I really like Rudy Giuliani — too much for some readers in 2007-2008 — but I’m not sure what he, or the GOP, gets out of another presidential bid, as he’s hinting this morning.
If he is going to throw his hat into the ring, his first hurdle will be persuading folks that he has a realistic strategy to perform better this cycle than he did in 2008. Folks in GOP circles chuckle that he spent almost $50 million to win a single delegate; what’s easy to forget is how much he underperformed even the most modest expectations in almost every primary state.
He finished sixth out of seven in Iowa with 4 percent, a distant fourth in New Hampshire with 9 percent, sixth place in Michigan with 3 percent, sixth place in Nevada with 4 percent, sixth place in South Carolina with 2 percent. Finally, with the future of his campaign riding on the results of the Florida primary, he finished a distant third with 14.7 percent, and departed the race the next day.
There’s an argument that the Republican grassroots want someone combative to carry their banner in 2012, and Giuliani is certainly combative. But Giuliani trailed John McCain and Mitt Romney by quite a bit in almost every early key state, and let’s face it, a lot of GOP voters weren’t thrilled with McCain. What has changed to make Giuliani a stronger candidate in this field?
Also note that Giuliani’s name has been mentioned for just about every key statewide New York race since he left politics, and he’s never taken the plunge. It’s easy to believe this may be the former mayor’s biennial flirtation with another big campaign, a flirtation that rarely pans out.