill Simon”

  1. Luther C. Hardy Says:

    Dear Karlub:

    Once again, you and I are in sync! I have shared with you before my “campaign of the past” vs. the “campaign of the future” and compared it to the proverbial generals who “prepare to fight the last war”. Below is my latest fugue on this melody, written 09 July 2007.

    Cheers,

    Luther
    ______________________________________________________
    Below from the WaPo is about the best “analysis” that one can expect to get from the Liberal Beltway Media Elite on Rudy’s “unorthodox” campaign strategy of downplaying the traditional “early States” of Iowa, New Hampshire, and (recently) South Carolina, in favour of concentrating time and resources in the Mega-States who will hold their primaries between 29 January and 05 February 2008, most notably Florida, California, New York, and New Jersey. As with most such analyses, this one reflects the preparation of the Beltway Media to “cover the last campaign”, just like the proverbial generals who are wont to prepare to “fight the last war”. Virtually all such analyses, in my judgment, suffer from at least two serious glaring errors. Both of these errors may be found in the following excerpt from the piece below:

    “Political experts question the wisdom of such a strategy, wondering how a candidate who doesn’t win or finish strongly in the early states can challenge someone else’s momentum and recover on Feb. 5.

    “Traditionally, Republicans fiercely compete in the early contests and then turn their attention to other states. Even John McCain, bypassing Iowa when he ran against George W. Bush in 2000, fought hard in New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

    The first error may be described as “using history as a guide”. What this analysis misses is that the 2008 campaign will be dramatically different from all those before it. Never before have so many states, with so many delegates at stake, been concentrated so soon after the primaries and caucuses of the three “traditional early states”. At first blush, to the “rational Martian”, i.e., someone whose mind is not burdened by the ghosts of campaigns past, it would seem nothing less than foolish for a candidate to expend resources on contests in three small states when, in such a short period of time thereafter, some 20 states, with more than ten times as many delegates as the first three, will effectively decide the nomination. In any event, it is nothing short of foolish to focus an analysis of this new situation on how “Republicans traditionally compete”.

    The second error is like unto the first in that it also uses history as a guide to muse how a candidate can “recover” from an “unsuccessful” performance in the “early States” in so short a period of time as that between those states’ primaries or caucuses and the voting in the Mega-States. Once again, this approach is essentially “covering the campaigns of the past”, such as George Bush (41) in 1988, Bill Clinton in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, and George Bush (43) in 2000, when those candidates did less well than expected in the early states and then re-grouped, raised more money, and rolled out successful campaigns in the ensuing weeks and months.

    What this “recovery point” misses is that in 2008, there won’t be any “recovery” because the voting in the Mega-States will be determined essentially in a parallel universe from Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. We all know the conventional wisdom that these states feature “retail campaigning”. Well, that’s exactly the point. The results in the Mega-States will be determined by huge, and hugely expensive, mega-campaigning, e.g., television advertising and direct contact campaigns, that will commence sometime around Thanksgiving 2007. Thus, by the time the three “early states” vote or caucus, the mega-campaigns will be well under way, if not already determined. I suppose it’s just possible that if one candidate, such as Mitt Romney or John McCain, were to score a “sweep” in the three early states, this could give that candidate a “bump” in the voting in the Mega-States, but, in my judgment, it would be a long-shot at best for this bump to alter materially the results of the mega-campaigning.

    Of all the Left-leaning Beltway Pundits, the only one who seems to “get it” is Chris Matthews. This is what he said the other day when assessing what might be the effect on Hillary’s campaign if she “lost”, i.e., did less well than expected, in Iowa, New Hampshire, and/or South Carolina (I paraphrase): “Okay, let’s say Hillary loses to Edwards in Iowa and Obama in New Hampshire and/or South Carolina. I can see it now. Bill and Terry McAuliffe will get on a stage with a chart and point to it and say: ‘Okay, these three states have determined these 50 delegates. Now, we move into the real campaign where these 20 states over here will determine these 600 delegates.'”

    My ultimate conclusion: Run Rudy Run!

  2. karlub Says:

    It is entirely possible I stole the Vietnam parallell from you, Luther! If I did, consider yourself hat-tipped.

    Personally, I think it comes down to FL, CA, and TX. Check the polling in those states, I say to those still stubbornly skeptical of Rudy’s chances, and get back to me.

  3. Luther C. Hardy Says:

    Dear Karlub:

    No, no, no, no, Dear Boy! In no way did I intend to suggest that you had stolen the Vietnam parallel from me! Please forgive me if I did so suggest! In fact, it is pretty clear that you did NOT “steal” it from me. I never specifically linked the “preparing to fight the last war” syndrome to the Viet Nam era, even though I am a Viet Nam era Vet.

    Indeed, the syndrome under discussion is much much older than Viet Nam, even tough it certainly did rear its ugly head during that period. The fact that you did and I didn’t link the syndrome specifically to Viet Nam, is in my judgment proof positive of at least two things: (1) The syndrome encompasses many eras and many generals. (2) You and I are very much in sync with respect to the application of the syndrome to the present GOP campaign.

    That’s all I was trying to suggest in pointing out that I had in the past made a similar point to yours: “Great minds run in the same direction!” or “Fools think alike!” Take your pick!

    Cheers,

    Luther

  4. karlub Says:

    No worries. I was joking!

    And you are indeed right about this syndrome being old as the hills. You may know military history better than me, but this started sometime around the Pelopenesian Wars.

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