Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh, Goody

The headline from today’s Miami Herald: GOP presidential race turns to Florida.

Oh joy oh rapture.

Like Michigan last week, the Democratic primary doesn’t carry a lot of weight since the DNC is refusing to seat delegates chosen in the January 29th primary, so we get to stand on the sidelines and watch the Republicans once again beat the crap out of each other and brace ourselves for the tidal wave of Rudymentum that will overwhelm the state and the rest of the pack.

Giuliani, whose once commanding lead in Florida polls has eroded as his rivals picked up primary victories, road-tripped from Tampa to Orlando, telling crowds at stops along the way that he’s the only candidate to succeed at cutting taxes.

In an interview with The Miami Herald, Giuliani said that unlike his rivals, he had delivered on promises of massive tax cuts.

”I’ve had the best record of reducing taxes, better than Mitt Romney,” Giuliani said. ”John McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, Mitt Romney didn’t necessarily support them. I supported the Bush tax cuts because they were very similar to the ones I had as mayor” of New York City.

And he didn’t pass up a chance to pander to the Cuban exile community either, taking credit for keeping Castro out of New York.

Giuliani said that as mayor, he banned Fidel Castro from attending the United Nations’ 50th anniversary celebration. And under his watch, a street in front of the Cuba mission to the U.N. was named ”Brothers to the Rescue,” in honor of the four unarmed anti-Castro Cuban Americans killed by Cuban Air Force jets in 1996 while flying over the Florida Straits.

Well, at least he didn’t blame Castro for 9/11, but it’s early yet.

If Giuliani wins Florida, all that will mean is that the GOP race is still as much of a toss-up, at least in bragging rights, as it has been since before the Iowa caucuses. Everybody that’s left has won something somewhere, and even Ron Paul is still claiming that he came damn close in a few. And now they’re turning on each other with a viciousness that is impressive even for them; Chuck Norris, the Rambo version of Karl Rove for Mike Huckabee, is suggesting that John McCain might not make it out of his first term alive. No, he’s not threatening the life of the senator; he’s saying he’s too old for the job. (On the other hand, maybe that’s just his way of marketing the Total Gym to the elderly.)

Meanwhile the Obama and Clinton are doing a bit of personality infighting, just to keep in practice, I suppose, except the Clinton that’s doing the fighting is Bill, not Hillary, and that’s getting Barack Obama fired up to the point that he’s calling him out. That may make for must-see TV in some circles, but the problem with that is that the race isn’t — or shouldn’t be — about Bill Clinton. I don’t think that helps Hillary, and even if we’re not really sure of the rules of the game when you have the spouse of a former president running because it’s never happened before, I don’t think this is the way it’s supposed to work out.