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Former Front-runner Giuliani, Now Hoping to be Comeback Kid

Giuliani is banking on strong Florida support. (AP).

By Dan Balz
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- "We have them lulled into a false sense of security," Rudy Giuliani joked about his rivals at Thursday's Republican debate here in south Florida. Was anyone really laughing?

The former New York mayor's rapid descent after leading national Republican polls for most of 2007 is one more remarkable chapter in the story of Campaign 2008. In the space of 12 months he has gone from improbable candidate to unlikely nominee to surprise front-runner to a man now left to joke about becoming the Comeback Kid of this campaign.

Giuliani long counted on Florida to begin his march to the nomination. Now Florida may give Republicans the race that many strategists predicted -- and that some were preparing for -- way back in 2006, a contest between a seasoned Washington politician with national security credentials in John McCain and a youthful outsider with a grounding in economic and domestic issues in Mitt Romney.

Only a major surprise by Giuliani on Tuesday would change that dynamic from emerging out of Florida. But nearly every indicator about his campaign is heading in the wrong direction. A victory in Florida on Tuesday would be as big a surprise as Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire three weeks ago.

Giuliani has lost his lead in national polls. He had Florida to himself for two weeks before the other candidates -- preoccupied with contests Giuliani bailed out of -- and yet the most recent polls here show him falling here. He has lost his lead in New York, the key of his Feb. 5 strategy, and a poll released overnight from the Public Policy Institute of California shows him at just 10 percent in the state he boasted he could put into play in a general election.

More than just his support has eroded. The latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows that his public image has been battered by his long exposure to the voters. Last March, as he was rising atop the GOP field, 57 percent of Republicans gave him a positive rating. In the new poll, just 28 percent rated him positively.

Polls are particularly fickle this year and especially in the Republican race. With a divided electorate and a field of flawed candidates, success begets poll numbers. Giuliani's plunge in the polls reflects his anemic finishes in the early contests -- where he has trailed even Ron Paul in several.

Because the current polls of the Republican race seem to reward success rather than reflecting deeply felt commitments to one candidate or another, a stunning upset by Giuliani here on Tuesday would rejuvenate his candidacy and those numbers might quickly turn around. But that does not appear likely with four days of campaigning before Election Day.

Was all this inevitable? There are reasons it was -- but the campaign Giuliani has waged has made his situation worse, not better.

Giuliani's prospects were always clouded by his positions on issues like abortion, gay rights and guns, where as mayor he was out of step with the base of the Republican Party. His advisers did not discount that problem but believed two things could combine to create a path for Giuliani to win the nomination.

The first was their conclusion, based on early research, that only a minority of Republicans who held views on those issues that were at odds with Giuliani would not consider voting for him. They believed there were more enough voters willing to give him a look that, in a multi-candidate field, he could win primaries.

The second was their belief that social issues would play a less significant role in this nomination battle than in years past, and that Giuliani's 9/11-enhanced reputation would make him appealing to conservative Republicans, regardless of his views on social issues.

Both may have been correct. This has not been a race in which the social issues have dominated, and none of the leading candidates now in the race, with the exception of Mike Huckabee, has an affinity with religious and social conservatives. And it appeared for many months that Giuliani's reputation as the mayor who calmed a shaken city after the terrorist attacks could appeal to conservatives.

What has been more curious is that degree to which Giuliani has proved to be a campaigner who appeal to voters seemed to diminish the more they saw him.

New Hampshire is the best example. Of all the early states, Giuliani tried to run a serious campaign in the Granite State, where the moderate-leaning GOP electorate appeared potentially hospitable. In November, Giuliani began to run television ads in the state and on the weekend after Thanksgiving he barnstormed the state. Standing outside city hall in Manchester, with Mayor Frank Guinta at his side, he predicted he would win the primary.

Instead, his support went in the opposite direction. He had almost a quarter of the vote in a September poll by the University of New Hampshire for CNN and WMUR-TV; by late December he was at about half that level.

Giuliani tried multiple messages. He began the campaign as a 2008 version of President Bush's 2004 reelection posture: the man who would keep the country safe. He railed at Democrats warning that their views on terrorism would invite more attacks and more casualties.

He ran for a time as the presumptive nominee, traveling overseas to appear with leaders in Britain and claiming to be one of the most recognizable Americans in the world. He ignored his rivals to attack Hillary Clinton, hoping to signal to GOP voters that he would be their strongest nominee.

He ran as the mayor, promising to do for America what he did for New York. He offered up his record as proof of what he could do as president.

He ran as a Reagan conservative -- at least on economic issues, touting his commitment to tax cuts, welfare reform, school vouchers and other conservative ideas.

But often he ran half-heartedly. He ran instead as a celebrity -- coming into a café or diner or house party with a few short remarks, occasionally taking questions, signing autographs and then moving on. He enjoyed the adulation that he received virtually everywhere he went but, with only a few exceptions, did not do what almost all successful candidates do.

He was hit by scandal and that too came at just the wrong time. Bernie Kerik's indictment raised questions about judgment and cronyism. Reports about curious allocation of security costs raised the issue of his messy personal life.

His absence in Iowa and New Hampshire put him out of the story at a time many voters around the country were beginning to pay attention. And when he has needed it most, he seems to have lacked the fight necessary to win a competition that requires it of all successful candidates.

"This has become a very competitive race and I always expected it would be a very competitive race," Giuliani said Thursday night, "and I believe that I'm going to have the same fate that the New York Giants had last week, and we're going to come from behind and surprise everyone. I think we're going to do very well on February 5th, and I believe that I'll get the nomination."

In a way he never expected, Giuliani's candidacy now is in the hands of the voters of Florida. If he falls short, he will have to look to himself for the answers to why it happened.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 25, 2008; 1:44 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Balz's Take , Rudy Giuliani  
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Posted by: afci huolkgd | April 16, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I personally am rather dubious that we can fix the problems with our economy by printing more money without causing a crash in the dollar. I was wondering - has anyone at WaPo read the 4 point economic stimulus plan outlined by Ron Paul at Would you be willing to write an article on it? I'm not from the campaign, but I really do wonder how well it would work.

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Posted by: lnardozi | January 27, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Rudy Giuliani should fire whoever came up with his Florida or bust strategy. Perhaps he wouldn't have gotten the nomination anyway, but it would have at least been much closer.
I feel its unfortunate that Rudy has no shot now because I lived in New York while he was mayor. I saw how Rudy significantly reduced crime and cleaned up the streets making Manhattan one of the safest cities in America. How he brought business back to the city and kept taxes low. And did it while almost everybody in the city hated him. His strength is getting the job done and not caring whether anybody likes him. But unfortunately likeability is a key to the presidency (i.e. B. Clinton, G.W. Bush). Oh well, I guess now I will vote for John McCain.

Posted by: jacaroleo | January 26, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

One disadvantage Romney has is that he is unknown nationally. Romney is the new guy - the outsider so to speak. Thus he needs to make a good impression with every appearance. But is that enough for voters? As for myself, I want to better know the candidate I vote for.

On the other hand, McCain and Giuliani are well known. Being well known and ahead in the polls McCain takes heavy flak from some on the far right. Having been an active Senator for over two decades it would be a miracle if McCain had not displeased some people occasionally. Today Rush Limbaugh attacked McCain for almost the whole three hours of his show. Rush insisted that if the New York Time had endorsed McCain, then McCain must not be a conservative. Rush exhibits the all to common human trait of overlooking the important and larger positives and dwelling on the smaller negatives. Rush also freely admits that he strives for combat with Democrats as a first priority. McCain does not fit into the pattern.

I will vote for McCain because (a) he passionately opposes earmarks, (b) he is the most qualified to support national defense, (c) he has been a creative Senator and has exerted great effort to find bipartisan solutions to complex problems, and (d) he is utterly honest in the sense the he tells the truth as he sees it.

Posted by: rodhug | January 25, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul 2008. The only candidate that has the balls to admit that the IRAQ War was and is a tragic mistake. Screw the rest of them and screw the yellow bellied bias reporting of the WaPo.

Posted by: a6mech | January 25, 2008 9:47 PM | Report abuse

The New York Times what a piece of S*** of a news paper. Why would Rudy want that endorsment as a matter of fact if I was McCain I would reject that endorsment. That Paper is a treasoner. I am glad they didn't support Rudy. Rudy is the best candidate and it is a shame that Republicans are being so ignorant to choose Romney who is another flip flopper like Kerry. Democrats are going to nail him like if he was a joke. Screw Ron Paul, I am so sick of him. I hope God helps us Republicans because we are headed for a landslide defeat in November God help us!!

Posted by: irizarryrafael | January 25, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is just one of the pathetic sphincters that the Republican party have decided to call 'candidates' for the 2008 election.

And we all know what pops out of sphincters, don't we?

Posted by: mvford | January 25, 2008 8:38 PM | Report abuse

No way Rudy will pull this off. Why was McCain so nice to him in the last debate? It seemed a little strange.

Got to say that this election is really fun and exciting, and I've seen a lot of them. Also, "The Fix" is great to have around for us political junkies!

Posted by: johng1 | January 25, 2008 7:36 PM | Report abuse

There are no frontrunner freepers to come back as kids, just GOP dead enders to go away..

Posted by: jhbyer | January 25, 2008 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Nothing remarkable about this at all. He was entirely built up by the media, and the media bubble has burst in several places during the last year.

If the media decided my brother was St. Francis and Mother Theresa all rolled into one, some people would probably believe it for a day or two, but not longer. I repeat, NOT LONGER.

And Giuliani is a fool beside my brother.

Posted by: wardropper | January 25, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I would be labeled as a "social conservative" by the pundits. While I think Rudy is really bright and has great leadership skills, I'd never vote for him because of his positions on the most important issues - and I told his campaign so when they called me. I'm currently undecided but leaning toward Romney. I think Huckabee is terrific but not as bright on foreign policy and economic issues.

Romney has become pro-life. It's possible for people to convert. Even Norma McCorvey, "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, is now pro-life.

Posted by: operaml | January 25, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Apart from his personal unlikability, Rudy always faced a huge challenge running as a mayor, and as a mayor of a city that, love it or hate it, is unique and unrepresentative of the country as a whole. His abrasiveness and willingness to get down in the mud, harass and intimidate critics, and hurl invective at those who opposed him, has a certain appeal to New Yorkers. The rest of the country, not so much.

Posted by: twatson12 | January 25, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Rudy? More like the Scumbag Kid.

Posted by: Spectator2 | January 25, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Rudy is more Jets than Giants. And since he will go down in Florida, he may resemble the Dolphins. But at least they won one game.

Posted by: tenglish1 | January 25, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Rudy is by far the best candidate. He should win because he is our best chance to defeat Hillary.

On the 2nd amendment issue, Rudy said last night that he supports the latest decision by the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (i.e., 2nd amendment is a personal right). Rudy is more conservative than President Bush on this issue (based on the shameful brief filed by the DOJ last week) and certainly more conservative than Romney, who last night CONFIRMED that he would support an assault weapons ban.

Romney is DOA and this conservative will never vote for him...

Posted by: eschweibenz | January 25, 2008 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The pundits never learn. I've been watching presidential campaigns since 1952. Non-incumbent candidates leading in the polls a year before the election almost never win. The pundits always think this time is different. It never is. They will proclaim a number of sure winners until the voters finally elect one.

They were wrong for another reason when they were giving the nomination to Rudy a few months ago. They thought this year would be different and Republicans would elect a Social liberal. Aint going to happen.

Huckabee is the best candidate but probably doesn't have enough money to win a national campaign.

Posted by: billy10 | January 25, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

PS: 1. Its worth noting how low Mitt's standing is now in Massachusetts. Many Independent and Republicans feel burned by Mitt. We've learned, that he would genteely throw his mother over a cliff if it would advance him. No longer believable.

2.The notion that Kerry was a flip flopper(and loser) and Mitt is a flip flopper and its just part of the Massachusetts culture; or look at what losers Kerry and Dukakis were: In just over a week, the Pats will make history, as have the Sox and now the Celtics again and even the Bruins. We are smart folks, the most educated as well as the most secular states, and also one of the richest in terms of cash and the diversity and creativity of our people. Education!!!!

Go Pats!

Posted by: northlite | January 25, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm from Mass. and so have seen Mitt Romney in the news almost on a daily basis in 1993-4 and 2000-2006. I've met the man. He is very competent. But he has no soul.

I particularly resent the fact that his Mormon religion was treated with 99% respect or it was a non-issue in the most secular state in the nation(near majority of RCs). Didn't matter if you were for him or against him, Republican or Democrat, his religion was not part of people's personal political thinking. Now he turns around and makes "Secularists" one of his whipping boys. He's shameless! And doing it in his speech on "Faith".

And so it has been with supporters of the right to abortion, Gay Rights, and gun control advocates. When he wanted our votes, the would say anything. But we who he made promises to and those beliefs that he claimed, publicly and privately and often at his initiation and quite strongly, were merely a means to his end, not the values or the people. Its all about ambition.

Bottom line: Mitt Romney is a serial "Promise Breaker". You should wonder whether he will keep all, or just some of his promises, and which will be the ones he keeps. Only the Lord knows!

Posted by: northlite | January 25, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani has gathered his troops together for a big battle - is this his Waterloo, I think so.

Posted by: glclark4750 | January 25, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is loosing for one reason, he stopped campaigning. He made it clear that he didn't care about anyone until Florida, so no one cares about him.

I live in NH. He did not campaign and that is a big no-no in Iowa and NH. A few (very few) TV adds is not campaigning. He basically choose to forfeit the vote in the early states and lost momentum because of it.

Plane and simple. There is no need to try and get any further meaning out of the situation. Although some always feel the need to twist things out of all recognition.

Posted by: KAMMAK | January 25, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I voted (early) for Mitt Romney in Florida's Jan. 29 primary. So did my mother, father, brothers (2), sisters-in-law (2), grandmother, great aunt, great uncle, several co-workers and many friends.

Go Mitt, Florida's conservative families are with you!

Posted by: hallamb2001 | January 25, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Based on RG's performance in last night's debate, I would guess he has already thrown in the towel. He did not take easy opportunities to attack because he is now hoping to be either the VP candiate, get a job in a GOP administration, or at least get work for his security or law firms from Republicans. The first, at least, is out of the question -- neither Romney nor McCain gain anything by choosing him as their VP.

Posted by: spjeff | January 25, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Rudy Giuliani was not going to win. "9/11" has been his only argument. On 9/11, anyone would have done what he did, and even more: "Stand on top of the rubbles, and speak words of encouragement and patriotism." This alone would not turn one into a "National Security expert" and qualify anyone to be president of the USA. Such arrogance, well, it's not totally strange, is it!?

Rudy Giuliani's story should also force the media to re-examine how they operate. It seems to me that the media is willing to promote ideas without asking the hard questions. May be it is the ratings!!!

He has enjoyed travelling across the country, staying in very expensive hotels at the expense of donor's money - "as long as they do not mind, reasoned Rudy!(questionable judgement again).

I believe it is time to stop including him in the debates.

At least, he will never blame anyone for this outcome.

Posted by: paixetjoie | January 25, 2008 5:18 PM | Report abuse

In New York Rudy Kerik, I mean Bernie Guiliani is known as the "kick back" kid.
In the unlikely event that Mittens "Business" Romney is the GOP nominee, Rudy will make a great bag man.

Posted by: adirondackal | January 25, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Giuliani is dead last in number of people hitting his web page (out of all candidates):

And also in Google searches. People are over him.

Posted by: davidmwe | January 25, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"A victory in Florida on Tuesday would be as big a surprise as Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire three weeks ago."

No, it would be much bigger, as if Bill Richardson had won in New Hampshire three weeks ago.

Rudy is toast.

Posted by: judgeccrater | January 25, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

One small point: how can you call Romney "youthful"? He's 60. The Mittster may have great hair, but at 60, he isn't "youthful."

Posted by: bjhunt | January 25, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

ceo1: Your argument is unconvincing. I can see evolving a position when the facts somehow change as falling into your framework of "hard-liner" vs. "open-minded" but that's clearly not what happened here. Explain to me what has changed on the issues of abortion or gay rights in the last decade -- other than the audience to whom Romney is now playing -- that would support your assertion that Romney he is being "open minded" rather than merely flip-flopping to pander to a more conservative audience in republican primary voters than the Massachusetts electorate he previously courted. You'll have to do better to explain away Romney's blatant, unprincipled pandering.

Posted by: rmargol | January 25, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

hey, semi-reportcard!

Even a conservative should be able to see through Romney. As governor of a liberal leaning state, he helped push through a mostly liberal legislative agenda. And now he is assuming the three 'conservative' stances you describe without a clue as to how he would ever accomplish anything.

1. At least McCain helped formulate some kind of plan for illegal immigration instead of just yelling 'throw them out and keep them out'.

2. Just how does Romney expect to pay for 'slashing taxes on the middle class'? By slashing social security and medicare? Or just borrowing more from foreigners?

And 'doing away with corporate taxes' just lets business owners have more money to invest overseas. Money earned in this society should stay here to build purchasing power. That's what expands business. American corporations that make money overseas should be taxed even more.

3. Drilling in Alaska will produce about six months worth of oil and will not reduce prices for Americans - only increase profits for (global) oil companies. Oil prices are controlled by Saudi-Arabian production levels. The Alaskan oil idea is so lame it couldn't even get past a Republican-controlled congress.

So how can you possibly choose Romney's flip-flopping rhetoric over McCain's independent 'straight talk'and his track record of working against congressional corruption.

If the republicans don't nominate John McCain they will hand the presidency to the Democrats with a weak whimper.

Posted by: loyalsyst | January 25, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Guiliani's decline was predictable: First, because he has waited until Florida to make his stand -- he could have at least been competitive in the other states (even if he couln't win them); and second, because his nomination would have presented a greater risk of fracturing the Republican party than any one of the other leading Republican candidates given that his positions on social issues are antithetical to one of the necessary wings of the party.

Posted by: mikejd | January 25, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

ChrisDong, you nailed it re: Romney. The guy is a shameless panderer who changes his "positions" whenever his political consultants tell him he needs to do so. First he's the progressive governor of Massachusetts, next he's the bedrock conservtaive heir to the Reagan legacy, then he becomes the shrewd CEO that can save the ecomomy. If/when there's another major terrorist attack on American interests that grabs the headlines, no doubt he'll then switch gears yet again and trumpet himself as "strong on national defense." How anyone believes anything that comes out of his lying mouth is beyond me. No wonder the other Republican candidates can't stand him. I wouldn't trust Mitt Romney to tell me what time it is.

I like Rudy a lot but I think he's done for. He made a fatal strategic error in deciding not to contest the early primaries. What he didn't count on was the unexpected turnaround of our fortunes in Iraq and the resurgence of John McCain as a result. I'm guessing that he and his advisors probably thought that they'd sit out the first few contests, let the right-wingers beat each other up, and then they'd swoop in on Florida and Super Tuesday and lock up the moderate wing of the party. But McCain's remergence left that strategy in tatters, since they largely appeal to the same segment of the party (that being the Republicans who actually think for themselves and who don't march blindly in lockstep with the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters of the world).

Look for Rudy to finish a distant third or even fourth in Florida. This will likely work primarily to McCain's benefit on Super Tuesday, since most of Rudy's supporters, seeing that he's no longer a viable candidate, will switch to McCain. Just as Romney appears to have gotten a boost due to Fred Thomnpson's departure, so too will McCain benefit from Rudy's downfall.

Posted by: danram | January 25, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Glad to see Giuliani tanking but it was always obvious he would; this is not a man who benefits from exposure, and the more people see of him the less they like him, because he shows in one twitch and one remark after another that he is at heart a nasty little man.

Well we already have a nasty little man as president, we're in the worst shape we have ever been in as a nation as a result, we don't need another.

And to the paid Romney puffers: hahahahaha!! Yeah, drill Alaska, now there's a sharp idea. What's he going to do, fire the polar bears? Romney struts around in his expensive suits and delivers that tired "Econ 101" scold that the nastycons have worn out so thoroughly in the last 30 years. Well, Romney's business genius seems to have been based on a single formula (acquire and fire) and a complete lack of morals, neither of which scales very well to national policy.

But be it Rudi or Robo or Baghdad Market John, I'm happy. Any of the Dems could beat any of these empty shirts.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | January 25, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is a control freak with a fascist mindset, even if he can somehow be represented as a *social liberal.*

One revealing indication of Giuliani*s destructive control-freak personality is his war on ferrets, as mayor of Ne-e-eeuw Yawk during I think 2001. If Giuliani gets elected President, I sure am glad that I am not a ferret!

One of the first things that he will do after being elected POTUS is to issue an executive order for our entire nation, making mere possession of ferrets a felony, and sending Storm Troopers house-to-house across the nation searching for ferrets.

Think that I am exaggerating? Here are Giuliani quotes from the public record, on the Web, while he was campaigning frantically against repealing New York City*s ban on ferrets: *Theres something deranged about you,* Giuliani told the ferret advocate. *The excessive concern that you have for ferrets is something you should examine with a therapist -- not with me . . . This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.*

What does Giuliani know about ferrets? Apparently not much. My daughter has owned many ferrets. They are legal in our state. They are meek, friendly, playful, sociable, and generally housebroken pets. After millenia of being domesticated, they cannot survive in the wild. (Some related creatures can.) But they are illegal in California and in Hawaii, and still illegal in New York City because Giuliani has campaigned frantically against repealing the ban on owning them.

Does Giuliani have this same wonderful level of judgment about everything else too? What else might he take it into his head to ban next?

I cannot believe that people consider fascist-mindset Giuliani to be some kind of liberal. Whatever he is personally against, hey, we gotta make that be illegal for everybody!

Posted by: chuck8 | January 25, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

The easiest way to make sure Romney holds a position is to keep him talking to the same group of people. Once he figures out what position is more likely to get their vote, he sticks to that position.

Just don't ever put new people in front of him.

Posted by: steveboyington | January 25, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

yeah, i really like how Romney told the UAW workers in Michigan that he'd save their jobs. That's what we need in this country. a liar and a suckup that's willing to say anything for a vote.... Get real!

Posted by: chrisdong | January 25, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What a waste of space Balz. I guess you had to phone something in and this is the best you could come up with?

Mayor 9/11 is and has been dead in the water for weeks. I always thought it would be close at this point and the rest of the GOP field and the 527s would eat him alive. It seems that the American public just lost the mist of the Tower tradgedy and saw through the 'America's Mayor' crap that the media dreamed up.

We in NYC know what a fake he is and now the country does as well. Do us a favor Rudy, stay down there with Judy, we don't want you back here.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | January 25, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The villagers cannot accept that their pre-ordained candidate, St. Rudy of 9/11 has grated on the primary voters like nails on a chalkboard. The villagers held out hope until recently that the "lose all the early primaries and caucuses and then hope that transplanted NYers will save his bacon in FLA and catapult him into Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday" strategy might work. Now that it's clear that the general opinion of Rudy tends to go DOWN the more people see of him, the villagers are moving on to greener pastures.

Posted by: terrapin31590us | January 25, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Funniest sentence I've read today:

"The latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll shows that his public image has been battered by his long exposure to the voters."

Maybe the often decried early start to the presidential race is a good thing after all.

Posted by: richardmi | January 25, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Some people think that since something shows up on YouTube it becomes credible. As far as Romney being a "Flip-Flopper," it is a bunch of non-sence. The term "flip-flopper" is a term used to negatively identify those who are "open minded" on issues that face Americans. I wonder how many Americans are "open-minded" on issues. Of course, I am certain there are some of us who are such "hard-liners" on issues that no matter how wrong they are they will keep pushing their position to the detriment of the entire nation. Hmm, which one do we all want running our nation a "flip-flopper" or a "hard-liner?" Tough choice isn't it?

Posted by: ceo1 | January 25, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Romney is another flip-flopper like Kerry. Kerry served his country with medals. Romney is served by his sons instead of Iraq war. Both are from the same state.

Posted by: kat7 | January 25, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Will someone please start covering Ron Paul? He is by far the most republican Republican in this election and he has consistently finished well so far. Giuliani should not be in the Post's "frontrunners", especially when Ron Paul is doing much better than he is and is banished to a small link of other candidates. Can you please report what is really going on in this election rather than speculating about who might do well in Florida?

Posted by: jmonez | January 25, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Romney is the biggest chameleon I've ever seen. Over the past 8 years he's his positions to match conservative voters on every major social issue.

"I will do more to promote gay rights than senator [ted] Kennedy"

Posted by: nae32 | January 25, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani is a LOSER. He's in last place and he is NOT a "comeback kid".

Dan Balz is obviously brain-dead. Must be a Repuke.

Why is the WaPo blacking out coverage of Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is doing WAY better than Giuliani and has gotten second place in primaries.

But we don't hear about Ron Paul who is doing well, we hear about Trudi Julie Annie whose campaign is in the crapper.

WaPo needs to FIRE this Don Balz hack.

Posted by: TomIII | January 25, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Romney is clearly the comeback kid and appeals to conservatives--here are the issues:

1. His stance on illegal immigration. McCain attempted to grant amnesty.

2. His stance on the economy. Mitt outclasses every candidate on both sides and will provide the middle class with tax cuts, and slash the ridiculous corporate taxes stifling business growth. McCain is a joke on this issue and admitted he does not understand the economy.

3. His stance on energy independence. Mitt understands the substantial investment required to develop clean, efficient energy resources but he is not going to punish the US by not drilling oil and refining gas--oil production in Alaska will not only be key to reduce gas prices for every American citizen, but will further boost the economy by providing an abundance of well-paying jobs. Remember the 80's? Again, McCain is an ignorant liberal on this issue.

Romney will handily defeat the Clintons in 08'

"The success [in Iraq] is due to the blood and the courage of our servicemen and women... not to General Hillary Clinton"

- Mitt Romney

Posted by: sem-report-card | January 25, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | January 25, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

He's just trying to make himself feel a little better about dropping the ball on his bid. Skipping NH was the dumbest thing imaginable.

Posted by: parkerfl | January 25, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

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