Over at the Weekly Standard’s campaign blog, the pseudonymous Richelieu offers an assessment of Mitt Romney’s campaign at the moment: “In the ditch.” He assures us, though, that “every serious campaign hits a big slump in the pre-primary season, be it John McCain’s time in the immigration reform wood chipper or Fred Thompson’s Zombie on Ice announcement tour. Rudy Giuliani’s big slump will surely come soon enough.”
Maybe so. Or maybe Rudy was the first of the major candidates to hit a slump. That would have been back in the spring, when he fumfered on abortion, said he would want his wife Judi to sit in on cabinet meetings, and looked anchorless. One pundit wrote an entire piece in the form of an open letter saying that Giuliani was blowing it — that “as a presidential candidate, you seem to be winging it these days – giving off-the-cuff, ill-considered answers to delicate questions. If you keep winging it this way, you’re going to fly off a cliff.”
Giuliani stopped winging it. He began a string of exceptional performances in the debates, and with the exception of the peculiar habit of accepting (or seeming to accept) phone calls from his wife in the middle of speeches, he hasn’t done much wrong.
Granted, there may be heavy weather to come in the form of more trouble for and from his protege Bernard Kerik. But Rudy may be past the self-inflicted wounds Richelieu says are currently bedeviling the Romney campaign.