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How Rudy blew it

Rudy Giuliani
9-11’s largest forehead is on his way out (Joe Crimmings Photography, Flickr)

He campaigned for months, skipped all the primaries ahead of the state, but still only came out with 15 percent: Rudy Giuliani’s “Florida-plan”has blown up spectacularly (the same happened with my prediction for 2008 , some others were terribly wrong, too) As various media have reported, Mr. Giuliani will probably drop out of the race as soon as today and endorse John McCain, the winner of Florida and clear front runner in the field now.

So, what went wrong? Skipping everything until Florida will probably go down in history as the “most stupid attempt to reinvent campaign-tactics ever”. With lack of media praise like Mr. McCain had, Mr. Giuliani was not able do build momentum. Worse, the attention helped Mr. McCain to play the national security card, pretty much like the 9-11-mayor had done before (though, unlike Mr. Giuliani, the senator from Arizona made sure he did not overplay it). As we all know, Mr. McCain and Mr. Giuliani were both fighting for the same socially moderate GOP-crowd – and it looks like Mr. McCain has won them over.

At the same time, the only media headlines about him focused on Mr. Giuliani’s difficult character and his dubious business behavior. With the current mayoral office of New York City suspected to be behind the leak of his obscure semi-private security spending and former members of his mayoral administration making negative comments about the candidate, even his home-backing eroded.

The plan to run for office for people whose views he does not support did (unlike in New York) not work out with the GOP – passive self-defense of his views and private issues made Mr. Giuliani seem like a loner, not like a uniter. His brand would be further damaged if he was to lose to Mr. McCain in New York, as polls suggest – to save his security-consulting-business from being harmed, he has to drop out.

This leaves John McCain as the front-runner who is likely to win the nomination, despite not being an “economic-superbrain”. Mr. McCain might have to choose someone from the South as his running-mate to attract the social conservatives of the GOP (Mike Huckabee would be an option, but Florida’s pro-life governor Charlie Crist could also be an option to secure the swinging sun-state). This could leave the economic wing of the GOP less than pleased with this years nominees. But I guess Republicans prefer politicians who do not mingle with the economy (tax-cuts excluded), anyway.

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