Monday, April 05, 2010


No one who livd in New York in the 1990s would be the least bit surprised to learn that Rudy Giuliani made his choice in the Florida Senate primary strictly on the basis of the two candidates' relative history of pissing Giuliani off. Crist angered Giuliani by defecting to John McCain in the 2008 presidential race. Rubio hasn't done anything similar to Rudy. Therefore, Rubio is Rudy's man. Simple.

Tim Mak, who is probably older but appears to be about sixteen years old, and therefore may know next to nothing of Rudy's history, has a very naive post about this at David Frum's Frum Forum:

The End of Candidate Giuliani?

Rudy Giuliani's decision to endorse Marco Rubio in the hotly contested Florida senatorial primary may be more than an act of revenge. By backing a candidate that has little overlap with the brand of Republicanism that he embodies, Rudy may be signaling that he’s given up on ever running for office again....

Rudy's brand centers on a socially-tolerant, fiscally-conservative, and governance-minded vision for the Republican Party. Rubio represents the opposite wing of the GOP – he's a socially conservative, Club for Growth ideologue who backed Huckabee in 2008. Giuliani's endorsement of a Tea Party hero seems to suggest that he values payback over his personal political brand – not exactly what someone who's mulling a future run would do.

... in the context of Giuliani's recent political maneuvers, the evidence starts stacking up. After floating his name out as a potential contender in the New York Gubernatorial race, he announced that he wouldn't be running. Ditto to the New York Senatorial race.

If not now, when? And if he decided to run in the future, what brand would he run on? If he planned to run again, a Rubio endorsement only taints the unique niche he's carved out for himself in state and national politics....

"Giuliani's endorsement of a Tea Party hero seems to suggest that he values payback over his personal political brand"? New Yorkers know that Giuliani values payback over sex, probably over money -- over pretty much everything. Here in New York, we always thought "payback" was his "brand."

And, um, what's this distinction between a "fiscally conservative" Republican and a "Club for Growth ideologue"? Over here on the left, they sorta look the same to us. In any event, Rudy was praised to the skies by the Club for Growth's Pat Toomey on more than one occasion. And Rubio may like both the Club for Growth and Huckabee, but Pat Toomey was highly critical of Huckabee going into 2008. So these pigeonholes aren't very meaningful.

Besides, if Giuliani didn't jump the shark with non-crazy American voters (or with New York voters) after delightedly accepting Pat Robertson's presidential endorsement, then endorsing Rubio isn't going to hurt Rudy. (And the fact is, he didn't hurt himself by doing that -- he still would have had a shot in a statewide race here, because moderates and liberals are too damn forgiving.)

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