The most recent polling demonstrates that Rick Perry has become either the front-runner or at least the co-front runner with Mitt Romney. Michelle Bachmann is running slightly behind, and no one else at the moment is worth speaking about. In a Mitt Romney versus Rick Perry race, the Northeast becomes absolutely essential to Mitt Romney’s plans. This is why a recent article peaked my interest
There are straightforward interpretations to Mayor Giuliani’s toying with a run. His Honor wants to be part of the conversation. He thinks he can win. I could perhaps buy that the Mayor’s ambition would push him this way.
But there has also been much discussion of the fact that Rick Perry and Rudy Giuliani are close. So much so that in 2008 Rick Perry, in surprising fashion, endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President before the Mayor flamed out. If I am Rick Perry and I seek Mitt Romney’s absolute destruction, no entrant into the race would be more perfect than Rudy Giuliani. This might be true simply because Giuliani has the national name recognition and potential to contend broadly for the moderate wing that Romney absolutely must dominate. But even more important is the fact that Rudy Giuliani ‘s mere presence on the ballot is probably enough for him to defeat Mitt Romney in New York and New Jersey. Even if Rudy Giuliani had no other impact, this damage alone would be enough to give Rick Perry a nearly insurmountable lead over Romney. Mitt Romney’s last great hope California won’t be voting until June. In short, if you take away New York and New Jersey from Romney, you pretty much end him.
There is another reason why Rick Perry might want Rudy Giuliani in the race. Rudy makes an absolutely perfect running mate for the Texas Governor. Rick Perry wants to bridge back to being All-American and being a candidate not just for the South, but for the country. Rudy Giuliani sends that message loud and clear. And while others don’t have the pro-life credit to pick a pro-choice running mate [as McCain didn’t], Rick Perry certainly will. Moreover, having Rudy Giuliani run, be in the public eye, maybe win a few primaries, and potentially even garner some delegates in a competitive, now four-way, contest, makes the medicine of his selection go down even easier at the convention and within the Party. We can hear Perry saying, “well I did it because I needed those NY/NJ delegates.” I think the Republicans desire to win would make Perry’s choice of Rudy not that hard a sell.
If Giuliani and Perry want such a deal, either for a generic favor or for the Vice-Presidential nomination, it’s hard to see many logistical obstacles in their way. To watch whether it’s happening the first place to check is whether Perry donors are helping Giuliani and vice-versa. By then it might be too late for Republicans to notice cooperation or see it as a scheme and not a happy accident. For the time being this is an interesting sub-plot to watch as the Republican primary process begins in earnest.