Posted: December 19, 2007 10:29 AM
After Florida Speech, Can Giuliani's Feb. 5 Strategy Work?
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani introduced a new tagline to the next phase of his campaign: “Tested. Ready. Now” in a speech that his aides said would re-energize Giuliani’s supporters.
“I’ve met adversity before. I’ve led in situations that seemed hopeless and dire, in need of a miracle. I don’t just pray for miracles. I don’t just hope for miracles. I expect miracles,” Giuliani told a Tampa, Fla., crowd.
The broad speech re-focused his campaign, which is doing well in the Sunshine State and on states that vote Feb. 5 but not in Iowa and New Hampshire. Giuliani’s New York co-chairman Guy Molinari said that while the campaign is hoping for second-place finishes in the two early-voting states, he could survive with a fifth-place finish in Iowa and a third-place finish in New Hampshire.
But a look at the horserace reveals that Giuliani is slipping in national polls. With the rise of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in Iowa, some analysts are questioning if Giuliani is rolling dice with his Feb. 5 strategy.. An American Research Group poll from early December put Giuliani and Huckabee tied for the national lead, with 21 percent each.
“Iraq and terrorism are down in importance. That hurts Giuliani,” said Brad Coker, the managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research in a McClatchy analysis of Giuliani’s slipping poll numbers.
In New Hampshire, where his campaign released a series of TV and radio ads, his polls have continued to slide even as he increases his efforts there. As a result, his campaign has slashed his ad spending and even cancelled airtime it purchased, according to the New York Sun.
On Monday, Giuliani was in New Hampshire delivering a speech at Goss International Corporation. He will return to the Granite State on Friday, with events to be announced.
Beyond his slipping poll numbers, Giuliani has not been able to escape his close relationship with Bernard Kerik, the former police commissioner during Giuliani’s term as mayor who was indicted on federal corruption charges.
Then on Monday, John S. Martin Jr., Giuliani’s predecessor as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, wrote a New York Times op-ed challenging Giuliani’s claims that he turned around the office. “Mr. Giuliani’s claim to have turned around the Manhattan United States attorney’s office is not only untrue, it is an insult to the outstanding men and women who have served in that office over the last 50 years,” Martin wrote.
In the week ahead, Giuliani will make an appearance in Missouri — a Feb. 5-voting state with 58 delegates at stake — to speak to the press, hold an event at the Columbia Expo Center and then drop by the Smokehouse Market in Chesterfield.