Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What trump card will win the jump ball?


Tom Foreman
360 Correspondent


Here's what I like about this election: None of the rules apply.

For all the endless, and boy do I mean endless, hours of nattering by the supposed political insiders, now almost all of them admit they don't have a clue about what will happen next.

Who will be the nominee for the Democrats? Who for the Republicans? What issue will be the trump card: the war, the economy, immigration?

The "experts" all just shrug now, and spout a lot of platitudes about a changing electorate, and campaign financing, and the early primary schedule, and yadda yadda yadda. In other words they make excuses for being wrong in the first place and try to convince you that their opinions still matter.

Well, they don't.

The truth is, this is turning into an election like most of us have never seen in our lifetimes; the first in ages without a natural heir to the White House; the first ever with what is shaping up to be a national primary contest.



Which brings us to Rudy Giuliani.

Months ago Rudy made it clear that he was embarking on a risky, avant-garde campaign strategy. He was effectively going to concede the early contests, and focus on a big knockout punch in Florida. Conventional wisdom said he was a fool; once the early states anointed a front-runner, Rudy would be abandoned on the beach with a bunch of tattered campaign signs and a red face...not from the sun.

But no front-runner has emerged. Or three have. In any event, suddenly the vote seems headed to Florida with the nomination still up in the air, and Rudy's risky strategy seems to have him perfectly positioned.

It may yet not work. Truth is, for all of his campaigning in alligator alley, voters may or may not give him the nod.

But his strategy, which so many of the political pros called whacky such a short time ago, now doesn't look so farfetched. That's what happened when all the rules get broken.

What do you think? Will the nomination still be a jump ball, when the Republicans hit Florida, and does Rudy have a shot at bringing it down?
Posted By CNN: 4:05 PM ET
  7 Comments
Tom,
I think there will be no clear cut frontrunner on either side for awhile. I think it's going to go down to the wire as to who gets the nod. There are so many different issues out there and not one candidate that really encompasses them all. So it looks like we are in for a wild election year.

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 4:26 PM ET
Hi Tom,
I don't know if Rudy's plan will work, but at this point, from what I have seen, it ain't over by a long shot! His strategy just may work.
Posted By Blogger pamina : 4:40 PM ET
Please get Glenn Beck off of Anderson Cooper's show, as well as any shows that aren't his own show. He comes across as an idiot, an imbecile, and a perfect example of the good-ol-boy type who thinks he knows everything! As long as he's only on his own show, I can simply not watch CNN or Headline News during that time, but if he's on AC 360 or anything else, I have to change to MSNBC when I'd rather be watching CNN, especially for my election coverage, because GB is so nauseating. I can't be the only person who feels this way; it's one thing to have different viewpoints, but another thing entirely to have those different viewpoints conveyed by annoying, irrational people! GB seems nearly as bad as Ann Coulter on Fox, which I would never watch anyway because I am a liberal!
Thanks for considering this suggestion, and thanks for all you do. I HOPE to keep watching "the best political team on TV," but if GB is going to be a part of it, I may not.
Sara Anderson
Jackson, Mississippi
Posted By Anonymous SaraA : 4:43 PM ET
Tom

You experts don't know so you're asking us??

I think anything can happen in this election. Rudy's strategy may work for him and if so then we have 4 Republicans as "front tunners". I don't think we can count him out yet and I don't think we should take the polls too seriously about who supports whom in Florida.

I'm starting to think that for the first time in years the party conventions may actually have to be the place where the nominee is selected. If that's so I hope you are ready to explain to us all just how these conventions work!

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 5:00 PM ET
I personally wouldn't count Rudy down and out.
Hopefully, the non stop speculation will ease up a bit and the voters will make the choice based on their opinions, not the pundits.
Rudy will either take Florida or he won't. He'll have a victory and I'm going to Disney World moment, or he will be sailing off into the sunset...the voters will decide.

Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 5:19 PM ET
What would you call Mitt Romney's winning two golds and two silvers ?! Isn't that more than any candidate on either party?

Doesn't Gov. Romney also have the most delegates of everyone running? However, Fla. really has a soft spot for Mayor Guiliani and he's probably strong in the Northeast as well.
Posted By Anonymous Lee- Houston, Tx. : 6:54 PM ET
Tom/AC360:

This is what elections should be all about....political warfare!

I believe Americans want the candidates to convince us rather than manipulate us into voting for them. And with so many on the wire, it just is making them fight harder for every vote. Good deal!

As for Rudy Giuliani, what is he up to? Maybe Act Two of this political multimedia blitz will introduce some new actors not all ready chewed up by the pundits.

Maybe Giuliani will just walk into the Republican arena while Romney and McCain duke it out calling themselves the winners too early.

I am ready for the roller coaster. It can be nauseating sometimes but the buzz you get from the ride is exhilarating!
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 7:51 PM ET
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