I’ll have more on Giuliani’s London trip later today, but for now, I’m going to note that it played in the press a lot better than I had expected. Since I saw it announced on the schedule, the timing seemed odd. Both Romney and Thompson went to London to meet with Margaret Thatcher, but did it a few months ago; we’re entering the final four months until the votes get cast. Was there a bit of an opportunity cost here? And by making the foreign trip, was Rudy more or less acknowledging that he hadn’t had a lot of direct foreign policy experience (other than cracking down on United Nations diplomats’ parking tickets)?
Well, clearly, pictures of a candidate meeting with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair get a lot more attention than pictures of the candidate shaking hands in a diner in New Hampshire. Americans expect their presidents to go and have productive meetings with foreign leaders, and even better than promising it is going out and having those meetings. The trip raked in some cash, got a meeting with Blair (probably one of, if not the most popular foreign leader among Republicans) and Brown, and got Winston’s granddaughter to call him “Churchill in a baseball cap.” When you can get headlines like this:
Giuliani in London: ‘Churchill in a baseball cap?’
… then you know you’ve had a good trip.