Rudy Giuliani stepped up his campaigning in Florida after finishing sixth in the Michigan Republican primary. Giuliani—once viewed as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination—isn’t campaiging much in South Carolina ahead of its Saturday primary. Instead, the former New York mayor is intensifying his bid to win Florida’s Jan. 29 primary to revive his chances after poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire. (Newsday)
What the commentators said
Even Giuliani concedes his focus on Florida’s mother lode of delegates might not work, said Mike Taibbi in MSNBC.com. He once was the “best-known name brand” in the Republican race—as recently as December he was considered the “inevitable nominee.” But the rest of the field has caught up and left him behind, and his Florida strategy may be his last chance to get back in the game.
“Winning by losing” is a unique strategy, said Paul West in Tribune Co.’s The Swamp blog (via the Baltimore Sun). Giuliani claims that his plan has been focusing on later primaries so that he can ride a late surge to the nomination. The reality is that he spent tons of time in New Hampshire and nearly as much money as John McCain, who won the state, but only “nosed out” Ron Paul, finishing fourth and earning zero convention delegates.
Giuliani is kidding himself, said Matthew Continetti in The Weekly Standard (via Yahoo! News). He doesn't stand a chance. His liberal social policies outraged conservatives, and his far-right foreign and economic policies angered moderates. Add it up, and he's irrelevant.
Giuliani’s plan to change the game with a Florida win is “both silly and plausible,” said Stuart Rothenberg in RealClearPolitics. If he wins Florida he’ll go into the crucial rush of primaries on Feb. 5 with a huge boost of strength. His gamble has “paid off” so far, because with the early contests divided among McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee, the “nomination is still up for grabs.” He’s still a “long shot,” but “given the weirdness that is the 2008 presidential race, that’s not half bad.”