Rudy = FAIL

The best thing about all of the chatter about Rudy Giuliani running for NY governor, which I don’t think is going to happen, is that we get to relive THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED IN 2008 over and over and over again:

One of the most spectacular failures in presidential-primary history concluded on January 30, 2008. That was the day Rudy Giuliani, fresh from his 15 percent, third-place showing in the Florida Republican primary, appeared next to John McCain and announced he was dropping out and endorsing his former rival as the best man for the job. “Obviously, I thought I was that person,” Rudy said at the time. “The voters made another choice.”

No one—not John McCain, not Bill Clinton—walked away from the 2008 presidential campaign as diminished as Rudy Giuliani. He entered the campaign with one of the most valuable brands in American politics and drove it straight into a tree. It’s hard to chronicle all the embarrassments: the Kerik indictment, the stories about taxpayer funds spent for his then-girlfriend Judith Nathan’s security; that bizarre cell-phone call he took from Nathan during a 2007 speech to the NRA.

And then there was his cockamamy campaign strategy, in which he sat out the Iowa caucuses, skipping a contest that riveted the world for a month, and competed halfheartedly in New Hampshire and South Carolina. By the time he made his infamous last stand in Florida, hoping that weeks of appearances at NASCAR tracks and Little Havana parades could make up for the ground he’d lost, it was too late.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/26/09 at 07:09 AM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '08Giuliani is a JerkSkull Hampers

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Giuliani’s campaign has to go down as one of the more spectacular flame-outs ever. And that cell phone call—OMFG, painfully embarrassing and dumb.

The best part about the ‘08 primaries was that, finally, the nation at-large got to see first-hand what NYers knew for years—that Rudy was out of his cousin-fucking mind.

And then there was his cockamamy campaign strategy, in which he sat out the Iowa caucuses, skipping a contest that riveted the world for a month, and competed halfheartedly in New Hampshire and South Carolina. By the time he made his infamous last stand in Florida, hoping that weeks of appearances at NASCAR tracks and Little Havana parades could make up for the ground he’d lost, it was too late.

I don’t know why, but I still feel compelled to point out that this meme is total bullshit. Rudy had no chance at all of even putting up a respectable second in Iowa or South Carolina, and New Hampshire would have been an uphill battle against Romney and McCain, absent a total collapse from the latter. So with what looked like it could be a 4 or 5 horse race, the Giuliani campaign bet that neither Romney nor McCain would be able to win 2 out of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, preferably with Romney winning New Hampshire, and Huckabee winning Iowa and South Carolina. Obviously it didn’t work, because McCain won South Carolina and New Hampshire, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong strategy.

Brien, I get what you’re saying, but I think even lackluster showings in any of the three states you mentioned would have looked a hell of a lot better than essentially backpeddling all the way to Florida . It’s hard to make a case that you’re the best candidate when you admit up front that you’d have a hard time winning in the midwest, the northeast and the south. He basically conceded what a lot of people knew: he’d have a hard time connecting with anyone who wasn’t a New Yorker or a Floridian. And, in the end, he couldn’t even connect with them.

Oh I’m not arguing that Rudy was a good candidate. He had absolutely no chance of winning that nomination, ever. He really should have just stayed out of the race. But that doesn’t mean the strategy he employed wasn’t the best one. It’s sort of like being a football team with a shitty QB; it might not be ideal to throw the ball every play, but if it’s the 4th quarter and you’re down by 20 you don’t really have a choice. Rudy was basically in the same boat; this was the only way he ever had a chance of banking the nomination home.

I think the message he was sending was that the voters in the earlier contests didn’t matter, which was also kind of the message Hillary Clinton sent by not putting up a fight in caucus states and the post-Super Tuesday states (before Texas and Ohio, anyway). Like hers, I’m sure his was a strategy that made sense on paper, but obviously didn’t work. Though I would of course have been much happier with a candidate named Clinton than one named Giuliani.

Has anyone ever sat out (or put little energy into) both Iowa and New Hampshire and won the nomination in either party?

Good question, Kevin. There have certainly been people who have lost those contests and won the nomination, but I don’t think any of them essentially flipped the bird and let everyone know that that was what they were doing.

Has anyone ever sat out (or put little energy into) both Iowa and New Hampshire and won the nomination in either party?

No, but I’m sure there’s been anything comparable to Super Tuesday either.

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