The New York Times is just full of goodies today. First, they’re reporting on the hire by Giuliani’s camp of RNC Political Director Mike DuHaime. They follow that up with reports from cocky NYC officials claiming the Democrats 08 convo is as good as theirs.
The convo is the low hanging fruit, so I’ll pick it first. I think the NYC officials are underestimating the importance of the one piece of the puzzle they don’t have – a swing population in a target state in a targeted region. It’s great that they have unions, and it’s great that they think they can raise ungodly sums of money for the convention, but the reason for a convention is to appeal to the electorate through the very small bit of coverage they’ll see.
Colorado makes a great showcase for a party that wants to put out a welcome mat for disaffected moderates and libertarians who are turned off by the GOP’s religious wing. New York has none of that.
The RNC was very wise to pick Minneapolis early and beat the DNC to the punch. Minnesota is much like Colorado in its appeal as a showcase for swing votes. Should the DNC decide to go with New York for money and union reasons, it will be clear that they’re not at all interested in actually appealing to a more moderate voter.
On the Giuliani front, DuHaime is a great hire. Mike is a really good guy and very talented. He also is pretty savvy with technology so he should be willing to be more aggressive and try different things online.
I have fears that McCain, trying to be the establishment candidate, is going to forego some of the technology innovations that would be the hallmark of a maverick campaign – and certainly marked him as one of the first Internet savvy campaigners. He’s likely going to play it much closer to the sleeve and take fewer chances now that he has the lead. Even with Dean’s Internet guy on board, don’t expect to see a Dean-like campaign.
DuHaime will add a lot to Giuliani’s effort, but the big question now is whether he can attract more high-caliber talent to his team. The giant sucking sound coming out of Alexandria is the McCain team trying to reassemble the Bush-Cheney operation. They’ve been largely successful, so we’ll see who Rudy can tap.