ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME
I haven't been all the way through the Forbes '08 Tracker, which asks voters to assess which of 46 attributes apply to the various presidential candidates, but I've looked at the Rudy Giuliani page and all I can say is: How on earth is it possible that Giuliani is believed to be "mean" by only 3% of respondents, "rude" by 3%, "cold" by 5%, and "creepy" by 7%?
Um, this is the same Rudy Giuliani who was mayor of my city for eight years -- right? Rudy "This Excessive Concern with Little Weasels Is a Sickness" Giuliani? Rudy "Patrick Dorismond Is No Altar Boy" Giuliani? That guy? And hardly anyone in America thinks he's "mean" or "rude" or "cold" or "creepy"?
This is why I worry about '08: Giuliani's image is being fixed in the public's mind in a way that's utterly at odds with the true nature of his personality -- he's seen the likable guy (and we know America always picks the presidential candidate who's deemed the most likable). The Democrats might be able to beat him (or another Republican) if they can persuade the public that a GOP victory means another four years of "my way or the highway" -- and in Giuliani's case that's exactly what it means, to the power of ten -- but no one's defining Rudy that way, and he's defining himself as the gruff but endearing America's Mayor.
Wake up, Democrats.