Friday, January 04, 2008
Rudy, off the cliff...
--Jeffrey Toobin, Senior Political Analyst

After the results from Iowa last night, most of the attention has gone, appropriately, to the winners, Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee. But I was also struck by something: the disastrous showing by Rudy Giuliani.

The one-time national frontrunner finished sixth in Iowa, with 4,013 votes, or four percent. Giuliani received less than half as many votes as Ron Paul, who is generally given about as much chance of becoming president as Ron Popeil.

In an interview with CNN last night, Giuliani dismissed his showing, saying he hadn't really campaigned much in Iowa. But that's not exactly true; Rudy made 51 stops in the Hawkeye State -- not as many as Huckabee or Mitt Romney, but a substantial commitment just the same.

Giuliani's strategy, it appears, is to struggle through Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina -- and hope for a big win in Florida on January 29th. But if yesterday is any indication, the only place the Giuliani may be heading is off a cliff.
Posted By CNN: 2:28 PM ET
  9 Comments
Thanks, Jeffrey Toobin for focusing attention on Rudy Giuliani's dismal showing in the Iowa caucus. He seems to be waging a stealth campaign by skipping Iowa, where he knew he would not win, and then kind of just running by New Hampshire, where he is trailing badly. He is banking on support in states like Florida, New York and California to capture enough delegates to get the nomination.

I am not sure this strategy will work. There are some real risks. If McCain gets a win in New Hampshire, it could breathe new life into his campaign. If Romney wins big in New Hampshire, it could help him dust off his runnerup finish in Iowa. I think it's an underhanded way to duck the states in which he knows he is weak. I don't like it.

I hope you are right, Jeffrey, and Giuliani does go off a cliff with this unconventional strategy. I think you participate and fight the good fight, not try and avoid or run around the contests you don't like.
Posted By Anonymous Mindy Chatsworth, Ca. : 2:59 PM ET
Giuliani's flip flopping and running away from his more liberal past on social causes is hurting him.

Giuliani, like Romney, gave up all his moderate support by pandering to the religious conservatives for their votes. In doing so, they are losing both demographics.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:01 PM ET
Jeff,
Glad to have you back on the blog! We missed you!!

I think Giuliani lost his support to Huckabee! He is after all a better fit to what Reps go for!

I think he made a bad mistake in not doing more in Iowa. I think it'll come back to bite him!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 3:25 PM ET
Guiliani wants people to only remember him for 9/11 - too bad so many people remember him from 9/10 and before

His checkered past and flip flopping has caught up to him

It is obvious from last night that people are looking for change and Rudy does not represent that

Jeffrey I believe you got it right when you said the only place he may be going is off a cliff
Posted By Anonymous suki : 4:27 PM ET
Back to Obama.... I think that everyone should listen to him next time he speaks. Not just his words but how he is speaking. He sounds like he is trying to emulate Martin Luther King, Jr. If you watch video of him this morning, it's detectable when he says "four days from now." Maybe I'm just reading too far into it but perhaps he's seeking a comparison, especially since Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is coming up.
Posted By Anonymous Lindsay Daniel : 4:56 PM ET
Jeff/AC360:
I have to agree with you about Rudy Giuliani missing the mark by basically ignoring the Iowa Caucuses.

Positive exposure throughout the whole presidential process, including the Iowa Caucuses, is what will sustain a candidate. To otherwise dismiss the process is almost like discounting those citizens who cast those votes this week.

By Guiliani isolating himself this early, his ability to re-capture his popularity may be in jeopardy.
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 5:35 PM ET
he may be headed off a cliff, but he would be sure the inside of his parachute said something about 9/11just for the photo op...
Posted By OpenID ribbitjen23 : 5:36 PM ET
he may be headed off a cliff, but he would be sure the inside of his parachute said something about 9/11just for the photo op...
Posted By OpenID ribbitjen23 : 5:42 PM ET
Rudy's strategy on Iowa probably was a big mistake because of the attention the state received and then his dismal showing there will only give him a bad aftertaste for any voters in states he participates in. A poor showing is what the voters remember, not the reason the candidate gave for it.

Its probably hard given limited resources to know where to concentrate your efforts. Rudy took a risk and it doesn't look like it was a good one, but in this race I wouldn't count him out just yet; who knows, he may have an Ace up his sleeve.

Jeffrey, thanks for the explanations on the caucus the last few days. You made a very complex activity very understandable.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 8:27 PM ET
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