Over at the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol reports that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination:
I’m told by two reliable sources that Rudy Giuliani intends to run for the GOP nomination for president in 2012. He may throw his hat in the ring soon.
Rudy’s theory of the race: In the fall of 2007, he decided he couldn’t compete with both Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire, and disastrously decided to try to pull back there and pitch his tent in Florida. This year, he’ll commit everything to New Hampshire, where he thinks he has a good shot at beating Romney—whom he criticized there earlier this week. He then thinks he can beat whichever more socially conservative candidate(s) is left by winning what are still likely to be winner-take-all primaries in big states like California, New York, and New Jersey.
Rudy’s message: I’m tough enough to put our fiscal house in order and to protect us from enemies abroad. The U.S. in 2012 is in bad shape—like New York in 1993. The budget crisis is as severe—and seemingly intractable—as the crime/welfare crisis was in New York then. Rudy dealt with that when people said it couldn’t be done. He’ll deal with this.
Polls out of New Hampshire show Romney with a sizable lead. However, national polls in the GOP primary show Giuliani to be competitive. Giuliani knows that he wouldn’t be well received in a socially conservative state like Iowa, so going hard in New Hampshire is smarter than his Florida strategy from 2008.