With Super Duper Tsunami Tuesday Bright Happy Funtime Hour (Presented by Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs) right around the corner, presidential candidates are starting to drop like flies. Fred Thompson bit the dust last week. Now, on the heels of his third place finish in Florida, Rudi "9/11 Uber Alles" Giuliani is on his way out. It's hard to remember that, at one point, Rudy was the clear cut front runner:
In the beginning, few cracks were evident in the Giuliani campaign machine. He led the Republican field in polls conducted by The New York Times and CBS News throughout the summer, as his support peaked in August at 38 percent nationally in a four-way fight with Mr. McCain, Mr. Romney and Fred D. Thompson. That put him 20 points ahead of his next closest competitor, Mr. Thompson, who has since dropped out of the race.But Rudy's unique strategery - to basically skip the early states and count on a Florida win to propel him into Super Tuesday - fell flat. The New York Times article there chronicles how it all went so wrong so fast.
Although I have no love for any of the current or past crop of GOP contenders, Rudy was the one who worried me the most. For one thing, with his more moderate stance on social issues (the same thing that doomed him in the GOP races) would have made him a formidable general election opponent. For another, Rudy's emphasis on 9/11 and general ruthlessness led me to believe that he was the one most likely to take the extra-legal maneuvers of the Duhbya days and firmly entrench them. So, areverderci, Rudy - don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
Meanwhile, the Democratic field is essentially down to the big two, as John Edwards pulled out this afternoon. I had not written Edwards off in my mind as worth my vote, so I'm sorry to see him go. I don't know that I would have voted for him, eventually, but he was good to have around to keep Hillary and Barrack semi-honest.
As for the choice between those two - oy. I'm reminded of a Sunday Bloom County that ran around the time of the 1988 election. Opus goes into the voting and is presented with two choices: "wimp" (Bush) or "shrimp" (Dukakis). Unable to decide, he asks the old lady running the poling place, "[c]ould I, like, write in 'Margaret Thatcher?'" "NO!," she screams back. Back to the polling booth - more pondering - "Gregory Peck?" "NO!!" To the booth one more time, Opus finally makes a choice and his hit in the face by a pie thrown up by the voting machine. Out on the sidewalk afterwards, he tells Portnoy, "I tell you, it's not the results that are important . . . it's that we participate in the process." A disgusted Portnoy - also with pie all over his face - shoots back "Aw, shaddup!"
Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit like Opus right now.