Though I understand that reasonable people may disagree with my prediction that Rudy Giuliani will become the Republican nominee, it continues to amaze me that so many so-called “experts” remain so dismissive of his chances when everything they have said about Giuliani has been proven so wrong up until this point. Back in November, Congressional Quarterly “expert” Craig Crawford declared, “While former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was once thought to be a threat to McCain, his star has faded since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.” As late as late January, other skeptics were even questioning whether Giuliani was even going to run in the first place.
Over at the Corner, where there’s also a debate on this topic, John Hood responds to John Podhoretz by pointing out:
Yes, that would be the same Robert Novak who declared last December, “It is beginning to look like ‘McCain Inc.'”
Ironically, all of these low expectations may help Rudy. McCain and Romney, both buying into the hype that Rudy shouldn’t be taken seriously, have spent more time going after each other than challenging Giuliani. And there’s already evidence that a Romney-Thompson battle may be brewing, with Romney supporters trying to equate both candidates’ evolutions on abortion. In the meantime, Giuliani has remained on top of most polls (see below), has emerged as the money leader, and has quietly been catching up on the staff and organizational front. I think Deroy Murdock had it right when he named Rudy “the front-running underdog.”