Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tuesday Evening with Paulie

Florida Winners and Losers
Many truths revealed Tuesday night

John McCain was undoubtedly the biggest winner Tuesday night. After all the ballots are counted, the results will have him winning by a solid five or six point margin over Mitt Romney. McCain's win isn't a typical large state primary victory. Florida has a true Republican and for that matter Democratic primary. Only members of each Party, people who declare themselves an R or a D can vote. For those who say McCain can't garner the GOP base, had a rude awakening this evening.

Other big winners tonight are Florida's Governor Charlie Christ and Senator Mel Martinez. Both endorsed McCain just days prior before today's election. Exit polls overwhelmingly show that these two popular leaders endorsement propelled McCain to victory. Their political power cannot be denied.

Whenever you have winners you have to have losers. Tonight is no exception. In fact there is an abundance of losers, some you may have not considered.

The obvious losers are the other GOP candidates who lost to the senator from Arizona. The biggest loser in the bunch is Rudy Giuliani. The man who had been leading all the GOP polls by a large margin through most of 2007, made one decision that turned out to be a fatal mistake. However not for the reasons you may think.

Most will simply say that by skipping the early primaries he lost momentum and that was his downfall. There is definitely truth to that. However, your brilliant blogger believes another factor was a major contributor.

After New Hampshire the media began portraying Giuliani as a loser. He didn't spend any real money or time in these states and had made his intentions very clear. Nevertheless he was portrayed as if he had spent millions of dollars and hundreds of hours in these states. Eventually perception becomes reality. I know for a fact that Giuliani volunteers were making phone calls into Florida and many voters were surprised that he was still in the race. When you hear something enough times it becomes reality, right or wrong.

That leads me to my biggest unknown loser of the evening. Michael Duhaime is a name not known outside of Washington D.C. and New York City. As Rudy Giuliani's campaign manager, it was ultimately his decision to go with the unorthodox strategy that would lead to Giuliani's demise. In the spirit of full disclosure your brilliant blogger has taken campaign classes taught by Duhaime. He will be back, but for now his strategy will be a late night television joke.

A major loser tonight is the conservative talk-radio industry. All the big personalities with the exception of Michael Medved and Dennis Miller have been on a crusade to defeat McCain. I recall listening to Sean Hannity recently, who had spent a good hour of his show explaining his negativity toward McCain. Agree or disagree with him the harsh reality is that Hannity and many of his colleagues do not have the influence they think they do.

Which leads me to biggest loser of the night...Rush Limbaugh. More than Giuliani. The king of the conservative air-waves gets the grand prize for the evening. Don't get me wrong I enjoy Limbaugh and most often agree with him, but his disdain for McCain overcame his better judgement. He has spent weeks ripping the undeniable GOP front runner, so he wouldn't be the clear favorite. Even 20 plus million listeners on over 600 stations couldn't stop McCain's win tonight a favorite status going into Super Tuesday.

Rush needs to put his ego in check and permit his usual good judgement to regain control of his brain. When McCain becomes the GOP nominee against a Hillary or Obama. The base will overwhelmingly support McCain and if Rush ain't on that bandwagon, he may find himself spinning records again during the midnight hour.



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