Rudy is going up with a TV ad in NH tomorrow. The ad, showing Rudy up close talking right into the camera, reflects the often heard refrain from campaign advisors that “Rudy is the best spokesman for Rudy.” The theme is “tested” and uses to no one’s surprise the NY experience as evidence he can get results. Almost as interesting is the statement from campaign manager Michael DuHaime in the release saying: “America deserves an authentic leader who has been tested in times of crisis and has a real record of results.” That “A” word — authentic — has been rattling around in my brain for a week since all of the top campaigns’ spokesgals used that term at the national press club. It is both a sword and a shield. There’s another guy, not so authentic, Rudy will say(sword) and although he doesn’t match up on all issues with the base he is “real”(shield). And I suspect we’re going to see some comparison ads as time goes on looking at NY vs. Massachusetts governance. For now, the ads indicate the pre-season is over, the headlines with Romney’s poll numbers aren’t what the Rudy team wants to see a couple weeks from now and it’s time to get serious.
UPDATE: And at least on national polling something is going on: Cook/RT Strategies has Rudy’s largest lead to date in that poll (17 pts) with him at 29% and Thompson, Romney and McCain all at 12%. This reflects the drop off we’ve seen for Thompson in other polls( here he is down 8 pts from mid-September) but also a drop for McCain( 4 pts) and a little bump (3 pts) for Romney. This is what Rudy opponents’ feared: Rudy has his core of roughly 30% and the others divide up the rest. Whether this will be duplicated in individual states is the big question.
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