Monday, January 14, 2008

The Rudy "Strategery"

For months now, I've written several posts on Rudy's big-state "strategery" and how it was the most effective one given the (a) delegate math; (b) new, front-loaded primary schedule; and (c) lack of a clear primary challenger against him. National Review columnist Rich Lowery, a Romney backer, offers his thoughts on it here.

I'll admit that I've been feeling frustrated these last few days, something I should have prepared myself for earlier knowing that Rudy was putting much of his hopes on winning Florida and backing away from the earlier states, so seeing Candidate A or B winning the first few contests and seeing Rudy slip in the polls hasn't been fun. On the other hand, I refuse to think that the sky is falling for Rudy in such a scrambled race at this point, given how all the talking heads have been proven so wrong. After Hillary's loss in Iowa, the MSM was already gearing up to write (and in some cases, did write) her political obit. Even her own campaign was spinning about her upcoming loss last Tuesday, and yet she still won in New Hampshire. After Romney lost both Iowa and New Hampshire, the conventional wisdom (which even I speculated) was that he was done for, and now he has a slight lead in the polls against McCain in Michigan, with the voters going to the polls later today. Heck, as of last summer, everyone was saying that McCain's campaign was over, and in September, Thompson looked like to be the Savior of the GOP to some. Frankly, it's been decades since both parties have had such topsy-turvy primary races.

Right now, the RCP average in Florida shows a dead heat between Rudy and McCain, with McCain obviously receiving a nice bounce from his win last week, and it goes without question that McCain's bounce is at Rudy's expense, as Huckabee's bounce was at Romney's and Thompson's expense. However, we still have two weeks to go between now and Florida, with Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina all between. From all of the relatives and friends I know in Florida, they all tell me that the only ads they're seeing down there are for Rudy, which certainly bodes well for the former mayor as all the other candidates are splitting their ads and money between two to three states. If McCain loses or comes in close tomorrow in Michigan, his bounce will surely end, and if he does manage to win by a good margin tomorrow, his old adversaries will surely come back to haunt him. Granted, I'm not a big fan of fellow party members viciously attacking any GOP candidates, as any one of them could be the nominee, and whoever that is, the party should come behind him and do everything it can to help him win in November (Note: There is a difference in promoting your candidate of choice and showcasing the other's policy differences and/or potential weaknesses, but not to the point of completely trashing them, as frankly, all of the major GOP candidates would be far better than Hillary or Obama). But, because of all the dynamics and possibilities, plus "front-runner" backlash, this race remains very much wide open, and that's exactly where Rudy's campaign wants it in the run up to Florida. As I always say, we shall see...

UPDATE: Clips like these certainly keep my hopes up:

UPDATE 2: Jon Voight, one of my favorite actors of all time, endorsed Rudy today!

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