Giuliani: Back to the Firewall
After distancing himself from his Florida firewall, Giuliani is now running back to Florida as the place where he will make the last stand that will make or break his campaign.
Am I being a little dramatic? Yes, but only a little.
Right now, not only is Giuliani looking unlikely to win a single early primary (or caucus) state, but it is entirely possible that he will not do better than 3rd in any of them. Should either Huckabee or Romney roll up consecutive victories before the Florida primary on January 29th, it may still be too late for Giuliani's fading hopes.
As we speak, Rudy and his team are in constant prayer that Huckabee and Romney split the early contests so no one candidate rolls into Florida with a clear edge in the early results.
Giuliani has already written off Iowa and New Hampshire almost completely (he never really took off in either state). Now, he is planning a big campaign event here in Tampa. The official purpose of this event is to roll out his "governing vision."
The real reason is to secure Florida and the vital precincts in the Tampa media market. He will also lay out a conservative vision to try and recapture the Republican imagination. I suspect much of what he says will also be subtle (or not so subtle) digs at Huckabee's record of raising taxes in Arkansas and generally painting Romney as not being strong enough.
It's been a tough several weeks for Giuliani, with allegations of misuse of public funds giving already wary conservatives the excuse they were looking for to jump ship. Time is running out and if he can't raise his Florida numbers, Rudy will be going back to the private sector - probably for good this time.