Crazy Rudy

Giuliani is hardly contesting New Hampshire. He’s not fighting for Michigan. He won’t show in South Carolina. He’s crazy.

Crazy like a fox: Romney came out of Iowa in worse shape from his 2nd place finish than did McCain (4th) or Giuliani (6th). Similarly, McCain and Romney (and even Huckabee, for different reasons) have a lot at stake in New Hampshire. Giuliani can come in behind Ron Paul again and not compromise his campaign.

The G.O.P. campaign seems like it's shaping up as a tournament; or at least a series of one-on-one contests. Iowa was Huckabee v. Romney; New Hampshire is Romney v. McCain. The latter two will rematch in Michigan. South Carolina could end up being Thompson v. Huckabee, particularly if Michigan and New Hampshire split. A candidate can be knocked out only in primaries he contests.

Giuliani, therefore, earns the equivalent of a first-round bye. In Florida, he'll be pitted against whomever has emerged from the previous contests. It could be three-way: the winner of Huckabee-Thompson, the winner of Romney-McCain, and Hizzoner. But I'm guessing that a clear front-runner will emerge after South Carolina - Huckabee if he runs away with the state, the winner of McCain-Romney otherwise, and this frontrunner will challenge Giuliani.

Thus, in the spirit of creating an NCAA Division 1A football playoff, add to the list of proposed presidential primary reforms a sporting alternative: candidate playoffs. Seriously, this could work. Posted by Chops at January 8, 2008 3:55 PM
Comment #242577

Chops, thank you for presenting that omnipresent sports metaphor for American politics where, not a trophy, but, the very quality and sustenance of life, and maintenance of liberty, and pursuit of peace, hang in the balance.

You choose to see it as a team sport of we win, you all lose. A growing number of independents have rejected that divisive metaphor for the more uniting and potentially more beneficial metaphor of that it doesn’t matter if a horse is brown or white as long as it can carry one safely down the road.

My spirits are lifted knowing that it is the independent voters who will be deciding, not only the presidency, but many more Congressional elections as well. The moderate middle class will be deciding 2008’s elections, IF the electronic voting machines and their managers will permit an honest election.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 8, 2008 4:17 PM
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David -

This post was a lighthearted look at the horse race, which is itself a grotesque imitation of the millions of individual political decisions taking place.

Nonetheless, there is a strong theoretical reason to favor pairwise matchups. Specifically, classical game theory proves the only way to be certain that the majority of voters have their preferences reflected in the election outcome is to have a binary choice. That’s the strength and beauty of our electoral system in general: it strongly favors binary choice between two dominant coalitions. The primary choice is far less fair, but at the end of the day we get a clear choice.

To independents, I know this sounds like nails on a chalkboard, but the math doesn’t lie. In 2000, for instance, a clear majority would have preferred Gore to Bush. But many of them defected to Nader, leaving a virtual tie which Bush won in the electoral college. Without Nader, Gore wins, right? So the two-candidate system protects American majorities.

This doesn’t mean we have to have a 2-party system. In New York, where I live, there’s a thriving multi-party system. But the parties shuffle around during primaries and typically end up backing one of two candidates. That’s a system that allows different voices to be heard, but gives voters a clear final say.

Posted by: Chops at January 8, 2008 4:58 PM
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want to know more about the candidates? go to:

Posted by: Pok at January 8, 2008 5:37 PM
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Chops, I agree with what you say in your comment. But, one cannot forget that game theory is based on finite variables. Human beings individually and collectively are not. Game theory can provide good odds for bets, but, cannot guarantee the winner in each and every circumstance.

Your analysis doesn’t allow for the potential ramifications of a two party choice that continually disappoints and angers the electorate. That is a potential scenario over the next 4 to 8 years, that could dramatically reject the two party choice and system. A scenario game theory cannot accommodate, because the assumption of game theory is that the game and rules are static. But, if the people become the most important player in the game and continually lose, they will redesign the game and its rules, blowing game theory potentially out the window.

Game theory also assumes decisions just prior to action are binary between two best options. There is a reason a human will always be able to beat the most sophisticated computers at Chess. Humans do not always make decisions binarily. Computers always will. It is in their equivalent DNA electrons of 1’s and 0’s. Not so of the human brain.

Humans are obviously quite capable of irrational decisions. Proof enough that game theory is gratuitously too simple to explain many human events and actions at both the individual and collective levels.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 9, 2008 1:47 AM
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Chops, as for Rudy being crazy like a fox, or crazy like a hallucinating egotist, remains to be seen. This time in which Americans are learning and deciding to like or dislike candidates while Rudy sits back and watches the foray, could result in too many voters deciding on their candidate before Rudy jumps in in Florida to sustain him on Super Tuesday.

Rudy’s strategy is a gamble which has been tried before, unsuccessfully I might add.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 9, 2008 2:00 AM
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Avoiding small primaries also give him the opportunity to not expand his policy statements beyond repeating 9/11 over and over again.
I hope it works for him as he would be the easiest candidate to beat in Nov.NYC corruption has been prevalent for so long that it is taken as business as usual there but not in the hinterlands. I mean really. His recomendation of that guy to run the DHS is an example. No big deal his buddy was keeping a mistress in a city paid apartment.Whats the point of being a big shot if you can’t do stuff like that.

Posted by: BillS at January 9, 2008 1:19 PM
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BillS -

I agree: Rudy would get destroyed by Obama and soundly beaten by Hillary in a general election. If a third-party conservative (Ron Paul?) ran as well, he could even lose all 50 states - quite an accomplishment.

As a Repub, I’m hoping we nominate Romney (I liked him as governor) or McCain (he might actually fight pork). They’ve got a 30 - 40% chance in November against the Dem nominee, but at least they’ll make an argument that I can stand behind as a conservative.

Posted by: Chops at January 9, 2008 3:29 PM
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When Romney was a governor he was a moderate Democrat in all but name only.Maybe you are in the wrong party?Now a different story. What a camileon. Ever see his debate with Kennedy? His heartfelt,misty-eyed support for a womans right to choose was quite touching as was his promise to always support that right in the future.How you guys can stand him is beyond meand I am pro-choice. Thats only one issue he has flipped on.
McCain,on the other hand generally takes brave,thoughtful(if often wrongIMO) stands on issues and sticks by them.I’d never vote for him but I must say that if he were to win the general election I could respect him as president. That would be a nice change after all these years.

Posted by: Bills at January 9, 2008 9:59 PM
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Keep your eye on Huckabee, no one is talking about him in the media or what he was able to pull off in the last two weeks in New Hampshire, but Michigan will be important.

The fact that he is being outspent 20 to 1 on campaign advertising and is even competitive, much less going from sixth in the polls to a strong third in New Hampshire of all places tells me more people besides what the media constantly refers to as “Evangelical Christians” are supporting him and resonating with his messages.

I help with the advertising of local campaigns and I can tell you, NO ONE I have ever worked on, with, or for stood a chance when they were being outspent 3 to 1, much less 20 to 1. He beat Romney in IOWA and went from 6th to a strong third in 2 weeks. That’s impressive.

As for McCain, are you kidding me - no one is more beatable by the democrats than McCain. War Hero that he is, he is the biggest establishment republican on the ticket, and with the McCain-Feingold garbage and the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill both in his past, it won’t take long for a Democrat to play to his crowd and remind the forgetful public just how bought and paid for he is. RINO. McCain’s only strength is in Foreign Policy, where admittedly, no one else on the ticket can touch him.

I just happen to think what’s going on here in the ol’ USA is weighing more heavily on people these days than what’s happening around the globe.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 10, 2008 2:28 PM
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Check out this link for what is happening with the Dark Horse candidate Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee Leads… in the polls too.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 10, 2008 2:37 PM
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Your are wrong about McCain as an opponent but I’ll be damned if I will defend a Rep to a Rep. By all means,run Huckabee.Give him money.PLEAZZZZZZZZZ!

Posted by: BillS at January 10, 2008 5:37 PM
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This is what I wrote in September 2005:

Everybody loves Rudy (well, most people), but he is too liberal to get the GOP nomination… He also has an, er, interesting personal life for a national politician. It is a bit hard for a New Yorker who shacked up with his wife, kids and girlfriend at the same time to get the “family values” vote in the GOP primaries.

I think the results of Iowa and New Hampshire support my two-year-old prediction. It’s not just that he lost, but he lost badly. In Iowa, he came in sixth. In NH, he barely edged out Ron Paul for fourth place.

Mark my words: It won’t be be Rudy.

Posted by: Woody Mena at January 11, 2008 8:47 AM
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In regards to Rudy, there exists a huge block
of voters who are moderate. Rudy is fiscally
consertive even if his private life is quite
suspect to some. the republican base makes no
attempt to compromise their views. this is
why the dems lost last election. I didn’t vote
for bush, I voted against Kerry. Rudy is as
close to Indy-moderate candidate the GOP has.
I care little about his personal life but
his economic leadership as mayor was awesome,
in spite of heavy dem opposition.
Rudy also endorsed mayor Bloomberg, considered
one of the top 5 mayors of new york ever.
Rudy is smart, ruthlessly effective in dealing
with adversity such as economics [china],
and dead govt [wash, dc]. so i can live with
his faults.
If grass roots sends up Huckabee , a heavy
religous position. my vote goes demacratic.
GOP needs to marginalize hard right, the country
has to come together. This means compromise
from all. I have no tolerance for hard left either!

Posted by: rangur at January 16, 2008 8:51 AM
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