Giuliani Now Trailing in the New York Primary

I am not in the general habit of writing about third-rate candidates who have little to no shot at their party's nomination, but when the opportunity arises for a little Rudy schadenfreude, it's hard for me to pass it up.

Today's Siena poll does not bode well for Rudy Giuliani's Feb. 5 big-state strategy, showing New Hampshire/South Carolina victor John McCain has surged into a 12-point lead over the former mayor in his home state.

McCain has the support of 36 percent of New York Republicans, compared to 24 percent for Giuliani, who led McCain 48-15 just one month ago.


Coming on the heels of this morning's Siena poll, the WNBC/Marist poll shows much the same: John McCain has blown past Rudy Giuliani in the former mayor's home state with a 15-point lead among Republicans likely to vote in the Feb. 5 primary.

Among enrolled GOP voters, including leaners, McCain got 34 percent to Giuliani's 23 percent. Among likely voters, McCain remained at 34 percent, while Giuliani was tied with Mitt Romney for second at 19 percent and Mike Huckabee received 15 percent.

In the past week or so Josh Marshall has been having a debate over at his site over whether Giuliani's candidacy is the greatest flop in history, with some saying that Giuliani indeed holds the honor while others point to Gary Hart in 1988 or Ted Kennedy in 1980. I'm not going to step in the middle of that debate, but suffice it to say this polling is about as embarrassing as it comes for Giuliani. At the same time, these numbers serve to underscore the need to soften up John McCain while we still can.

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Dead Men Walking: Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani

For quite some time Rudy Giuliani was the front runner in the Republican race to the White House.  Then media "products" began dissecting "America's Mayor" and it became clear that although most people love to visit the Big Apple they  don't want to live there.  A vote for Rudy is living there.   The scrutiny of Giuliani combined with his  poor campaign strategy has served to undo Mr. 9/11.

The man who left the NYC budget in a shambles can't meet payroll.

And it wasn't too long ago that media "products" breathlessly awaited Fred Thompson's entry into the Republican race for the White House.  We were told that Thompson would save the Republican Party from the likes of John McCain and Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.  Thompson was a "true" conservative in the Reagan style we were told.  But Thompson's style of campaigning worries supporters who want to be certain their President has a pulse.

Mike Huckabee weighed in and suggested that Thompson might need some Metamucil.  The AARP set is preparing a response to this ageist comment.

I have to wonder who prompts men and women to run for office, who they listen to and take advice from and what is transpiring in their ids and egos to make them think they are worthy of being President of the United States.  Who fluffs them up, who says run, run, run?  Well, there are the highly compensated consultants,  lobbyists, multi-national corporations, the finance sector, interest groups, the DNC, the RNC,   media "products" -- the folks who stand to make serious money whether their candidate wins or loses.  Don't think for a minute that a presidential race is open to anybody.  Somebody even backed Alan Keyes!

And what about the average American voter?  We end up squabbling over the spoils of the special interests -- a candidate so laden with debt to the interests pulling in their chits that we end up satisfied with a measly tax cut in return for a war, rising poverty, a lousy education system, and  the poorest health care system in the western world.  That's just for starters.

So while you pound the drums for your candidate think of Rudy and Fred as onetime frontrunners.  When they drop out, and they will, they will return to their endeavors, continue to make millions of dollars -- even more by virtue of being a Candidate and one time Frontrunner, do some brokering within their Party, and sink from public view.  Their backers will have moved on to another candidate.  Their supporters will be left wondering why their guy failed rather than asking why these men were in the race in the first place.

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Giuliani Fourth in Florida, Failed To Predict McCain

One of the funnier storylines this year has been watching Rudy Giuliani move from definitive Republican frontrunner to something closer to a bad joke.

If you're like me, you'd welcome a president Obama, Clinton or Edwards next November. But while all the Republicans are bad in different ways, the only candidate who I'm convinced would be far, far worse than Bush on every front is Giuliani. Watching Rudy's campaign commercials, which are filled with scare tactics and dramatic narration, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's running for dictator of some corrupt third world country, or that you were watching the trailer for the next Die Hard sequel. He's got the worst of the necons firmly in his camp, including Norman "we should bomb Iran as soon as humanly possible" Podhoretz. His domestic policies would pretty much amount to a third Bush term.

So I'm happy to report that Giuliani has has fallen to fourth in his "firewall" state Florida, behind McCain, Romney and Huckabee. Not only that, he is now, incredibly, in a dead heat with McCain in New York.

And, from the AP, word that Giuliani staffers are having to work for free.

About a dozen senior campaign staffers for Rudy Giuliani are foregoing their January paychecks, aides said Friday, a sign of possible money trouble for the Republican presidential candidate.

"We have enough money, but we could always use more money," contended Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager and one of those who now is working for free.

All along, Giuliani was pursuing a strategy, predicated on ignroing Iowa and running a "national campaign," that showed as much hurbis and shortsightness as his foreign policy positions. The idea: Rudy was so awesome that he didn't need to compete in the early states. None of the momentum the other candidates earned from their wins would matter, because, facing an imperfect and divided field, Rudy would swoop in and save the day. Rudy was no doubt hoping that the each unacceptable-in-their-own-ways Romney and Huckabee at the top would leave him an opening.

This strategy might have stood a ghost of a chance, since there really is significant establishment hatred of Huck, and lack of voter enthusiasm for Romney. The problem was, Giuliani utterly failed to predict the resurgence of John McCain. A more credible hawk on national security and foreign policy, a maverick on conservative orthodoxy without being radioactive, McCain occupies precisely the place Giuliani hoped to corner in the spectrum of candidates. He may be old and a lackluster campaigner, but McCain radiates honesty and principle compared to the scandal-tarnished Giuliani.

Lack of money will be a big problem on Feb. 5, when buying ad time in critical states will be crucial to success. And with McCain poised to win Michigan and even on top in some polls of South Carolina, things are looking grimmer for Rudy by the day.

Of course, in a turbulent race like that of the Republicans this year, anything could happen. But if he continues to fall behind, Rudy Giuliani's ludicrous strategy may provide a lesson to future national candidates that they ignore the early states at their peril.

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Rasmussen: Obama Has Triggered A Political Earthquake

Those national numbers, long a trailing indicator, appear to be moving... ontent/politics/election_20082/2008_pres idential_election/2008_democratic_presid ential_primary

Rasmussen Reports has been saying all year that Iowa was a must-win state for Barack Obama. Last Thursday, the Senator from Illinois did what he had to do, delivered a convincing victory, and triggered a political earthquake. He is now poised to win a sizable victory in New Hampshire, a state that Hillary Clinton once considered her firewall. Another pillar of Clinton's strength in the race--her lead in the national polls--is also crumbling. Monday's update of the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows Clinton's advantage shrinking to its lowest level since the very first Presidential debate took place this season, more than eight months ago.

Then this on Drudge:

RASMUSSEN: Clinton's lead in national polling collapse... now Clinton 33 Obama 29; Before Iowa showed Clinton 41 Obama 24... Developing...

Plus: ontent/politics/election_20082/2008_pres idential_election/election_2008_obama_vs _giuliani_and_romney

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that Senator Barack Obama has opened a ten-percentage point victory over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 47% to 37%. A month ago, they were tied at 43%. The survey also found Obama with a six-point lead over Mitt Romney, 45% to 39%. That's a slight improvement for Obama who led Romney by four points a month ago.

The numbers for the Obama-Giuliani match-up mark a significant change in the race. Prior to this latest poll, the candidates had been within two points of each other for four straight polls.  

If Obama wins NH by double digits, I predict he will take the national lead.

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The Republican debates through the eyes of a 9-year old

I've avoided the debates until now because I saw them as little more than exercises in media manipulation.  This time, I wanted to watch the Republican debate just to hear the other candidates respond to Ron Paul.  Unfortunately, I had a scheduling conflict so I asked a kid to take notes for me.  As the debate began, I drew a quick seating chart of the candidates to help the kid keep track of who said what and then ran off.  BTW - this is not snark.  This is a straight rendition from a 9 year old.  The only changes I made were for spelling errors (except the names).

It must have been more difficult thant I thought to keep track of all the new names.  That's the only reason I can think of to explain why this  reporter devised their own naming strategy to keep track of the candidates.  Aside from that, it seems they got all the high points.

Follow me below the fold for the 9-years old rendition of a fight between Sarge, Wrinkles, Bunny Ears, Oily, Beagle Eyes and Carrot Face...  

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