Could Rudy have stopped McCain by campaigning harder in New Hamsphire? Video: Rudy endorses McCain

posted at 6:09 pm on January 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

A horrible thought. Rudy gave up on the state in mid-December; as of December 12 or so, he and McCain were both pulling around 18%. A week later Giuliani was off 4-5 points and Maverick was in the mid-20s. Which came first, the retreat or the decline? He couldn’t have won the state but a harder — and smarter — retail campaign up to primary day could theoretically have kept him in the high teens instead of the 8.5 percent margin he finished with. Maverick’s margin of victory? Only 5.5 percent. If Romney wins New Hampshire, McCain is done, in much the same way that Huckabee was effectively done after South Carolina. Fred finished him off by sucking away enough social cons there to let McCain squeak through. Giuliani could, quite possibly, have performed the same feat for Romney up north.

That gets you into another counterfactual, i.e. what if South Carolina had been a three-man race between Huck, Mitt, and Fred instead of Huck, Mitt, and McCain? Who would Maverick’s supporters have broken for? Maybe Fred, but maybe in insufficient numbers to prevent Huckabee from winning. In fact, Huck was the second choice of a plurality of voters in a poll taken nine days before the primary, so instead of weeping over McCain this morning we might have been weeping over him. How depressing to think that even the Republican alternate reality sucks this year. It’s like dodging a bullet and stepping directly on a landmine.

That’s not the only parallel between Giuliani and Thompson. The media wants its “fire in the belly” meme and, by god, they shall have it:

“We felt like given the nature of process and the news cycle and primary calendar we needed to be aggressive as far as staying relevant and driving debate,” bemoans one adviser. “And we were unable to. And not just paid, but from an earned [media] perspective. Both efforts [encouraging Giuliani to get aggressive on TV and on the trail] were met with the same kind of response. The comfort level just wasn’t there.”…

“He sure didn’t have any problems setting up contrasts when he was mayor,” a campaign source notes ruefully. “You wonder where the fire in the belly went.”

Alas, it seems the pol Ed Koch famously dubbed the “nasty man” wasn’t nasty enough:

[O]n the trail, he seemed so serene, so resigned, so Zen. He played up his 9/11 heroism, and portrayed himself an international ass-kicker, but he never really looked like he wanted to throttle anyone. He didn’t sound vengeful or bitter or power-starved; he talked about “returning power to you!” Who would have thought Rudy would be the gentleman reminding voters that he’s run a positive campaign, declaring that he’s “sick and tired of all the name-calling”?

It was hard to watch this Prozac version of Rudy on the trail without wondering if his heart was really in this race.

We’ve got the big endorsement coming up any minute now as I write this. Stand by for video. Rudy’s planning to hit the trail for him this week, fueling rumors among idiots of an all-RINO ticket that would alienate any members of the base still sitting on the fence about Maverick. Exit quotation: “Once Rush recognizes that the race will be between John and Hillary Clinton, he’ll come around.”

Update: As promised. Note the emphasis on moving beyond blue/red politics. With the nomination almost cinched, Maverick can start focusing on independents and the general.

As for Rudy allegedly never doing things by half measures, see, er, this post.


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pwNeD! for Gotti

ThackerAgency on January 30, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Awesome! Audio of Rudy’s endorsement of McShamnesty is broken! HA! Is a higher power at work or are the audio guys at the Reagan Library conservatives (Romney people)?

malan89 on January 30, 2008 at 6:12 PM

don’t count on Rush endorsing McShamnesty

Nascar70 on January 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM

malan89 on January 30, 2008 at 6:12 PM

It just went out on FNC the other channels had the audio fine.

Complete7 on January 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM

Interesting post. I will say though that he seems to want it most. Through all the what-ifs, McCain’s ambition is a constant.

Also interesting to note that Mitt dropped several points right after he pulled out of SC. In retrospect, the McCain might have been slowed if not slain there too.

Spirit of 1776 on January 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

Hindsight is a valuable tool for writing stories to fill space in either newspapers or blogs.

Weebork on January 30, 2008 at 6:18 PM

It sure sounds like a McCain-Giuliani ticket… what a vile love fest. *vomit*

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on January 30, 2008 at 6:19 PM

Better McCain/Rudy than McCain/Huckster.

phronesis on January 30, 2008 at 6:28 PM

I’ve heard that McCain is promising the VP slot to Huckabee if he stays in through big-ass Tuesday to siphon votes away from Romney. Anyone else believe that?

MT on January 30, 2008 at 6:29 PM

I don’t think McCain would be that stupid and have Giuliani as Veep. I could see Giuliani as AG though and Rudy would be a tough cookie was it comes to fighting the war on terror here in the US.

Lance Murdock on January 30, 2008 at 6:29 PM

Yeah, I don’t care about what might have been. We’ll have to live with what is and go from there…

eanax on January 30, 2008 at 6:29 PM

One key takeaway from the Rudy-McC announcement.

Rudy REALLY REALLY likes McC.

And McC REALLY REALLY likes Rudy.

So there you have it.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 6:30 PM

I’ve heard that McCain is promising the VP slot to Huckabee if he stays in through big-ass Tuesday to siphon votes away from Romney. Anyone else believe that?

I thought conventional wisdom was that Pawlenty the Minn governor had the inside track for Veep. Is that not still CW?

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Exit quotation: “Once Rush recognizes that the race will be between John and Hillary Clinton, he’ll come around.”

Not without McCain doing something (even if it is privately). Rush is the mountain in this case and he won’t come to Mohammad.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:32 PM

Could’ve. Should’ve. Would’ve. Didn’t.

With any luck Rudy will run again next time around, but for now I’m with Mitt.

amerpundit on January 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM

He might have stopped McCain, but then he’d have had a shot at Florida, and the True Conservatives would be pitching a fit about RINO Giuliani. Think about this – the most idealogically pure conservative still competing for the nomination is the former governer of Massachusetts. Romney didn’t win in Kerry and Kennedy’s backyard with his staunch conservatism. Neither of the Republican contenders are going to usher in a golden age of erstwhile conservative values. Most likely they won’t do much of anything, not that there’s anything wrong with that. So cheer up, Republicans, you’ve got a good pair of candidates, either one of which stands a good chance to keep the status quo safe from the likes of Hillary Clinton. And keeping the status quo is the most conservative value of all.

RightOFLeft on January 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM

I’ve heard that McCain is promising the VP slot to Huckabee if he stays in through big-ass Tuesday to siphon votes away from Romney. Anyone else believe that?

I really, really, really doubt that. McCain won’t have a VP and potential CINC that has the foreign policy positions of Huckabee.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM

It’s interesting to note that Huckabee actually won some counties in N. Florida…I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually carries Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee with an outside shot at Missouri. This would only strip votes from Romney, though. *sigh*

SouthernGent on January 30, 2008 at 6:38 PM

THE END IS COMING. RUDY AND MCCAIN ARE THE MODERN DAY JUDAS AND PILOT.

NAILS IN THE COFFIN, MY FRIENDS. NAILS IN THE COFFIN.

madmonkphotog on January 30, 2008 at 6:39 PM

Who cares. I’d take McCain over Rudy any day. They’re both liberals but at least McCain tries to be pro life.

Darth Executor on January 30, 2008 at 6:40 PM

don’t count on Rush endorsing McShamnesty

Nascar70 on January 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM

oh dear!!! oh dear god no!!!

what favors will the “real conservatives” withold from us next? will we not be allowed to eat goat flop at gunpoint?

jummy on January 30, 2008 at 6:45 PM

Yeah, kind of sounds like a McCain-Giuliani ticket is forming over the horizon…

Seixon on January 30, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Darth Ex-

…at least McCain tries to be pro-life.

But even more pro-life to anchor babies than our own.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 6:48 PM

RUDY AND MCCAIN ARE THE MODERN DAY JUDAS AND PILOT.

hmm….

jummy on January 30, 2008 at 6:48 PM

It’s interesting to note that Huckabee actually won some counties in N. Florida…I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually carries Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee with an outside shot at Missouri. This would only strip votes from Romney, though. *sigh*

SouthernGent on January 30, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Some Feb 5’th Polls

Alabama,

Arizona,

California,
Colorado,

Connecticut,
Delaware,
Georgia,
Illinois,
Minnesota,
Massachusetts,

Missouri

New Jersey,

New York

Oklahoma

Tennessee

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:48 PM

Rudy is now the Compleat Loser.

Thanks, schmuck.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Stopping Juan, doubtful! Rudy I don’t think was ever popular enough out of NYC. Nice guy and all that, but I don’t think he ever had the natl popularity, espacially after all the slightly negative stuff, including a couple of divorces, came out. He seemed too East Coast, too New Yawky for a lot of Westerners; might make a great cabinet member.

countywolf on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

BTW, is anyone besides me going to watch tonights GOP debate on CNN?

I just gotta see whether Mitt has any new tricks up his sleeve and if McCain is going to let loose his famous SNEERS if the attacking gets too heavy….

But I guess its all just kabuki theater by now.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

the “real conservative” raft gets smaller and smaller.

jummy on January 30, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Update: As promised. Note the emphasis on moving beyond blue/red politics. With the nomination almost cinched, Maverick can start focusing on independents and the general.

I noticed that too. I wonder if they are betting that Democrats and Independents will become discusted with what is going on in the Democratic primary. Especially if the Clinton machine kills Obama.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:51 PM

I don’t feel so back about Rudy losing now that he’s done this.

Good riddance.

askheaves on January 30, 2008 at 6:52 PM

But I guess its all just kabuki theater by now.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Not for Mitt. I keep having the feeling that it is tonight or never for Mitt.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Rudy endorses McCain

/spit

Lehosh on January 30, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Yup- I guess this is what “fire in the belly” will git ya. Next time I hope we worry more about policy.

Ex-tex on January 30, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Chertoff and Kerorac killed rudy

William Amos on January 30, 2008 at 6:58 PM

fueling rumors among idiots of an all-RINO ticket that would alienate any members of the base still sitting on the fence about Maverick.

Ouch.

docob on January 30, 2008 at 7:01 PM

Ahh … the Juan McCainez/Rudioso Giulianita ticket!

I can hear those footsteps now racing to get across the border … which still is as porous as it was 7 years ago.

darwin on January 30, 2008 at 7:02 PM

If, if, if, if, if…

If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, everyday would be Christmas.

It didn’t happen that way. Let’s move on.

asc85 on January 30, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Huckabee is misguided. McCain is an enemy of conservatism. Even Huck would be better than McCain.

Still not votin’ R if Mitt doesn’t pull it out.

HYTEAndy on January 30, 2008 at 7:04 PM

McCain vs. Clinton: McCain +1.8

.

McCain vs Obama: McCain +1.5

.Romney has never shown that he could beat Hillary or Obama

Romney vs Clinton: Clinton +12.4

.

Romney vs Obama: Obama +17

Chakra Hammer on January 30, 2008 at 7:05 PM

Okay then.

Take care, y’all, and good luck with the hate and vitriol!

docob on January 30, 2008 at 7:05 PM

McCain vs. Clinton: McCain +1.8

.

McCain vs Obama: McCain +1.5

.Romney has never shown that he could beat Hillary or Obama

Romney vs Clinton: Clinton +12.4

.

Romney vs Obama: Obama +17

Vote Romney and lose.

Chakra Hammer on January 30, 2008 at 7:06 PM

Looking Ahead to Super Tuesday

In the Romney pile, we’ll probably have about five to seven wins, and the delegates most of Massachusetts, all of Utah, all of Montana, most of Colorado, all of Missouri, and if that poll is correct, all of Delaware, and perhaps most of North Dakota’s. And he’ll get some of California’s.

I put him at about 200 to 250 delegates.

In the Huckabee pile, we’ll have Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, and maybe he’ll get some of California’s.

I put him around 200.

In the McCain pile, we’ll have all of Arizona, all of New York, all of New Jersey, all of Connecticut, probably the largest chunk of California’s, probably most of Minnesota’s, probably majorities in Oklahoma and West Virginia.

I put him around somewhere north of 400 delegates.

Alaska may go for Ron Paul, and he may get a majority of their 29 delegates.

That would put things at about McCain at 500+ (needing 1,191 to be the nominee), Romney at 325, Huckabee at 230 or so.

http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MDkyN2RjZTVmMWE1MWQ0YzY5Y2I5MmM2NGUzZDY5OTI=

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 7:09 PM

I think Rudy was discovered for the shill he is and the voters reflected that. McCain pushed the amnesty bill and Rudy presided over a santuary city. Sounds like a marriage made in heaven….or at least Mexico.

volsense on January 30, 2008 at 7:10 PM

BTW CNN is reporting that McCain is talking with swartzenegger about an endorcement.

William Amos on January 30, 2008 at 7:13 PM

But I guess its all just kabuki theater by now.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 6:49 PM
Not for Mitt. I keep having the feeling that it is tonight or never for Mitt.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 6:52 PM

I agree about Mitt.

But for Mitt to make an impact he cannot just keep repeating the same lines he has already used a hundred times.

he has to try to confront McCain on his RINOism in a new and dramatic way.

Just repeating the old lines about Washington is broken, and rearranging the chairs and so on and so forth is, I belive, not gonna get it done. he needs to a NEW and yes a DESPERATE approach.

If he just goes with the same ol same ol, it is over for Mitt.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 7:14 PM

I’m disappointed with Rudy’s endorsement: he’s not a RINO to the extent that McCain is. As mayor of NY, he had to pander to the Left, just like Romney: it’s not like he went out of his way to dismay Conservatives. No, while neither Rudy nor Romney are conservatives per se, as Rush said, they at least don’t pretend to be that, but instead openly accept how they have been different. Romney, for instance, admits that he was pro-choice before he became pro-life, while Rudy admits that on this issue, he is out of step. Either one I can live with (even though on this issue, I happen to be more pro-choice), but what I can’t stand is someone lying, like McCain does.

Also, had my fill of Michael Medved this afternoon, and am disgusted by this neo-Marxist carrying the water for McClain. If McClain gets his way, I’m going to root for Obama, or stay neutral if it’s Clinton.

infidelpride on January 30, 2008 at 7:15 PM

Regarding the CNN report, I also heard John King say that McCain is close to getting the endorsement of Georgia’s two republican senators as well.

He is wiping the floor with endorsements and Mitt is still basically spinning his wheels.

Always Right on January 30, 2008 at 7:16 PM

don’t count on Rush endorsing McShamnesty

Nascar70 on January 30, 2008 at 6:16 PM

Can I now?

Hollowpoint on January 30, 2008 at 7:17 PM

Vote Romney and lose.

Chakra Hammer on January 30, 2008 at 7:06 PM

If McCain wins we lose anyway … so what’s your point? He’s blue through and through.

darwin on January 30, 2008 at 7:18 PM

It’s like dodging a bullet and stepping directly on a landmine.

HAHA.

Theworldisnotenough on January 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM

It’s like dodging a bullet and stepping directly on a landmine.

HAHA.

Theworldisnotenough on January 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM

So cheer up, Republicans, you’ve got a good pair of candidates, either one of which stands a good chance to keep the status quo safe from the likes of Hillary Clinton. And keeping the status quo is the most conservative value of all.

RightOFLeft on January 30, 2008 at 6:33 PM

No it isn’t. Not if the status quo keeps incrementally shifting left mercilessly. It’s not enough to be right of left as your moniker suggests, standing athwart history yelling “Wait for me!” Conservative parties in any country only win when they stick steadfastly to their principles. Thermopylae and all that.

aengus on January 30, 2008 at 7:19 PM

Would NOW be a good time to invest in the nose pin industry?

44Magnum on January 30, 2008 at 7:21 PM

This is surreal.

Just three months ago, Rudy was untouchable.

And now, here we are.

The early primary states can rest easy knowing that their importance will never again be questioned by any serious presidential candidate.

Amazing.

Hawkins1701 on January 30, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Also, had my fill of Michael Medved this afternoon, and am disgusted by this neo-Marxist carrying the water for McClain.

it’s funny, when i used to watch aghast as democrats, greens, anarchists and reds go at one another, and i saw nonsense like the above, i was confused about it.

for instance, when a lefty would say of, say, nader, that he was a “reactionary” who “may as well go hang out with jerry fallwell”, i would actually look for sense in the statement.

but its clear to me that it was only nessesary that the words used sound insulting in intent. the idea is not to make an argument like a homo sapien, but to bark and present like a monkey; to screech “politically incorrect unperson!”

jummy on January 30, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Superb: Rudy at least has some political sense and puts the party above personal interest and infighting. Having him on board would also be a great boost for McCain come the general, keeping the battle firmly on Democratic territory in the coastal Blue states.

The endorsements are coming thick and fast because it is obvious which GOP candidate can best win the election for the party. The reactionary bigots who are still spitting poison at McCain don’t really matter so much – their votes are usually wasted in safe Red states anyhow.

Pax americana on January 30, 2008 at 7:39 PM

The Anchoress thinks we need a time out.

bnelson44 on January 30, 2008 at 7:40 PM

I have to say I am a bit ticked off at Rudy, and Fred. They were two of the biggest names in this race and yet they campaigned like it was a side job. If they had made campaigning their full time job, Mike Huckabee would have never made it out of the third tier. Also, when John McCain had his nose dive during the McCain Kennedy debacle he would have never been able to pull back up if those titans had been campaigning seriously. Instead they took little things for granted and those little things came back and stomped them. Mitt Romney is the only one who has taken the entire Presidential campaign seriously. He has gone from the very begining fighting for his life in this race, and he has know that he can’t take this for granted.

America can’t wait till it is time to vote and expect to get a good President. We have to produce good Presidents. Very few of the candidates this year have even come close to that standard. We have forgotten the supply side. America has become such a consumption society that we aren’t producing enough goods, and that includes the production of good Presidents. We demand things that we aren’t willing to supply.

Mitt Romney is the best chance we have of returning to a productive society, and balancing out our excessive demand.

Tim Pancoast on January 30, 2008 at 8:07 PM

I am glad to see that so many of my fellow conservatives have realized, like me, that a Romney nomination would lead to a Democrat President.

I admire Romney’s “fire in the belly”, but he can’t win and can only derail the only chance we have to beat back Hobama in the general.

Let us be blunt here, McCain is 80% in line with my positions. I strongly oppose him on the other 20%, but I know he won’t flip flop. He is a man of convictions and he will stand up for what he believes in.

Between Mitt’s flip flopping and the way the Democrats would exploit the Mormon meme to death, we would only guarantee a blue state landslide that would leave America in a very bad place.

In a battle of Identity politics, either Black or Female trumps Mormon. John McCain is not about identity politics.

Stick a fork in Mitt, he is done.

JayHaw Phrenzie on January 30, 2008 at 8:15 PM

It’s like dodging a bullet and stepping directly on a landmine.

Nice trope.

dedalus on January 30, 2008 at 8:17 PM

What?

First he brags about his political differences with the “liberal New Yorks Times”…

then he jumps in the same boat with them for the McCain endorsement?

What a fraud.

Saltysam on January 31, 2008 at 1:05 AM

If Romney got the nomination, he would have gotten his butt kicked by Hillary in the general. At least with McCain, Republicans have a chance.

SoulGlo on January 31, 2008 at 1:54 AM