Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thoughts on Giuliani's 'retreat' ...

Over at Media Nation, Dan Kennedy has a new post about his latest column the Guardian concerning Rudy Giuliani virtually giving up in New Hampshire and moving his campaign to Florida for a last stand.
This decision, of course, is a bad one. But, as I wrote on his site, there are a few lessons to be learned from Giuliani's collapse and the eventual end of his campaign, which will probably happen.
First, a presidential candidate can't run in the primaries on fear. In primaries, voters don't want to be fearful; they want to be hopeful. Virtually Giuliani's entire campaign has been about fear ... and very little hope.
Second, national polls don't matter, for the millionth time. Giuliani has been leading in national polls for almost the entire year. But, those polls don't matter. It's the early states - and later, the state by state polls - which matter. While consistently leading in the national polls, he has been topsy-turvy in most of the early state polls. Giuliani has never really had a chance to get settled anywhere. Mitt lives just south of New Hampshire; Huckabee lives just south of Iowa; Thompson lives just west of South Carolina. McCain won New Hampshire in 2000 and is a national hero. They kinda all have a bit of an advantage. While Giuliani is a national figure, he isn't a hero like McCain.
Third, not everyone is Bill Clinton. If you have baggage - and I mean, BAGGAGE, like drug use allegations, cheating on your wife/wives, even maybe rape, like Clinton had - in your background, you are never going to be president. It happened only once and it probably won't happen again. The media is just too much these days. Even citizens are the media now. Nothing is going to get by them.
If I were Giuliani's campaign manager, I would tell him not to pull out of New Hampshire. I might give up on Iowa, because caucuses are so hard to organize. But not New Hampshire or South Carolina. I would shed as much of my staff as I could, cut a few simple ads and run them sparingly, and campaign door-to-door and get as much face time with Republicans and independents as possible and hope to stay alive until Feb. 5.

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