Giuliani Campaign Plan Published

New York Daily News reporter Ben Smith acquired a carelessly safeguarded copy of Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign strategy.

It’s clearly laid out in 140 pages of printed text, handwriting and spreadsheets: The top-secret plan for Rudy Giuliani’s bid for the White House. The remarkably detailed dossier sets out the budgets, schedules and fund-raising plans that will underpin the former New York mayor’s presidential campaign – as well as his aides’ worries that personal and political baggage could scuttle his run. At the center of his efforts: a massive fund-raising push to bring in at least $100 million this year, with a scramble for at least $25 million in the next three months alone.

The loss of the battle plan is a remarkable breach in the high-stakes game of presidential politics and a potentially disastrous blunder for Giuliani in the early stages of his campaign. The document was obtained by the Daily News from a source sympathetic to one of Giuliani’s rivals for the White House. The source said it was left behind in one of the cities Giuliani visited as he campaigned for dozens of Republican candidates in the weeks leading up to the November 2006 elections.

Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel suggested there were political dirty tricks behind the loss of the documents and called the timing suspicious. “I wonder why such suspicious activity is occurring and can only guess it is because of Rudy’s poll numbers in New Hampshire and Iowa,” Mindel said.

Giuliani leads most public opinion polls of Republican primary voters though he has not announced his candidacy for President. But the dossier, which envisions spending more than $21 million this year alone, shows that Giuliani began meeting with potential supporters last April and that by October, his staff had put in place a detailed plan for a serious bid for the presidency. But they also depict a candidate torn between his prosperous business and a political future full of both promise and risk.

One page cites the explicit concern that he might “drop out of [the] race” as a consequence of his potentially “insurmountable” personal and political vulnerabilities. On the same page is a list of the candidate’s central problems in bullet-point form: his private sector business; disgraced former aide Bernard Kerik; his third wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani; “social issues,” on which is he is more liberal than most Republicans, and his former wife Donna Hanover.

Aside from listing the people Giuliani plans to target to handle key organizational roles–which gives a heads up to rivals and creates potential embarrassment if he is unsuccessful at bringing them on board–this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. That those bullet points are key vulnerabilities is common knowledge, as is the need to raise oodles of money. Still, if your chief selling point is executive competence, such stumbles aren’t good.

via Taegan Goddard

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. I think its the perception of losing important documents from the campaign (the “executive competence” you brought up) that is most likely to hurt. Of course, one would think that different people and security would be available for national secrets as president vs contender. But as one airline excutie noted, when a flyer sees a coffee stain on the fold down table at their seat, they start to worry about te engine maintenance even though the two are not really related.

    What I would watch is for a revelation on who turned the document over to the media, “a source sympathetic to one of Giuliani’s rivals for the White House”. I suspect that the republican base will be less happy with a republican who thinks airing your rival’s dirty laundry in the media is more important than winning the Whitehouse in 2008, even if the winner isn’t your first choice. The document was lost because someone supporting Rudy who was not careful enough. The document made it to the media by someone supporting his rival made a conscious choice. Inattention or incompetence can be fixed or fired, but ethics goes to the core.




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  2. DL says:

    yetanotherjohn

    “I suspect that the republican base will be less happy with a republican who thinks airing your rival’s dirty laundry in the media is more important than winning the Whitehouse in 2008, even if the winner isn’t your first choice.”

    I don’t suppose old Hillary would ever do something like this. Why do you assume a Republican?




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  3. ttent says:

    Hillary and Giuliani need to get over 9/11. he told everyone to stay in an unsafe, poisoned city without the proper checks. She screamed for money.

    9/11 is difficult to get around. No one really wants these to be President. It’s just not going to work for them. They should get over it and pass.

    Ethics? There have been too many leaks under Plame and it’s normal to leak now.




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  4. DL,

    Good point. I made an assumption that wasn’t backed up by the facts. I assumed that it would most likely be a republican who would have access to areas that this could be left. But it equally could have been the busboy. Thanks for calling me on it.

    If it was just an ordinary joe who found it and turned it in, then the story probably stops here no matter which rival he supports. If the person is associated with the campaign of a democratic rival, the story also probably stops as ‘politics as usual’. If it is a person associated with a republican campaign and that comes out, I think the story becomes a big one.




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  5. Bandit says:

    New York Daily News reporter Ben Smith acquired a carelessly safeguarded copy of Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign strategy.

    wtf? Do U mean stolen?




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  6. James Joyner says:

    The report makes it sound as if some clod left it laying around somewhere:

    The source said it was left behind in one of the cities Giuliani visited as he campaigned for dozens of Republican candidates in the weeks leading up to the November 2006 elections.




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  7. Bandit says:

    This says stolen.




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