January 1, 2008

Rope-a-Dope, I Hope

Rudy Giuliani is taking Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina off. A curious and unique strategy which hopes to show the irrelevance of the early primaries and caucus.

Thursday's results will define a winner, and it won't be Rudy. Instead, Giuliani will be hoping for a swing in momentum starting in Florida, where he still seems to have a solid grip.

Until then Huckabee will surge, but ultimately it seems only to the dismay of Romney, if at all. McCain could spoil Mitt's New Hampshire efforts, but again Rudy does as he's expected. Thompson may find a way in South Carolina, but like the other scenarios, little change needed in Rudy's plan. If all the above happens, a Rudy win in the sunshine state changes the dynamic, less than a week before Super-Duper Tuesday.

Mitt clearly is the most organized, well funded, and the apparent alternative to the not-as-conservative Rudy. Except he's not the first alternative among many in the Christian conservative base. Never mind his faith which some can't seem to get over, Mitt's issue with conservatives seems to be about trust, given his "evolving" stance on issues. This lack of consolidation of the party's base, may ultimately be his undoing.

Rudy's been quiet of late, causing some politicos to question what's wrong. I hope it's just a pause, before a major January speech Rudy seems to be waiting patiently to give. He may just be letting the other contenders punch each other's lights out. If he has such a plan, and performs the way we know he can, it should reignite Rudy's fading flame. The rope-a-dope game plan would then be well designed.

One final note. Following the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Rudy simply stated in a press release minutes after the news spread,
"Her death is a reminder that terrorism anywhere -- whether in New York, London, Tel-Aviv or Rawalpindi -- is an enemy of freedom...We must redouble our efforts to win the Terrorists' War on Us."
If anyone doubts his focus and clear-thinking in the only area that matters most this election year, they must not want to.

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