Skip to comments.The End Of 9/11 Political Reporting, Perhaps
Posted on 01/30/2008 7:59:23 AM PST by jdm
The Politico's Ben Smith and David Paul Kuhn attempt the first major media post-mortem of the Rudy Giuliani campaign, and wind up revealing more about the media than the campaign. They claim the loss demonstrates the end of 9/11 politics, but that analysis misses a lot about what went right in the Giuliani campaign. It misses because the media never bothered to report anything beyond the superficial for more than a year:
Rudy Giuliani's distant third-place finish in Florida may put an end to his bid for president, and it seems also to mark the beginning of the end of a period in Republican politics that began on Sept. 11, 2001.
Giuliani's national celebrity was based on his steady, comforting appearance in Americans' living rooms amid the terrorist attacks, and his campaign for president never found a message beyond that moment.
The emotional connection he forged that day, it seems, has proved politically worthless. After months of wonder that the former mayor seemed to have no ceiling to his support, he turned out to have no floor, trading fourth-place finishes with Ron Paul, a little-known Texas congressman.
"There's a paradox for Rudy," said former Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey, who was a member of the 9/11 Commission. "One of the things he did very well on 9/11 was say, 'We've got to get back to normal.' And that's what's happened. We've gotten back to normal."
Those of us who have followed the campaign know the reasons behind the failure had nothing to do with 9/11 -- because the campaign itself mostly avoided referencing it. The campaign lost its footing when the press began hyperventilating about a "scandal" from six years ago that even the New York Times later admitted was old news and represented no illegal conduct. It followed that with a poor decision to stop competing in the early states and allow the media to focus so much on his rivals that Giuliani became the Forgotten Man.
Only one televised ad featured 9/11, and then in the context of how Giuliani saw the city respond, not himself. Otherwise, outside of the glaring strategic error, Giuliani put together one of the most impressive teams of advisers ever seen in a presidential campaign. He had an administration ready to go on the Wednesday after the general election, a staff led by such notables as Charles Hill, Steve Forbes, Ted Olson, and many others.
Did the media report on this? No. They preferred to focus on the police-escort story from almost a decade ago, and to tie Rudy to 9/11 long after it became clear that his campaign wanted to minimize it as a theme.
Rudy has only himself to blame for losing the media's focus over the last several weeks. However, the media has some introspection to do as well for having missed the positives of the Giuliani campaign, especially in its collection of poweful, talented thinkers.
Hello? The media NEVER reports more than the superficial. Ever. We (the people) are too dull to understand deep analysis. That's why they have "editors". They'll decide for us who is worthy of our votes. /deep sarcasm
Good try, Rooti. If I was going to campaign for 6 winter months, I’d rather do it in Florida than Iowa and New Hampshire my ownself.
Okay, I guess it’s time for me to eat my crow. A few months ago I repeatedly posted here that Rudy as going to be the next President of the United States. Good thing I don’t play the stock market!
His strategy of waiting for Florida killed him in press coverage (out of sight out of mind) - and he really was a one-trick pony with too many years since his last trick. Had the POTUS job been open in 2004 he would have been a real contender, or had he challenged Hillary for the Senate seat (even if losing it, making a strong showing there) he may have done a lot better this time around having been through a tough campaign.
That said, if perhaps his “base” in New York or New Jersey been in the first 3-4 states to go, he might have gotten some cachet.
I'm a Romney supporter, but if he's out I'd rather see Rudy as a candidate than the Crazy John Freak Show.
McCain's head will explode when Team Clinton gets hold of him. That man has no idea what he's getting in to.
If he quits after one race X 2 (sneate in 2000), then he is not ready for running for President. Look how hard GWB ran in both elections and how many republicans he carried to victory. We need a strong person as president and I still don’t have a dog in this fight. None of the above can’t fill the office and none of the present group lights my fire.
One thing that we know will happen. Though the jihadists want seriously to have Hil or Obama to win in Nov., they will do an event which will bring back military-national security concerns. Perhaps even Osama will be killed or another horror will occur. If it does not, then terrorism will be Hil or Obama’s concern and we know how they will deal with that!
Rudy should stay in the race. Likely the convention will be brokered.