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Rudy Giuliani’s campaign released its 4th quarter fundraising figures today, which show that Mr. 9/11 spent $48.9 million through last December 31. In light of that figure (which of course does not include millions of dollars more that Giuliani spent during the past month), let’s review the collapse of Rudy’s campaign, which ranks as one of the most spectacular political humiliations in recent American history.
Rudy, the long-time GOP frontrunner, debuted with voters on January 3 in Iowa. He won 3 percent support (4,097 voters) to finish 6th, trouncing Duncan Hunter by a margin of 8 to 1–but unfortunately losing to everyone else on the ballot, including Ron Paul, who beat him by almost 3 to 1. At the Wyoming county conventions two days later, Rudy tied for last with 0 percent of the vote. (Wyoming did not release vote totals, only percentages.)
Next up was New Hampshire, where Rudy rocketed to a 9 percent share of the vote, good enough for fourth place. In Michigan, he dropped to 3 percent and took 6th place, again finishing well ahead of Hunter and narrowly edging out “Uncommitted” (who had two percent) as well.
In Nevada on January 19th Rudy took 6th again, with 4 percent of the vote. A week later he polled two percent in South Carolina, securing 6th again. Then came Florida, where he delivered his peak performance, winning 3rd place with 15 percent.
Now let’s summarize:
Rudy spent $142.83 for every vote he received. And again, that is based on campaign spending only through December 31. The real number will go higher when 2008 spending figures are released.
All of this puts Rudy in a league with Phil Gramm and John Connally, two past lavishly financed GOP presidential flameouts (in 1996 and 1980, respectively). But Rudy’s crash was even more stunning. Gramm and Connally were both deemed to be serious contenders, but neither was ever anointed the decisive frontrunner like Rudy.
Farewell, Rudy. You won’t, it seems, be missed.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”