Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rudy and the Gang of 50

The New Moscow Times did a very thorough editorial on Rudy's Presidential aspirations yesterday. Here are some pertinent excerpts.

Mr. Giuliani has little to say about 2008, and a great deal to say about Sept. 11, 2001. He rarely brings up the World Trade Center attack directly; he does not have to. No matter where he goes — South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Illinois, just in the past several weeks — other people do it for him. That will surely be the case on Thursday, when he makes his much-anticipated first public appearance in two years in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary in the nation, where he will speak at a fund-raiser for Republican state legislative candidates.

He says he does not yet know if he will be a presidential candidate. He has no campaign apparatus and his positions on divisive social issues — from abortion to gay rights to gun control — put him at odds with most in his party.

Never mind that Mr. Giuliani has come in for some sharp criticism back in New York — about workers sickened by toxic dust at ground zero, about his disgraced former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, and even about his handling of the trade center attack.

There is little indication that his noble image from 9/11 has been tarnished in the heartland. For many...
his national security message seems to work, blotting out the central question facing his candidacy: whether a supporter of legal abortion, gay civil unions, immigrants’ rights and gun control; a thrice-married, Catholic New Yorker whose split with his second wife took place publicly and none too neatly, can win Republican presidential primaries and caucuses.

We at the Cooler are here to try and wade through that complicated question. Today we are going to use for the first time a Cooler term. The Gang of 50. The Gang of 50 are the campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits, and journalists who make up the conventional caucus wisdom here in Iowa. (Don't sue us Mark, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery). When you want to know what the Gang thinks about the Caucus, come to the Cooler and we'll let you know.

So what's the conventional wisdom in the gang? We hear that Rudy is running, likely will enter late after the straw poll, and he likely will wait until a few of the major contenders stumble a little bit (Pataki in particular)... If Rudy does get in, how will Iowans react? How will he put an organization together in time?

The Gang doesn't have an answer to those questions yet. But it goes without saying that the rest of the field is more comfortable with the Mayor on the paid speaking circuit, not the caucus circuit.


Blogger Maverick said...

CC Staff:

I've always said that in politics, like armed conflict, we tend to fight the last war. With the last war's tactics and techniques. Successful armies and nations understand that, and adapt.

Rudy is fighting with the tactics from the last war. 2000. When GWB sat in Austin, allowed others to trapse around Iowa, use up critical shelf life and exposure, and get bogged down in the minutae of a caucus campaign. Then, he came in (relatively) late, sucked a majority of the oxygen out of the race, charmed people with trips to Austin and then a presidential presence in the state, and was the ultimate victor. It was a strategy that worked brilliantly for him, given his unique attributes and charisma.

Several months ago, I thought this strategy would be utilized by Senator Allen...get through a tough race in VA, unite conservatives, come in late with a full head of steam, and be relatively fresh in terms of shelf life and exposure.

Well, that ain't gonna happen, as we've all seen unfold over the last three months.

But Rudy probably is banking on a divisive battle in which Romney, Pataki and McCain have pounded people with events, mail, phones...and the race settles into some sort of doldrums. And then he enters, stage LEFT, to "re-unite" the party and save the day.

And given his stance on the issues, as you noted, this is about the only strategy that allows him to skate through the early vetting process. Yes, he is a dynamic speaker. Yes, he led NYC at a critical time. But NO, he's wrong for our party, any sort of southern or western strategy, and I think the country.

If Rudy fights the last war, with the old tactics, he loses. If he gets in earlier, and allows people to peel off the veneer and see his real stands on various issues, he loses.

The great thing about our insane presidential nominating system is this: it's a true test for the real job. You don't get to pick your forums. It's a 24/7/365 job for 4 years, and if you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Caucus Cooler said...

Maverick echos the gangs sentiments quite eloquently. Thanks

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

war maverick and his wise ways.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question is: WHEN Giuliani gets in, how quickly will the Pataki campaign crumble?

There may only be room for one pro-choice New York "Republican" in the race.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Burton Rider said...

Mav is dead-on, as always. No way for Rudy to do this. He might be clever enough to steer around a few potholes - like the straw poll, ICA forums, etc. But at some point, he's going to run head-on into a vote, up or down, on whether or not he's the kind of leader Republicans want.

I don't think it's a vote he wants to face.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the GOP chooses Rudy, I will have to find a new party.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between Rommney, Pataki and McCain, I don't think there's any more room for another candidate representing the pro-choice wing of the party.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain is pro-life.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Caucus Cooler said...

You know the blog is in good shape when a couple members of the Gang of 50 weigh in with comments.

All we need is Yepsen to pitch in his two cents and this would be gang of 50 central.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does pro life mean? Are you pro-life if there is an exception for the mother or does that make you pro-choice?

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


so the kettle just called you black.

11:29 AM  
Blogger IOWACAUCUS2008 said...

I might be the contrarian, but I don't believe Rudy is running. Won't believe it until he has staff on the ground in Iowa.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Rudy will skip Iowa all-together.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Caucus Cooler said...

Trust us.. Listen to the Gang of 50 on this. They know what's going on.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rudy has absolutely no chance of winning the nomination. None. And yet, all these electrons are spilled discussing it.

2:42 PM  

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