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Giuliani Goes Big, Not Early


Giuliani makes a stop in Missouri, where primary voters won't go to the polls until Feb. 5. (AP).

Nobody is playing the expectations game more aggressively these days than Rudy Giuliani. Usually it's the underdog who plays this game, not the big dog. In so many ways, the 2008 cycle is different.

Never has a national front-runner's campaign team argued publicly that their candidate could lose the first three contests in the nomination battle and still emerge as the winner. That, however, is what Mike DuHaime, Giuliani's campaign manager, did in a conference call with reporters on Monday.

"Are you guys confident that you guys could perhaps go 0 in 3 out the gates and still be strong in Florida in February?" a reporter on the call asked DuHaime.

He replied, "Yes, I am confident of that."

For some time now DuHaime and other Giuliani strategists have been telling people they were pursuing a strategy unlike that used by any other candidate in recent nomination battles.

This is a strategy that starts with Feb. 5, when 20 or more states will hold contests, and works backwards to the front of the calendar, rather than starting with Iowa and New Hampshire and works forward. It is also a strategy that seems on its face to prize the accumulation of delegates over momentum.

For Giuliani's team, the real battle for the nomination appears to begin on Jan. 29, when Florida holds its primary, rather than on Jan. 3, when Iowa holds its caucus. DuHaime argues that Florida is the first big delegate prize of the GOP race, with 57 awarded to the winner of the state.

"We believe that whoever wins Florida will have a delegate count lead
going into" Feb. 5, he said.

DuHaime long has seen Feb. 5 as a day tailor-made for Giuliani -- a day when a number of the nation's largest states will hold primaries, including several in the former New York mayor's home region. All together, 1,038 delegates will be distributed on Feb. 5 alone.

Giuliani's advisers see him as the regional favorite to rack up victories in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, which together will award more than 200 delegates on a winner-take-all basis. Add that to Florida and Giuliani would be a fifth of the way to the nomination.

But there are more big prizes available that day as well, with allocation of delegates by the winner of a state's congressional districts. Those states include California, Illinois and Missouri, where Giuliani's team believes he is well positioned.

There are other states with primaries that day -- Georgia, for example, where a southern candidate like Fred Thompson or Mike Huckabee, if they're viable at that point, would be favored. And some states like Utah where Mitt Romney has a clear edge. But on the whole, the Giuliani team likes the way the calendar sets up for them.

"[As] you start to do this as a delegate game and start to look at places where the mayor is very strong and look at where the other candidates are strong, this very much lines up very favorably right now for us," DuHaime said.

But what about the early states? Veterans of past and present presidential campaigns doubt the Giuliani assertion that he can lose Iowa, lose New Hampshire and lose Michigan and win the nomination. What they know is that winning -- or losing -- early can have a profound effect on the shape of a nomination race.

In 2000, George Bush saw what looked like an insurmountable lead in South Carolina evaporate overnight after McCain beat him soundly in New Hampshire. Bush won that primary but only after a monumental fight. Howard Dean, who was considered the presumptive nominee before Iowa in 2004 never recovered from his loss to John Kerry in that state.

"I am very skeptical they can lose two or three in a row and still be a front-runner," one strategist said in an email. "I think they are delusional. Yes this year is different with no logical conservative being embraced by both sides of the movement, but this is where a real campaign strategy and a little luck will pick the winner."

Terry Nelson, who was political director for the Bush reelection campaign and for a time John McCain's campaign manager, said in an email Tuesday, "I do think the calendar has changed things, but that doesn't mean that the fundamental physics have been changed. Winning provides momentum. Momentum means money. And you just can't play on Feb. 5 if you don't have cash."

When I asked John Weaver, who was McCain's chief strategist, whether Giuliani's advisers were right about winning the nomination while losing the early states, he emailed back this reply: "They don't know. They hope so, I suppose. If one candidate won those three, I would say no. If it became a pile up with Romney winning one, McCain one, for example, then maybe it would be such a jumble the momentum rules wouldn't apply. But I wouldn't count on it."

It's doubtful Giuliani's advisers are counting on it either. What their conference call did was attempt to build expectations for Giuliani's rivals in the early states while putting them as low as possible for the former mayor. What has been clear for some time, however, is that their strategy also aims to spring a surprise early to blunt the momentum of Giuliani's main rivals and establish him early as the one to beat.

Given the fluidity of the races in Iowa and New Hampshire, that may be a shrewd strategy. Romney leads the polls in both those states. But in Iowa, Huckabee is coming on strong. Thompson has been unimpressive so far but on Tuesday got the National Right to Life Committee endorsement and has started TV ads in Iowa. In New Hampshire, McCain and Giuliani have clear strength and could cause Romney problems there.

Giuliani has spent far less time in Iowa and New Hampshire than Romney and has done no television advertising. But he presumably has plenty of money to run a late blitz in those states and he has been sending direct mail pieces for some time to voters in both states. He may be less visible but he is playing seriously -- and his advisers believe he can actually win New Hampshire.

What they're hoping is that, though they tout him as the national front-runner, any early victory will be treated as exceeding expectations, rather than merely meeting them. If they're clever enough to pull that off, Giuliani's Feb. 5 strategy will look brilliant. But if one of his rivals -- and Romney is right now best positioned for this -- wins the first three, the Republican race won't look like it does today. That's when DuHaime's theory will be put to the test.

--Dan Balz

By Washington Post editors  |  November 13, 2007; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Dan Balz's Take  
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Comments

What a horrible strategy for Guiliani. He is stuck though--there is nothing he can do to improve his name recognition--he has reached the saturation point. He has already conceded defeat in the early states. His hope, of course is to try to marginalize these contests like he did by not participating in the Iowa straw poll. Romney on the other hand knows that every candidate has won through momentum, not by hanging onto name recognition. When Romney wins the first three states his inevitability will settle in with voters. Voters like a winner. Romney will win.

Posted by: DanLounsbury | November 14, 2007 3:53 AM | Report abuse

"I'm going to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee will be. I think Hillary Clinton, would make a damn fine President, she has experience, inside the beltway experience."

Can you provide me with a list of her real accomplishments that do not include resume building words like "supported", "fought for", "voted for", "led", "pushed", "lied about", "stole", etc. ? 5-10 of them would be fine.

This woman's "experience" include being in the middle of or the cause of every White House scandal during her husband's administration. This so-called highly intelligent woman even testified in court over 50 times that "she could not recall". This woman's friend bailed out on her in Fort Marcy Park leading to some of the weirdest things that have ever occurred in the White House until Monica flashed her thong at her husband. I could go on ad nauseum.

Saying that this woman is ethically challenged is being polite. TipGate, DriversLicenseGate, ChineseLaundryManGate, HsuGate, PlantedQuestionGate, TravelGate, FileGate, WhiteWater, PardonGate, MonicaGate, WhereAreTheWitnessesGate, Motel6Gate, etc. The list will never end if she is elected. God help us.

Posted by: madjayhawk | November 14, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

"Mitt is a serial waffler" ???

Pete's bought that false bill of goods quite deeply.

Mitt's actually been very consistant on the vast majority of key issues.

http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/2007/11/oldie-but-goodie-real-romney-is.html

That link is to his 1994 campaign flyer against Teddy Kennedy . . . you know, that guy that Fred Thompson and John McCain have repeatedly said that Mitt ran "to the left of". I know they're both old and tired guys . . . but c'mon, you can't spout off lies like that very long before it will come back to bite you.

Posted by: pr | November 14, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Lorifromclg: Thanks for wasting the 3-4 seconds of my time that it took to scroll through the verbose entirety of your post. Next time, at least try to stay on-topic, you moron.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 13, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Lori, that was a wonderful rebuttal. And my favorite line of yours:

Answer: All truth, just not what you dreamers wanna hear, lol!

lol indeed

Posted by: morning135 | November 13, 2007 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Lori proves only that she can cut'n'paste. I got the same screed in an e-mail from my brother.

The original writer (not Lori) is a shining example of what is wrong with the Republicans, they'd rather score dubious points at the expense of the larger issues.

1) Clinton didn't get a knob-job on the National Mall, and it would have stayed quiet as all former knob-jobs etc given to previous Presidents, except the Republicans wanted to dig up some dirt. Did getting a blow job make Clinton a worse president than the one we have now?

Answer: Baloney

2) What is worse, feeling uncomfortable discussing sex with your 8 year old, or comforting the mother of you dead 18 year old child who just died in a pointless war?

Answer: More Baloney

3) The original writer seems to know all about sexual harassment, and what constitutes sexual intercourse, he's gotten lots smarter since his freshman year in college.

Answer: Yet More Baloney

4) Wag the Dog? Clinton tried to kill OBL, what has GWB done to that end?

Answer: Biggest slice of baloney

5) We can thank GWB for making Bill Clinton look presidential.

Answer: Not by a long shot, lmao!! More like a presidential ho-master.

6) How many times have folks from GWB's administration claimed that their memory failed them? How many times have those folks ignored duly authorized subpoenas?

Answer: None as close as Clinton's band of merry bandits.

7) Thanks for Mark Folely, Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Larry Craig, Jack Abramov, Karl Rove for firing of 8 US District Attorney's for not towing the GOP party line.

Answer: Action prevails with GWB, not mediocrity, status quo, "don't wake me I'm dreamin' ("this is good weed isn't it Hill?")

8) The cold-war was over, was it smart to keep a cold-war sized army around? Where is the original writer's disgust with GWB's failure to provide for the army that is actually on the receiving end of a bullet?

Answer: The proof is in the pudding. Men now die because he downsized the military to paint a pretty budget.

9) The original writer has gone around the bend. GWB has spent more time away from the Oval office then either Clinton or his father did.

Answer: Yep, actually working.

10) Pardons! What about GWB's pardon of Scooter Libby? "One lies, the other one swears to it", except in this case it was "One Lies and the other one pardons him".

Answer: How about Slick's pardon of 140 criminals associated with his past scams. A huckster by any other name.

11) We'll see what happens on 20 Jan 2009, especially if a Democrat wins.

Answer: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!

12) Isn't this complaint the same as #11? Unless the original writer was the Chief Usher of the White House, I wouldn't believe anything this administration has to say. Have they told us the truth on anything yet?

Answer: All truth, just not what you dreamers wanna hear, lol!

13) If Hillary could get $20M more power to her. That money isn't from taxpayers, it's from capitalists hoping to make their money back and then some.

Answer: Ahh, AAhh, AAHHH TSU!!

14) If there is a shred of truth to this point it doesn't matter. You can say lots of things shouldn't have been done... with hindsight.
-Reagan shouldn't have given guns to the Afghan rebels so they could kick the Russians out (giving birth to Al Queda)
-Clinton should tried multiple times to kill OSB.
-GWB and Condi Rice should have taken action when they were briefed that Al Queda was going to try to do something "big" back in the summer of 2001

Answer: Maybe Carter shouldn't have armed the Sandanistas??


I'm going to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee will be. I think Hillary Clinton, would make a damn fine President, she has experience, inside the beltway experience. Do you want some "outsider", like we've had for the past 6+ years? THINK!

Answer: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Mitt is a serial waffler. Rudy is a serial liar. McCain is as old as dirt... probably older. Thompson is beyond lazy.

Answer: Hil is os crooked when she dies they'll need to screw her into the ground!!

Lori

Posted by: lorifromcIg | November 13, 2007 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I just got of the Phone with relatives from Naples Floriduh. Seems they are as fed up with the lack of Law enforcement of Criminal Employers of Illegal Invaders as me!

They like Mitt Romney too!

Giuliani you cross-dressing Dimocrat pretending Conservative Values-IT IS AN EMPLOYMENT ISSUE!

NOT an Imigration Issue!

Giuliani thinks, like all the Dims, Sanctuary Cities, Day Labor Assemblies, and Criminal Employment is something GOOD!?

That is because he is either Thicker than a Brick(Adobe), or a TRAITOR to the Blue Collar Middle Class!-or what used to be!

Posted by: rat-the | November 13, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

No "more of the same". I don't want another RepubliCON in office ever again. I don't care if he poops roses. NO MORE...EVER!

Posted by: camera_eye_1 | November 13, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the WP has completely ignored Nevada. Although it has primarily been the Nevada Democrats who have tried to garner attention to the Silver State with their early caucus (January 19, for those keeping track), Nevada Republicans also switched their caucus to the same date. Admittedly, there has been limited efforts by either state or national Republicans to draw attention to this, or campaining by candidates (unlike Democrats), but there still will be a nominating contest for both Republicans and Democrats in mid-January in Nevada. As your commentary points out, early momentum can mean big shifts, and voters in Utah and California may pay more attention to the results in Nevada than to results in Iowa or New Hampshire.

When will the WP wake up and pay attention to the third nominating contest in the country?!

Posted by: noahkohn | November 13, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Lori proves only that she can cut'n'paste. I got the same screed in an e-mail from my brother.

The original writer (not Lori) is a shining example of what is wrong with the Republicans, they'd rather score dubious points at the expense of the larger issues.

1) Clinton didn't get a knob-job on the National Mall, and it would have stayed quiet as all former knob-jobs etc given to previous Presidents, except the Republicans wanted to dig up some dirt. Did getting a blow job make Clinton a worse president than the one we have now?

2) What is worse, feeling uncomfortable discussing sex with your 8 year old, or comforting the mother of you dead 18 year old child who just died in a pointless war?

3) The original writer seems to know all about sexual harassment, and what constitutes sexual intercourse, he's gotten lots smarter since his freshman year in college.

4) Wag the Dog? Clinton tried to kill OBL, what has GWB done to that end?

5) We can thank GWB for making Bill Clinton look presidential.

6) How many times have folks from GWB's administration claimed that their memory failed them? How many times have those folks ignored duly authorized subpoenas?

7) Thanks for Mark Folely, Randy 'Duke' Cunningham, Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Larry Craig, Jack Abramov, Karl Rove for firing of 8 US District Attorney's for not towing the GOP party line.

8) The cold-war was over, was it smart to keep a cold-war sized army around? Where is the original writer's disgust with GWB's failure to provide for the army that is actually on the receiving end of a bullet?

9) The original writer has gone around the bend. GWB has spent more time away from the Oval office then either Clinton or his father did.

10) Pardons! What about GWB's pardon of Scooter Libby? "One lies, the other one swears to it", except in this case it was "One Lies and the other one pardons him".

11) We'll see what happens on 20 Jan 2009, especially if a Democrat wins.

12) Isn't this complaint the same as #11? Unless the original writer was the Chief Usher of the White House, I wouldn't believe anything this administration has to say. Have they told us the truth on anything yet?

13) If Hillary could get $20M more power to her. That money isn't from taxpayers, it's from capitalists hoping to make their money back and then some.

14) If there is a shred of truth to this point it doesn't matter. You can say lots of things shouldn't have been done... with hindsight.
-Reagan shouldn't have given guns to the Afghan rebels so they could kick the Russians out (giving birth to Al Queda)
-Clinton should tried multiple times to kill OSB.
-GWB and Condi Rice should have taken action when they were briefed that Al Queda was going to try to do something "big" back in the summer of 2001


I'm going to vote for whoever the Democratic nominee will be. I think Hillary Clinton, would make a damn fine President, she has experience, inside the beltway experience. Do you want some "outsider", like we've had for the past 6+ years? THINK!

Mitt is a serial waffler. Rudy is a serial liar. McCain is as old as dirt... probably older. Thompson is beyond lazy.

Pete

Posted by: Roofelstoon | November 13, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Yonkers, New York
13 Nov 2007

It is all too obvious why Republican presidential aspirant Rudy Giuliani is discounting the first 3 primaries, Iowa in particular, and counting on Florida instead to carry him through.

He must know that he will get a bad thrashing in the first three primaries.

These initial three defeats cannot be good for Mr. Giuliani. Republican voters will very likely conclude from this, logically, that his chances of getting the nomination are remote.

From then on, Mr. Giuliani will be on a downward slide--and that could very well include Florida where he reposes his hopes.

MarPatalinjug@aol.com

Posted by: MPatalinjug | November 13, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

WOW there are some HATERZZZZZZZZZZZ About the Clinton Years

Posted by: buckeyejay00700 | November 13, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

WOW there are some HATERZZZZZZZZZZZ About the Clinton Years

Posted by: buckeyejay00700 | November 13, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

If we were to compile a similar list of "thanks" for W, would fathom it would be a tad bit worse than Lori's unhinged rant. Of this is the best the 30 percenters can do for their man W, I am honored to have been a Clinton-Gore supporter!

Posted by: merganser | November 13, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank You Democrats!!
Worse than you thought & worth remembering and this came from a Democrat.

Dear Mr. Ex President Clinton,
I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, "Thank me, I voted for Clinton-Gore." So, I sat down and reflected on that, and I am sending my "Thank you"
for what you have done, specifically:

1. Thank you for introducing us to Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Dolly Kyle Browning, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broderick.
Did I leave anyone out?

2. Thank you for teaching my 8 year old about oral sex. I had really planned to wait until he was a little older to discuss it with him, but now he
knows more about it than I did as a senior in college.

3. Thank you for showing us that sexual harassment in the work place (especially the White House) and on the job is OK, and all you have to know is what the meaning of "it" is. It really is great to know
that certain sexual acts are not sex, and one person may have sex while the other one does NOT have sex.

4. Thank you for reintroducing the concept of impeachment to a new generation and demonstrating that the ridiculous plot of the movie "Wag the Dog" could be plausible after all.

5. Thanks for making Jimmy Carter look competent, Gerald Ford look graceful, Richard Nixon look honest, Lyndon Johnson look truthful, and John Kennedy look moral.

6. Thank you for the 73 House and Senate witnesses who have pled the 5th Amendment and 17 witnesses who have fled the country to avoid testifying about Democratic campaign fund raising.

7. Thank you, for the 19 charges, 8 convictions, and 4 imprisonment's from the Whitewater "mess" and the 55 criminal charges and 32 criminal convictions
(so far) in the other "Clinton" scandals.

8. Thanks also for reducing our military by half, "gutting" much of our foreign policy, and flying all over the world on "vacations" carefully disguised as necessary trips.

9 Thank you, also, for "finding" millions of dollars (I really didn't need it in the first place, and I can't think of a more deserving group of recipients for my hard-earned tax dollars) for all of your globe-trotting. I understand you, the family and your cronies have logged in more time
aboard Air Force One than any other administration.

10. Now that you've left the White House, thanks for the 140 pardons of convicted felons and indicted felons-in-exile. We will love to have them rejoin society.
(Not to mention the scores you pardoned while Governor of Arkansas)

11. Thanks also for removing the White House silverware. I'm sure that Laura Bush didn't like the pattern anyway. Also, enjoy the housewarming gifts
you've received from your "friends."

12. Thanks to you and your staff in the West Wing of the White House for vandalizing and destroying
government property on the way out. I also
appreciate removing all of that excess weight (China, silverware, linen, towels, ash trays, soap, pens, magnetic compass, flight manuals, etc.) out of Air Force 1.
The weight savings means burning less
fuel, thus less tax dollars spent on jet fuel.
Thank you!

13. Please ensure that Hillary enjoys
the $8 million dollar advance for her "tell-all" book and you, Bill, the $10 million advance for your memoirs. Who says crime doesn't pay!

14. The last and most important point - thank you for forcing Israel to let Mohammed Atta go free.
Terrorist pilot Mohammed Atta blew up a bus in Israel in 1986. The Israelis captured, tried and imprisoned him. As part of the Oslo agreement with the Palestinians in 1993, Israel had to agree to release so-called "political prisoners". However,
the Israelis would not release any with blood on their hands. The American President at the time, Bill Clinton, and his Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, "insisted" that all prisoners be released. Thus Mohammed Atta was freed and eventually thanked the US by flying an airplane into Tower One of the World Trade Center. This was reported by many of the American TV networks at the time that the terrorists were first identified. It
was censored in the US from all later reports. Why shouldn't Americans know the real truth?

What a guy!!
And THANK YOU (once again) for spending my
taxes so wisely and frugally.

PS. Please pass along a special thank you to Al Gore for "inventing" the Internet, without which I would not be able to post this wonderful, factual e-mail.

AND THE REST OF THE STORY Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York State Senator, now comes under the "Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan," which means that even if she never gets reelected, she
STILL receives her Congressional salary until she dies. (Would it not be nice if all Americans were pension eligible after only 4 years?)

If Bill outlives her, he then inherits HER salary until HE dies. He is already getting his Presidential salary until he dies. If Hillary outlives Bill, she also gets HIS salary until she dies. Guess who pays for that? WE DO!

It's common knowledge that in order for her to establish NY residency, they purchased a million dollar-plus house in upscale Chappaqua, New York. Makes sense. They are entitled to Secret Service
protection for life. Still makes sense.

Here is where it becomes interesting. Their mortgage payments hover at around $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residence HAD to be built within the acreage to house the Secret Service agents.

The Clintons charge the Federal government $10,000 monthly rent for the use of that extra residence, which is just about equal to their mortgage payment. This means that we, the taxpayers, are paying the Clinton's salary, mortgage, transportation, safety
and security, as well as the salaries for their 12 man staff -- and, this is all perfectly legal!

WAKE UP AMERICA..................

Posted by: lorifromcIg | November 13, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rudy, good luck with that. I'd suggest you vet your people better, but then we all know you have troubles with that.

Posted by: havok26 | November 13, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Giuliani Goes Big"??

I'm speechless.

Posted by: zukermand | November 13, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

AFter the ad blitz against Rudy there is going to be no chance for his nomination, and when he loses the first three contests he is not going to have any momentum, something that is needed to win the nomination.

Posted by: sjxylib | November 13, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

This dress wearing fascist lunatic isn't going to win anything early or late.
Barney Fife would get more votes.

Posted by: eco-pharm | November 13, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

bsimon is exactly right. This is good news for America. To think one can mount a win in the face of three losses in a row is delusional and demonstrates how little common sense Rudy has.

Posted by: merganser | November 13, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Dan writes
"What their conference call did was attempt to build expectations for Giuliani's rivals in the early states while putting them as low as possible for the former mayor."

That would be my guess - that they are trying to capitalize on the 'soft bigotry of low expectations' - having established those low expectations themselves. A clever plan, in one sense, though a bit dicey too. If Huckabee surges to a strong finish in Iowa, that will be the story, likely making Giuliani's plan more difficult to implement.

Posted by: bsimon | November 13, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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