This is a remarkable piece of journalism on 9-11 and Rudy from the New York Times. Remarkable for the detail and the vivid portrayal of events and remarkable because of the emotions it reignites about that day. It is not without criticisms of some of his actions both before and after 9-11 but it does serve to remind voters of his performance that day and qualities of calm and compassion not always associated with Rudy. My favorite factoids: the day after 9-11 the garbage got picked up and the day after that city payroll checks went out. (That didn’t happen consistently in peacetime under prior mayors.) On a broader level it suggests that maybe many of us, me included, are overthinking the race. He is doing well in part because people had an emotional, visceral reaction to what he did that day and the days following. He has been working hard to convince voters his record is not limited to 9-11, but while his campaign explains tax policy and his welfare record perhaps voters see in their minds eye him covered with ash that day or attending firemen’s funerals. Very few politicians get an opportunity to bond with voters like that and that goes a long way. Does it mean others can’t win or that this event trumps all other issues? No, but it is an advantage and an explanation for the continuing affection he enjoys in unexpected places like South Carolina.