Daily Revolt

December 17, 2007

Giuliani Goes Back to Emphasizing 9/11

The "9/11 Mayor" is tanking in the polls, even in Florida. Therefore, why shouldn't Mr. 9/11 go back to talking about--you guessed, nine-eleven:
Giuliani's return to that image - though one step removed from touting his own well-known performance that day - could be a recognition that just running on his record as a conservative mayor in a liberal city may not be enough.

The drain in Giuliani's poll numbers, from an average support of about 30 percent of Republican voters to about 23 percent now, has come as the war in Iraq has calmed some, the threat of Iran eased and his campaigning on Sept. 11 ended.

"When the subject matter shifted away from security and foreign affairs, Giuliani's numbers began to dip a bit," said Susan MacManus, an expert on Florida politics at the University of South Florida.

The 30-plus minute speech also revisited themes from previous ones: a little Hillary Rodham Clinton bashing, a call to make energy independence as big a priority as landing on the moon was in the 1960s, and the need to fight terrorism so the United States can be safe and do more business in the Middle East.

Giuliani admitted up front that he is not perfect, but he also again sought to recall his heroic image from Sept. 11.

"I've met adversity before. I've led in situations that seemed hopeless and dire, in need of a miracle," he said. "I don't just hope for miracles. I expect miracles."

He isn't even winning Florida, which is one of the States that he has targeted instead of Iowa and New Hampshire:
Those likely losses were bearable when Giuliani had a steady 30 percent lead in national polls. But his national lead has slipped to an average of 23 percent, which is within the margin of error of the 19 percent for a surging Mike Huckabee.

Giuliani insiders are bracing for early stumbles. Guy Molinari, his New York co-chairman, said Giuliani could survive even a fifth-place finish in Iowa and a third-place finish in New Hampshire, though he's hoping for a strong second-place.

But if Giuliani consistently finishes so far back in the pack, the momentum shift to another candidate could derail his strategy of a win in Florida on Jan. 29 catapulting him to victories in the large delegate-rich states of California, New York and others among the 20 or more primaries on Feb. 5.

That's especially true if Huckabee or Mitt Romney racks up all the early wins.

And though Giuliani aides question it, a Rasmussen poll Friday showed Giuliani third, behind Huckabee and Romney, in his must-win state of Florida.

Huckabee's surprise popularity has been a mixed blessing for Giuliani. If Huckabee knocks off Romney in Iowa, it helps Giuliani. But if Huckabee catches fire in other states, the former Arkansas governor becomes a threat to Giuliani.

In fact, things have gotten so bad his home State Republican leadership are considering dropping him. This article appears in a Ruppert Murdoch newspaper, whom are big supporters of Giuliani:
FEARFUL New York Re publicans are rethinking their 2008 campaign strategies because of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani's faltering bid for the White House, The Post has learned.

Republican leaders, especially those involved in the crucial battle to retain GOP control of the state Senate, had hoped an energized Giuliani candidacy would attract independent and moderate Democrats to their ballot line in what is widely expected to be a big Democratic year.

But, pointing to his declining national polling numbers and his surprise slide to third place in Florida, GOP strategists are privately calling Giuliani's own strategy efforts "lackluster," and an increasing number of them now predict that "America's mayor" won't be their party's nominee for president next year.

"Rudy isn't where we thought he would be and there's a growing likelihood that he's not going to be our nominee," said a leading New York Republican.

A GOP senate strategist said, "We're no longer planning our campaigns based on the assumption that Rudy will be the nominee."

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