Giuliani Out; McCain Frontrunner

After a third place showing in his ‘firewall’ state – Florida – Giuliani’s inauspicious exit from the race was hardly a surprise. What might not have been expected was the announcement that Giuliani would in fact drop out of the race tomorrow, and endorse John McCain for the nomination.

creepy

McCain’s victory is actually a boon to Paul supporters. By my calculations, Romney is the stronger competitor, in spite of his baggage. McCain is a caricature, and in spite of the Florida numbers, faces a tall climb once we get out of the open primaries.

ooooohhhhh

Most states won’t be overruling the rules to allow independents to cross over. Am I the only one out here having a hard time imagining any scenario where McCain wins a majority of delegates? His only hope is a compromise at the convention, but that would lead to hell splitting wide open in the GOP.

And what of Huckabee? Is there anyone voting for him who thinks he is angling for anything beside McCain’s co-pilot seat?

guv'nah

For the requisite hedge: I am not saying that Paul is the odds-on favorite. He still faces a tough road.

But……

If Paul is to ride his stealth strategy to a win, it is playing out as it has to. McCain’s win baffles most of the party. His presumable lead in delegates is made possible by the diluted field. He cannot ride 30% finishes to the nomination, but cannot win in any two-man field. McCain is in a tough spot. He doesn’t have a line to the nomination without a convention vote in my book. He needs Huckabee in the race. He is getting his high water mark, and only a continuation of the fracturing of the non-McCain vote keeps him viable as a frontrunner. And since I haven’t mentioned it yet – McCain is broke.

Romney is still the man to beat. The longer that McCain edges Romney the better. Romney is there to stay, but McCain has to keep winning.

mittsy

With Thompson out in recent days, Giuliani out tomorrow, and Huckabee likely to drop out after Super Tuesday, I suspect we’ll see a new dynamic moving towards the half-way point in the race. Does Paul have the strategic plans in place to make his splash in a three way race? Is suspect that he has something in the works. I pray it is something profound.

The competition is weak. The strongest candidates (on paper) have left the field. McCain is demonstrably not a conservative, with huge negatives among the party base. It should be fun to see how the Huckabee voters warm up to the guy who lashed out at the ‘religious right’ in 2000. Romney’s shortcomings are legion and of the bottom shelf variety that can be easily demagogued for the most ignorant of the populace (read that: a majority of voters). Paul is the only conservative left; the closest thing to Ronald Reagan that the party has seen since ‘88. The economy is his strong suit, and has been central to his message all along – and not just since Michigan!

Paul is in position to make a realistic run at the nomination. And if not, he has a credible shot at being a power broker at a convention fight. Any seat at the table offers us an opportunity to educate more people about the promise of a return to liberty. Does he have the organization and plan in place to make a go of it?

go ron go

We shall see. Personally, I’m on the edge of my seat.

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