The Giuliani show

NY Times:

In a swing through South Carolina this week, Rudolph W. Giuliani chose to campaign at a fire house, which is a little like Derek Jeter meeting with Yankees fans — a most unlikely forum for hostility, or even much skepticism.

Instead of the sometimes barbed give-and-take endured by the other candidates, Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, fielded a few questions from the firefighters and police officers who gathered to hear him here. The questions, which began with comments like, “Being in your presence here is just unbelievable,” stuck almost entirely to issues on which Mr. Giuliani is most comfortable, like airport security and border control.

More than the other major presidential candidates, Mr. Giuliani has limited himself to events with narrowly defined, friendly audiences, avoiding the kind of uncomfortable interrogations his rivals have occasionally faced. Aside from a couple of brief swings through diners, including one yesterday in Delray Beach, Fla., he has done little of the politicking that exposes candidates to random sets of people — at shopping malls or train stations — who might be of any political stripe, and can raise any issue.


Party officials say Mr. Giuliani will have to face greater scrutiny from voters in primary states.

“For now it’s O.K., but he can’t follow that strategy indefinitely,” said Fergus Cullen, the Republican chairman in New Hampshire. “People in New Hampshire, Iowa and a couple of other places really demand a chance to hit you between the eyes, and to ask a pointed follow-up if you don’t give a straight answer. And there’s a curveball in every group.”

A spokeswoman, Maria Comella, said Mr. Giuliani was not avoiding difficult questions, noting that it was still early in the campaign and that “the mayor’s travel has just started to pick up.”

Giuliani has prosecuted high profile criminal cases and is good on his feat. He has faced the New York media for years and thrived on the give and take. Right now he does not need to hone those skills or subject his candidacy tot he questions of people who are not likely to vote for him anyway. It can't be said that the other candidates have benefited from the experience so far. What is really going on with this story is the media's desire for conflict stories to add some excitement to their day and get more attention for their stories. That is not on Giuliani's agenda right now.

His stop at a Deli in Florida was well received:

Rudy Giuliani may be running for president, but to more than 150 former New Yorkers who came to see him Thursday at a popular deli west of Delray Beach, Giuliani was still their mayor.

Speaking and often shouting in the unmistakable accents of New York, Giuliani was crushed by a score of fans as soon as he stepped from his car.

They held up cameras and cellphone cameras. They pushed. They shook his hand. They admired his wife, Judith. And most of them were Democrats, who will not be able to vote for him in the GOP primary.

"I came down from Singer Island just to see him," said Carol Hurst, who held a small, hand-lettered sign with the words, "Rudy for President."

It took the former mayor ten minutes before he could work his way into Lox Around the Clock, where he shook hands and posed for more pictures as he made his way out the back door.

"He did an excellent job as mayor of New York City," said Mary Lorenz, a Delray retiree and one of the few Republicans in the crowd.

While the Palm Beach Post is a liberal Democrat paper it should be noted that those Democrats who cannot vote for him in the primary can vote for him in the general elections. Democrats who want to win the war want have any other choice.


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