Looking at the GOP nomination calendar, it may indeed be something more.
Now, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Rudy are friends. Perry endorsed Rudy’s Presidential race in 2008 and I do not know how this calculus works. Nor, do I know whether Sarah Palin will actually enter the Presidential arena.
But, let us assume that Sarah Palin runs and Rudy enters the race as a moderate alternative to Sarah and Michele Bachmann.
Can Rudy Giuliani win the nomination? Or, at least have a shot?
The short answer is: Rudy Giuliani can either win or determine who the 2012 Presidential nominee will be.
There are two things you really need to pay attention to here. First, note the states with asterisks. The RNC has decided to strip half of the delegates from any state that holds a primary or caucus before March 1, other than Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada. Some states are considering pushing their primaries back, although these also tend to be the more moderate states, like Wisconsin and New Jersey. The more conservative states seem to be hanging tough, for now. In other words, you could end up with some of the more conservative states in the GOP electorate losing clout at the convention.
Please note the states of New Hampshire, Florida and New Jersey in the early state category where Rudy Giuliani will definitely win some delegates (remember these races are proportional contests – not winner take all).
I can see a scenario where the more conservative candidates of Perry, Bachmann, and Palin split the conservative wing of the party and Giuliani beats or remains a close second to Mitt Romney after the early contests.
Next, come the next tier of elections in March:
Here there are sufficient large and moderate GOP states to provide delegates to a Giuliani candidacy – Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts and Vermont. Remember again, that the Republican National Committee has ruled that states who conduct primaries prior to April 1 must allocate their delegates proportionately.
Again, a Giuliani candidacy can remain credible with maybe not the plurality of delegates, but a sufficient amount leading into the post-April primaries:
Note that these post-April primary contests are considerably more moderate on political orientation and include New York and California. These are both states that Giuliani could win all of the delegates since they might become winner take all contests. Rudy would also do well in the other Eastern and Far West states, including Oregon, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington.
Giuliani could either gather a plurality of delegates by the end of the primary season and unite with a conservative candidate (namely Rick Perry, his friend) as his Vice President selection and go into the Florida GOP Convention with a majority of delegates.
Or, Rudy could broker his delegates to the “will” of the convention and accept the Vice Presidency.
Sean Trende over at Real Clear Politics begins his piece with the meme of how well Romney will do against Rick Perry.
I think Sean has it a little wrong.
He has just made the case for a Rudy Giuliani candidacy.