Scattered Brilliance

From my brain to paper (or pixels as the case may be)

Did Rudy Giuliani miscalculate campaign strategy?

guiliani dropping out of the race?

Upon hearing the news that it was likely that Rudy Giuliani will withdraw his bid for the 2008 Republican nomination and throw his support to Sen. John McCain before the Super Tuesday push on February 5th, my only thought was “wow, he fucked up his campaign strategy pretty badly.”

Now, I am not a person invested much in “politics”, but campaigns too me are fascinating bits of game theory and strategy. It’s less about who you are and what you can do for the country than the strategy and tactics that create the public opinion of those things. I think this is less true in the general election for president, but very much true in the drawn out race for the nomination.

I may not have all the facts straight, but let me play them back as I see them.

Coming into the run for the nomination, the Republican race seemed like a race between Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani with John McCain close at their heels.  The likes of Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson were involved in the race, but not likely to win unless everything fell right for them, and Ron Paul had fanatical support but may have been nothing more than a “Howard Dean-esque” internet phenomenon.

While Romney, Huckabee, and Thompson focused on the opening foray to the nomination in Iowa and McCain there after in New Hampshire, Giuliani steadfastly campaigned in the Super Tuesday states turning his back on the theory that early momentum could bolster a candidate to the nomination.   It would appear that this was a campaign strategy built on misguided logic.  By spending all his time and resources in the Super Tuesday states hoping to hang around on reputation and make his run at the nomination in the 41% of Republican delegates up for grabs that across 24 states, Giuliani not only didn’t create a crescendo of public opinion and momentum coming into those states, but he lost the ability to raise money as the campaign progressed.  No one wants to sink money into a failing candidate.

Even recent statements by Giuliani bring his campaign strategy into question.  According to the Los Angeles Times;

“In a meeting in the back of his chartered plane en route to St. Petersburg, Fla., a short while ago, the onetime, longtime GOP front-runner told a small group of reporters, including The Times’ Louise Roug: “The winner of Florida will win the nomination.”  – LA Times, Top of the Ticket.

If he believed that, then why wouldn’t he have built a campaign to build momentum into Florida and then ride that through the Super Tuesday states to the nomination, much like John McCain has.

I wasn’t a supporter of Giuliani regardless of his campaign strategy and am happy that he’ll throw his support McCain’s way.  But if I were a Giuliani supporter or God forbid his campaign team, I’d be doing alot of Super Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking when looking at the way this campaign for the nomination played out.


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