What Is Rudy's Game?

It would seem there’s no avoiding the scoop du jour served up by Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard. Sources in the know claim that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is going to make another run at the Republican nomination for president, a bid which Kristol charitably describes as “implausible.” You likely wouldn’t have to search more than a handful of the usual conservative outlets to find other, less flattering adjectives being employed.

In no particular order, the questions immediately cropping up include:

  • Is Rudy “running – running” or is this all for show?
  • If he is running… why?
  • And could this actually work?

Taking these questions in reverse, describing this as a long shot would probably be giving him too much credit. But, as Hot Air’s Allahpundit points out -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek -- some of his supporters might see a hypothetical path to victory. First of all, if you root around a bit in recent archives you can find a poll or two showing Rudy with enough juice to be considered a frontrunner on the national level. Step two requires Sarah Palin getting into the race in a cycle chock full of somewhat unpredictable hopefuls, and her recent bus tour may have set Giuliani’s spider senses to tingling. He could be betting that the entrance of Palin -- still widely viewed in establishment GOP circles as unelectable no matter how poorly Obama is doing -- would send the powers that be into panic mode and force them to consider a more established, moderate alternative.

Absolutely nothing in this scenario explains what he plans to do about Mitt Romney, who is still quietly raising millions of dollars and clobbering everyone in the polls across the early primary states. Of course, that’s not the cornerstone of a Rudy nomination theory. The dream Giuliani is chasing is the same one that George Pataki and all the rest of the RINOs and NERPs (Northeast Republican Politicians) have tried to sell for some time now. It’s based on the fact that, in the modern era, the Democrats can not win a presidential election without both New York and California. That nearly 90 electoral votes is the anchor they start with, working from there to stitch together the rest of the 270 they need to cross the finish line.