Skip to comments.Analysis: Giuliani seeking attention
Posted on 01/05/2008 11:07:44 AM PST by NormsRevenge
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Rudy Giuliani has never had a problem getting attention until now.
"We are in good shape," the Republican presidential candidate insists even though he was largely missing in action in Iowa and is struggling in New Hampshire, the two states that are the epicenters of the race.
His unconventional road map to the nomination carried this very risk from the start. It called for playing down those states that opened the primary season in favor of spending more time and resources in the delegate-rich ones that vote later this month and on Feb. 5 such as Florida, New York and California.
"Nobody has ever won every primary," Giuliani said Saturday in New Hampshire, where polls show him trailing rivals Mitt Romney and John McCain. "This is the most unusual type of primary so a different strategy is being dictated. We'll find out what the right one was after this is over."
After finishing a largely overlooked sixth in Iowa and facing a series of more likely defeats, the former New York mayor finds himself struggling to be part of the political discourse. He has tried to inject himself into the mix to little avail.
Conventional wisdom argues that Giuliani will become permanently irrelevant as early contest winners command the spotlight. History backs up that view. But his unconventional campaign has exceeded expectations from the start, and it's possible that he could re-emerge later this month as a fresh face when voters tire of the other headline-dominating candidates.
"It may not be all bad," said Alex Vogel, a Republican and one-time aide to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. "His strategy has always been to wait for the early state scrum to subside, then to roll in the big states. The lower that expectations get for him in the early states, the more he can sidestep the mini-boom that the other candidates will get coming out of Iowa and New Hampshire."
For now, Giuliani's fate is largely out of his hands. It all depends on the voters and the contest itself whether one candidate dominates in the coming weeks or the field remains fractured among several heading into Florida.
His campaign is betting that no one rival has an edge heading into the Jan. 29 contest. Giuliani hopes to begin his win streak on that day polls in Florida show a more competitive race and continue it when more than two dozen states vote Feb. 5. Despite dropping in national polls, Giuliani still leads in many states that hold primaries and caucuses next month.
Seeking attention, Giuliani's outreach to the media has become more aggressive.
Giuliani, whose personal life and professional tenure have long made headlines, largely shunned the national media for much of the past year compared to his top rivals, Romney, McCain and Mike Huckabee. The trio regularly appeared on cable news networks, spoke on talk radio, granted one-on-one interviews and seemingly talked to the media at every turn. These days, Giuliani, is popping up everywhere.
Other efforts have born mixed results.
In mid-December, he gave a speech his campaign advisers billed as his closing argument. But other than a fresh slogan "Tested. Ready. Now." and a corresponding podium backdrop, it contained little else that was new. Giuliani also delivered it in balmy Florida. The Tampa location was some 1,300 miles from snowy Iowa where much of the media was camped out. It got little notice.
A week ago, Giuliani flew back to Iowa for two days to try to be part of the buzz, but he seemed to be going through the paces. Two or more of his events were held in small rooms to accent the small crowds. He faced at least one question about why he rarely visited Iowa.
He told the Associated Press: "I think we are very relevant."
That recalled early 1995 and President Clinton's insistence that "the president is relevant" in the wake of the GOP takeover of Congress.
A few days later and just before Giuliani's drubbing in Iowa, his campaign felt the need to release a public memo defending its strategy, calling it "bold, innovative and designed to deal with the radically different election calendar."
"History will prove us right," strategy director Brent Seaborn wrote.
Giuliani has renewed his focus on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and his management of New York in the aftermath, in speeches and an ad. After the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto late last month, he spoke forcefully about combatting terrorism.
A speech in New Hampshire last week on national security was intended to complement that effort, as a poll showed him losing ownership of his core issue to John McCain. Timing was a problem; the speech was one day before the Iowa caucuses and was hardly the news of the day.
Then, Giuliani came in sixth in Iowa even though he held training sessions for caucus participants and spent $300,000 on radio ads and more on direct mail in Iowa. He ended up getting just 3 percent of the vote, falling behind almost everyone including Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman who is against the Iraq war.
Republican presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani passes a snowman as he arrives for a house party during a campaign stop in Litchfield, N.H., Saturday Jan. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Republican Presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani waves to the crowd as he rides on a Segway with inventor Dean Kamen, left, during a campaign stop at a robotic competition in Hooksett, N.H., Saturday Jan. 5, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
According to the author..Iowa and New Hampshire ‘are the epicenters of the race’...give me a break.
Giuliani’s strategy was to save his powder for the Feb 5 states, where ad buys have to be made now. It looks like a horrible strategy at the moment, since he’s getting no press at all, but it might look brilliant in hindsight.
He’ll be lucky to finish third in NH.
Gee, what a curious omission. The entire article focuses on the early primaries and mentions the 1,2,4,5 and 6 finishers in Iowa but nowhere is the 3rd place finisher even noted. Has to be just a coincidence.
Yep. Pure dung.
I am leaning Giuliani/Thompson ticket but I too noticed that Paul is being airbrushed from history - even by Fox.
I think this is a big problem - I hate it when the MSM does it and I’ll be damned if I can support anyone else for doing it.
But hey, he's got Pat Robertson's endorsement!