Rudy Giuliani's disappointing performance in Florida has all but nailed the coffin shut on the New Yorker's presidential campaign.
That's what conventional wisdom states at any rate.
Giuliani has gotten a lot of guff for his unusual campaign strategy of entrenching in Florida and banking that he'd appeal to enough New York transplants to put him over the top and jump start his campaign in more liberal states.
The experts said this was bad and you know the experts can never be wrong because they have their names in graphics underneath their faces whenever they're shown on television.
Really he had little choice. Giuliani's support was always soft and was always prefaced with "well he might be the best candidate to beat Hillary". He was the second choice candidate or the one that "if we wind up with Rudy I guess he'll do alright."
Giuliani was never going to beat Huckabee/Romney in Iowa's corn/bible belt, or McCain in New Hampshire, or Michigan's favorite son Romney or win in South Carolina or Wyoming. When it came to pulling the trigger for Rudy over any of his more conservative opponents when the moment of truth came no Republicans in any of these aforementioned states were going to support him.
Getting less support than Ron Paul in most of these states was embarrassing but would a distant third or fourth really have been any different than a distant fifth or sixth?
Doubtful. No. So stop pretending like he had any other choice. If it weren't for John McCain's surprising resurgence a different hand might have been dealt tonight.
Giuliani's biggest mistake was probably being too honest about his campaign strategy. Instead of controlling damage in states he was going to lose anyway it just made him look wounded. Showing a bit of veracity in politics is often times, sadly, the wrong thing to do.
It is good and noble and honorable that he stuck to his guns (oops!!!) on positions that often put him at odds with the majority of the Republican Party. There was no Romney-like weaseling for America's Mayor when it came to changing his core beliefs to attract an interest group here or talk show host there.
Unfortunately he was just too moderate/liberal. Republicans might like his stances on national security or cutting taxes. They might even believe that he'll appoint Supreme Court judges who will be strict constructionists. But they would have gotten that from McCain, or Romney or Huckabee... or Thompson. And none of these candidates had the unsavory personal baggage that Giuliani brought with him.
Despite all this Giuliani didn't have to get out of the race. Super-Duper-Ooper Tuesday is still a week off and with the amount of politically weird things that have occurred this election cycle you don't know what scandal or disaster will pop up between now and then.
The talking heads are writing his political obituary though and there is the thought that he didn't want to be embarrassed by losing in New York and New Jersey. I guess we'll learn soon whether it was better for Giuliani to back John McCain now or stick around long enough to savage Mitt Romney during the next presidential debate. Talks are underway.
(Update) Minutes after this went up the AP just reported that Giuliani is already endorsing McCain. Past/present changed between doesn't/didn't on two paragraphs above.
Sing along: Long ago I suggested that the song "Rudy" performed by the progressive rock band Supertramp might be useful for some campaign.
Listening to it again one is startled how the lyrics of "Rudy" mirror the campaign strategy of Giuliani.
That goes to show the Delphic qualities of the muse Rick Davies and that his wisdom transcends the ages and is relevant even today.
Rudy thought that all good things comes to those that wait
But recently he could see that it may come too late.