Posted: January 8, 2008 5:12 PM
Giuliani, Locked in Close Battle with Ron Paul, Bets on the Future
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned in New Hampshire on Tuesday even as polls had him back battling libertarian Congressman Ron Paul, R-Texas, for fourth in the first primary.
It is one of those days when it is difficult to be a candidate betting on larger states set to vote later this month. For the mayor, his strategy is survive Iowa, limp through New Hampshire and then rally as the national Republican candidate ahead of the massive Super Tuesday vote in potentially more friendly states like New York, New Jersey and California.
“You know, every strategy has its strengths and weaknesses,” The New York Times quoted the former mayor as telling reporters. “Every strategy turns out to be right or wrong. And do you know when that is? When the election’s over.”
Giuliani has faced withering fire from political reporters deeply skeptical of his strategy of largely ignoring the early voting states of Iowa and, after failing to catch fire, New Hampshire.
Giuliani is betting his Oval Office bid on Florida, a state that votes in only three weeks, but for the breathless campaign reporting pouring out of Iowa and New Hampshire, three weeks seems very far away.
For the mayor’s campaign, the question hanging like the sword of Damocles over their heads is can he make it that far running essentially even with or behind Congressman Ron Paul.
On primary day in New Hampshire, where Giuliani has been polling at around 10 percent, the campaign remained optimistic.
“We always knew the toughest states were right up front for us,” Giuliani campaign manager Michael DuHaime told The Washington Times yesterday. “It only gets better and better as we go along, when you have states like Florida, California, New Jersey, all big delegate-rich states where the mayor has a very solid base of support.”
But even as Giuliani tries to keep his head above water, his campaign has been sharpening its jabs at Democrats, taking new aim at the nearly unanimous chorus calling for change among the Democratic hopefuls.
“That’s what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards want to do for you. When you see their slogan ‘change’ … they want to take the change out of my pocket,” Giuliani told a room full of Republicans in News Hampshire.
So Giuliani continues to draw some crowds and crank out some one-liners, but the headline on The New York Times offered the campaign an ominous take on their campaign — “Still a Sideshow, Giuliani Bets on Survival Strategy”