The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 February 2008

Goodbye, Rudy

Yale diplomat-in-residence Charles Hill (no relation), who served as chief foreign-policy adviser to the Giuliani campaign, says that Rudy's failure to get the message out killed his candidacy:

The candidate's focus on Florida — at the expense of campaigning in the early primaries — was a mistake, Hill said in an interview with the [Yale Daily] News on Friday. But it was also part of a larger failure on the part of Giuliani's communications staff to engage the media and, through them, the American public, Hill said.

Hill pointed to a foreign-policy speech Giuliani gave in September as emblematic of the campaign's inability to draw attention to its candidate.

"Giuliani gave a speech in London that was a very serious and impressive speech," Hill said. "It got very good press in London, and got no press here at all. Things that were done were not reported very well, and that, I think, was the fault of the communications team itself."

And the Giuliani campaign largely steered clear of the down-and-dirty stuff, which, says the man on whom nothing was lost, was also a mistake:

Hill said there were good advertisements that argued back, that Hill said seemed to him perfectly honest, but which Giuliani rejected for fear of appearing to unfairly attack his fellow Republicans.

"That approach, I think, doesn't work," Hill said. "When you're charged with something and you don't answer, then it's taken to be truth."

No secrets here: as belligerent GOP-lite guys go, I'd have much preferred Giuliani to John McCain. C'est la vie.

Posted at 11:27 AM to Political Science Fiction

I would have happily voted for Giuliani. Compared to McCain he might have done more things I wouldn't have agreed with, but he wouldn't have cackled maniacally for the cameras while doing so.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:38 PM on 6 February 2008

So, Chaz, if it was Rudy and not McC - would you vote for him or you'd still mark either of 2 socialists on your party's ballot?

Posted by: Tatyana at 7:45 PM on 6 February 2008

I could have voted for Giuliani in the general election. (Wouldn't be the first time I pulled the lever for a Republican. We don't have levers anymore, but you get the idea.)

Posted by: CGHill at 7:58 PM on 6 February 2008

You don't have levers? We do, in backwater NYC.

All this talk I hear, about "writing in Rudy" (or Fred, or Ron Paul) - and thinking to myself : where to? there is an iron horse of a behemot with a lever attached, and even that simple task of pulling a lever gets complicated in my county.

Posted by: Tatyana at 11:01 PM on 6 February 2008

We have cards, optically scanned. They don't really permit write-ins; on the other hand, Rudy and Fred and Ron were actually on the ballot here.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:58 AM on 7 February 2008

Here in Georgia, at least in my county, the touchscreen systems may, in certain circumstances, be made to show a virtual keyboard with which to type in a candidate's name -- which, while not sparing the need for perfect spelling, does help with penmanship.

But I can't be sure this is going to be an option for us in the presidential election.

Posted by: McGehee at 10:49 AM on 7 February 2008