Rudy Giuliani returned to Iowa today for his first visit since he declared he would not participate in the Iowa Straw poll. Since this announcement he has fallen back marginally in the polls and I was interested to see how he would use this visit to mend the fences he's broken in the state. Giuliani did a great job of explaining how he would cut spending in Washington and remained humble about his past successes. He's a fiscal conservative who's strong on national defense, but is that message enough to win the Iowa Caucus?
Giuliani's visit to the state was a great opportunity for him to turn the tide of his campaign in Iowa and energize his followers. Unfortunately, he broke one simple rule that only rubbed more salt in the wounds of Iowa Republicans; he was extremely late. Giuliani was supposed to speak at 10:30, but didn't arrive until 11:20. When holding a late-morning weekday event, it is imperative to start on time. People have left work to see you and don't have a lot of time to waste. Iowan's disgust for this lack of class was evident at the event. I saw a number of people leave the event before Giuliani arrived, because they had to get back to work. Many who came to give Rudy a second chance, were disgusted with the tardiness and grumbled that this wasn't the way to gain support.
While Giuliani had a solid speech, it was overshadowed by his lack of respect for his audience. Whether you're from Iowa or New York, Giuliani and his staff should have known better than to make this beginner's mistake.
On the trail,