NH Whiffs On Giuliani-Mocking

I did not go up to Manchester to see Rudy Giuliani speak last night because, unlike Michele Bachmann who was in the Granite State last weekend, Giuliani is not a serious political entity.

That's the kind of mockery that should greet Rudy in New Hampshire. So I am really disappointed in my brethren who are reporting on the visit straight.

Here, for example, is the start of Tim Buckland's Union Leader story:

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stopped short of declaring his candidacy for the 2012 presidential election, but he said Friday that if he does run, he'll avoid some of the mistakes that led to his defeat in the 2008 Republican primary.

Maggie Haberman of Politico wrote:

The former New York City mayor — making his first trip to New Hampshire of the 2012 presidential cycle as he weighs another run for the White House...
Here's the AP lead: 
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose drive-by approach to campaigning in New Hampshire drove his 2008 presidential campaign into the ground, is considering a do-over.

And I could go on and on and on, with local and national reporters and pundits -- and way too many Granite State politicos being quoted -- all agreeing on several basic truths:

1) Giuliani might actually run for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination;

2) If he does, he is a serious candidate with a real chance to win;

3) The reason he lost in 2008, as he himself says, is that he didn't devote enough of his time and resources to the early primary states, including New Hampshire;

4) If he runs this time, he will rectify that mistake by devoting lots of his time and resources to early primary states like New Hampshire, as he told everybody with a pad and paper who came within shouting distance of the man yesterday.

Now, I've written before that #3 above is nonsense. If you are a political journalist, the correct way to report this claim is: "Giuliani insists that he would have done much better with Republican primary voters if they had only gotten to better know the real gay-friendly, pro-abortion, gun-controlling, philandering, Bernie Kerik-promoting, New York know-it-all behind the popular 9/11-hero image."

(By the way, actual New Hampshire Republicans get it -- as evidenced by the reported attendance of less than 100 at the Manchester dinner, failing to come close to filling the room.)

But let's say you want to give Giuliani the benefit of the doubt -- or at least, accept that he thinks he could have done better by campaigning more in New Hampshire.

In that case, the way to write about it is as follows:

...Giuliani says that if he runs this time, he will heap attention on New Hampshire GOP voters -- which, given his thorough disregard for the state this cycle, is either an admission that his Presidential "decision-making phase" is an attention-seeking fiction; or, an admission that his stated interest in Granite State voters is even more of a lie than when he repeatedly said it in early 2007...

And here are some suggested follow-up questions, when Giuliani says this nonsense:

--How will you take New Hampshire more seriously, when you are standing idly by as all the GOP in-state operatives -- including your '08 people like Matt Murphy -- sign on with other candidates?

--If you want to spend more time in New Hampshire, why have you so far in the cycle spent far, far less time in New Hampshire?

--Four years ago at this point, your campaign already had a New Hampshire campaign chairman; was racking up room-nights at the Radisson and the Highlander; and was holding events to woo insiders and activists. By the first of April you had a campaign office rented on Elm Street; by the end of that month you had a full team of field organizers and county and town campaign chairs. How does the total lack of Giuliani presence in the state four years later suggest a comparative increase in attention to the Granite State?

--If, in fact, you are seriously considering a Presidential campaign, are you modeling it on the Fred Thompson approach, as it so far appears?

Those are just my own suggestions, I know if these folks dig through their '07 clips they'll come up with good ones of their own. Perhaps they can pose those questions to Giuliani the next time he comes to New Hampshire -- which, oddly enough, as of now is not scheduled for ever again. Weird, huh?

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