Friday, January 25, 2008

The Tanking of Rudy

"Five days before his make-or-break primary, all that last year's national front-runner has to show for the love he's given the Sunshine State is a diminished standing." On the Times blog, Timothy Egan comments on the travails of Rudy Giuliani in Florida. An excerpt:

For 50 days, Giuliani has had the Sunshine State nearly to himself. In advance of the presidential primary on Jan. 29, he’s sucked up to the Cuban vote in Miami, pandered in Cape Canaveral about the space program, tried to scare retirees over early-bird specials in South Florida. There he is riding in a fire truck in a Miami parade, trailed by angry firefighters who blame him for multiple failures when New York was attacked. There he is in the Panhandle, the consummate Yankees fan trying to look down-home on the Redneck Riviera. And every night, his campaign phone bank reaches out to the diaspora of 1.5 million transplanted New Yorkers. Start spreading the news – quick!

Yet, the more they see of him here, the more his poll numbers tank. Even with ol’ Fred Thompson shuffling off the stage for a life of longer naps and witless homilies to more appreciative audiences, Rudy’s campaign is in a meltdown.