Archive for the ‘National News’ Category

SC Sets Table for Giuliani in FL

January 21, 2008

OK.  I guess it was too much to hope for a Thompson win in SC.  A McCain win is almost as good, though.

The GOP electorate has been experimenting with their non-McCain options since voting has started.  Everyone has been auditioned except our man.  Hizzoner remains only two points off the lead in the most recent Quinnipiac poll in FL, though, and as the results from everything post-Florida begin to sink in, the Huckster’s numbers should surely decline.

Thus the Mayor has a very real chance of winning FL, which was the plan all along.  Of course, I don’t think anyone imagined the average GOP voter would be so eager to give McCain a pass on the summer immigration flap.  Apparently it is so.  Remember those halcyon days when we all wrote off his campaign?  Would that it were so.

Again, the “surge” strategy has been set up about as well as it could have been.  For Team Rudy, I mean, not Iraq.  A week from tomorrow, we’ll know for sure if DuHaime will be writing a book, or looking for a job running a town supervisor campaign in Long Island.

I am biased, of course, but I still expect all of us to wake up on Feb. 5 with Mayor Giuliani in possession of a delegate lead, or at least very near the lead.  Then things are going to get interesting…

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Rudy Ascendant: Don’t Take My Word For It

January 10, 2008

Take the word of Patrick Basham from the Cato Institute in thisNRO piece, or thisCNBC video. [can’t find an embed code. sorry]  To my knowledge, he has not been a Giuliani water-bearer like yours truely.

One observation he makes in the NRO article that I did not in the post below:  All the ads in early primary states currently run by McCain, Romney, and Huckabee– many of them negative– cost money.  That’s an obvious problem.  What I had not thought about is how they’ve also allowed Hizzoner to appear less irascible and divisive.

That was supposed to be one of his weaknesses, remember?  That he was a real SOB, and while people like me may view that as a feature many people think it’s a bug.  But for close to a month, now, it’s all the other candidates that have been acting like political streetfighters.  Mayor Giuliani, on the other hand, has stood by appearing sober and above the fray.

Dare I say “Presidential”?

Perspective? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Perspective!

January 4, 2008

Last night’s results, actually, were perfect for the Giuliani campaign given they elected to forgoe spending seven million dollars in an attempt to kiss up to every Iowan with a pulse.

Romney was dealt a huge defeat.  By his own campaign’s admission IA and/or NH were hugely important to them.  They spent the ethanol farm on IA, and lost.  And NH isn’t looking good.  But that man is stuffed to the gills with venture capital, so he’ll still fight on to Super Duper Tuesday.

Thompson and McCain did OK, encouraging them to stay in the race.

Ron Paul didn’t surprise anyone with a particularly impressive showing.

So it looks like last night Team Rudy got the result they needed.  There will not be any one candidate piling up victories and delegates before Florida, and Florida is where the Giuliani team has planted their flag.

So Team Rudy will get to FL, where our man still leads in all polls.  The only candidate coming on strong is the Huck.  If the Huckster can win Florida, we’re all doomed.

Rudy wins Florida, though, and then piles up some delegates from NY, NJ, DE, CA and others on Tsunami Tuesday, then the national strategy will be vindicated.  And his campaign team can then make some money on a book.

The important thing to note, though, is last night’s results were the first empirical confirmation of the national stragegy’s political viability.

Brownback to Romney: Bite Me

October 26, 2007

Well, Sam Brownback’s supporters may find the language in this title’s post a little beyond the pale.  But that’s sort of what it seems like.

Hizzoner and Sam have met, and Gov. Brownback left calling Mayor Giuliani an “excellent leader”.  At least one reporter with the Washington Post thought Brownback “[S]eemed on the verge of backing [Giuliani]”.  Link here.

The picture below is also from that piece, and while it was taken in June it does seem delicious in the current context, no?  If I were Team Giuliani I certainly wouldn’t count my chickens before they’re hatched on this one, but even if Sam decided to back the Huck or McCain, it remains a partial victory that the one candidate Sam is apparently not considering for an endorsement is Romney.

Mitt Romney’s brain: “Can’t these darn GOP voters see that I’ve fine-tuned my internal poli-software to mirror the polling of the GOP electorate circa 2005?  I wonder how large a donation I have to make to myself NOW…”

Re: New Hampshire Turns to Rudy

September 27, 2007

You beat me to it, Ohio.  Here I was reading some blogs before calling Australia for work, and figured I’d get the jump on all of you.

Of course, this is entirely expected.  Rudy actually started investing in the Granite State’s primary a month or so ago, and now Mitt only has outspent team Giuliani by a factor of 10 rather than 100.

May I also gleefully point out that NH is awfully close to the Commonwealth Romney governed?  Mitt’s campaign has always said “The more people learn about Romney, the more they like him.”  Well, that certainly doesn’t appear to be the case in NH.

A Few Notes re. Advertising, MoveOn, and the NYT

September 14, 2007

There has been some suspicion in the blogosphere about the rate MoveOn paid for that loathsome ad they placed Monday with the NYT calling Petraeus a treasonous liar.  They apparently received a huge discount, and people think the Times clearly gave it to them because they’re sympathetic to MoveOn.

The Times counters that this was sort of a standard discount deal for a non-profit, black and white “standby” ad.  What they mean by standby is “We have this space we tried to sell to someone who will pay full price, but can’t.  So since things are already laid out such that this space exists, we’ll sell it to you on extraordinarily short notice for a song.”

I’ve worked in advertising, and I think the blogosphere is suspicious for the wrong reasons, and the Times is fibbing.  Thing is, a publication that is desperate to sell something to *anybody* will slash their rates so often that the published open rate is pretty much a fiction, except for people with lots of money willing to pay it so that they are consistently treated very well when it comes to placement and potential “value added”, which means free stuff.

My theory is the rate MoveOn paid is really an indicator of how desperate the Times is to sell ad space.  Their circulation is plummeting, and advertisers are sprinting as fast as they can from newspaper investment generally.  Conspiracy theorists counter that the timing of the MoveOn ad indicates they knew all along when the ad would appear, so standby or remnant pricing can’t be the reason.  I counter what this really means is the Times is so awash in standby opportunities that MoveOn could be reasonably sure their insertion would appear at about the right time.

So the Giuliani campaign is right to call out the Times on this, demanding similar pricing for a one-off insertion, butI bet they aren’t getting that much of a deal.

The real takeaway is still good, though:  The New York Times is likely to discount heavily for anyone because their business is sucking wind.

And now you also know why I am so thrilled I no longer flog paper advertising, making money mostly off the ignorant and the credulous.

Team Rudy Response To MoveOn in NYT

September 14, 2007

Fred is In, Yawns Ensue; Rudy Wins Another Debate

September 6, 2007

Thompson announced his candidacy on Jay Leno’s program last night, apparently feeling that is a more appropriate place for him to be than an actual debate.  Thompson claimed the Leno show would be harder, anyway, than a GOP debate.  We’ll see.

By most estimatations, Giuliani did great last night at the debate.  He is handicapped now in that his performance in these debates excepting the first one has been so strong that he is judged against himself, rather than the weak compeition.  So while Hizzoner clearly won, pundits seem to think McCain did himself the most good as he most exceeded expectations.  Given how low those expectations have become, I imagine Team Giuliani is pretty happy.

Romney looked plain lame on foreign policy, getting zinged by McCain for saying the surge is “apparently” working.  I imagine team Giuliani was also happy about this, as the dueling press releases behind the scenes seems to suggest the campaign’s respective strategists are beginning to view this as a Giuliani / Romney race.

My only controversial observation thus far?  Giuliani could close this race tomorrow by annoucing Thompson as his veep.  Romney could at least keep it an open question by doing the same.

Club For Growth White Papers: Rudy vs. Mitt

August 23, 2007

Y’all may remember a while back when the Club for Growth issued its white paper on Hizzoner.  It was not an unmitigated rave, but they were impressed not only with his pro-growth bona fides, but also his tenacity in getting them successfully enacted in a political environment inimical to any policy to the right of Che Guevara.

Well, they issued a Romney white paper recently, and it is a similar situation.  What they don’t like about Rudy pretty well matches up with what they don’t like about Romney.  Thing is, the overall tone of Romney’s review is much less laudatory, containing missives like “His landmark steps in the health care arena also exhibit a mixture of desirable pro-free market efforts combined with a regrettable willingness to accept, if not embrace, a massive new regulatory regime.”

It concludes with “…[W]e are reasonably optimistic that, as President, Mitt Romney would generally advocate a pro-growth agenda.”  Does that seem pretty tepid to everyone else?  “reasonably optimistic” and “generally advocate” sure seem like damning with faint praise.

Why the different tone, when the records are somewhat similar?  I mean, Rudy’s record is better.  Clearly.  But some could plausibly argue that’s a product of the fact that Hizzoner simply governed longer.

I think it comes down to believability.  On all the issues Giuliani strikes people, at worst, as merely attempting to massage potentially problematical policy positions so they are less heretical to GOP purists.  But he doesn’t try to sell a full-on conversion.  On abortion, for example, he’s not trying to emulate Ralph Reid.  On guns, he emphasizes Federalism rather than trying to channel the late Charleton Heston.

Romney, on the other hand, has never had a change of heart damaging to his ambition.  I guess God has blessed him with a politically timely conscience.  So in this particular case, for example, the Club for Growth knows Giuliani has a great pro-growth record, and will move forward with that, even if occasionally his administration differs on the details the the Club’s platform.

With Romney, though, who knows?  I guess it comes down to the flip-flop thing, but it’s more nuanced than that.  It’s just that Romney’s flips are so magnificently convenient, and have the stink of manipulative transparency about them.

Rudy will sometimes say “If you can’t handle my position on this issue, then you’re going to have to vote for someone else.”  Mitt seems like he would rather dance with a hungry crocodile than say something like that.

1st Foreign Affairs, Now Reason

August 21, 2007

Seems Hizzoner is moonlighting as a pundit.  First he did a piece for Foreign Affairs magazine.  Now he has an op-ed up at the Reason Foundation site.  NY Post commentary here.

He works the executive competence angle at Reason, which is how the law and order mayor can win the libertarian right.  Nothing new to us, of course.  Eventually, though, people who keep saying “all Rudy has is 9/11” will notice that Giuliani rarely discusses that awful day.  Don’t those smooth-brains understand?  He doesn’t NEED to.