Red State/Blue State

Is Rudy’s campaign like three-day-old tuna fish?

DAVE SIMPSON & GREG BEAN

A political discussion between Red State conservative Dave Simpson – a former reporter, editor, publisher and columnist – and Greg Bean, Blue Stater and executive editor of GreaterMedia Newspapers. Let us know what you think.

Dear Dave:

I know this might upset your old-coot’s sense of timing, but let’s change things up this week.Usually, you throw the pitch and I knock it out of the park. This week, I’m taking the mound, so, Batter up!

You know, as I was driving to work this morning I was thinking about a friend who got food poisoning a couple of years ago.He was sick as a peach orchard bear, and when he went to the emergency room, the doctor asked him what he’d eaten last.

“Atuna sub froma deli,”my friend said.

“You got the tuna on Sunday?” the doctor asked incredulously. “What are you, an idiot?You never get the tuna on Sunday, because it was probably made on Friday. Sheesh, I thought everybody knew that.”

It was a lesson learned the hard way, but my friend never bought the tuna on Sunday again, and neither have I. It’s just one of those things you don’t do.

So what does this have to do with politics, you ask? Plenty, since Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for the presidency is starting to look a lot like that tuna submy friendmade themistake of buying on Sunday. It’s starting to smell like that sandwich, too.

I know you’re a diehard Rudy fan, and you drafted him early on. But, if you remember, I said then that it was my belief that Rudy is a lot like herpes: themore you find out about him, the less you want to have him around. And it looks like a whole lot of Republicans in this country have learned enough about Giuliani in the last fewweeks to decide he’s so skeevy even Ron Paul looks good by comparison.

He finished in the cellar in some of the country’s earliest primaries.He didn’t even come out of the dugout inMichigan or New Hampshire, and in Florida, where he spent a lot ofmoney hoping towin that state’s primary Jan. 29 (after this was written), he was holding onto a slim lead against Mike Huckabee and Mitt (Willard) Romney, but it was so slim the experts said it was a statistical tie.

And if he didn’t win in Florida by a decisive margin this week, he might not even have the heat to win primaries on his own home fields of New York and New Jersey.

This is a huge slump from September andOctober,when he led in theGOP standings. Now, on the away field, he’s 10 points behind John McCain and Huckabee, and riding firmly in the Fred Thompson/Ron Paul zone even before the playoffs (if you notice all the baseball references, it’s because I can’t wait for spring training).

So here’s my question, plus a couple of follow-ups.

Are you about ready to admit you pulled a Buckner when you endorsed Rudy Giuliani so early on? Are you ready to pick a new designated hitter?

And are you ready to admit that I was right about this roasted goober and you were wrong, at least when it comes to his chances for winning the GOP nomination series?

If you’re ready to cop to the magnitude of your error, it would be the prize in the Cracker Jacks. But I’m not holding my breath, pardner. I don’t remember you even admitting you dropped the pitch on Nixon.

Your prescient friend,

Blue State Greg

Dear Greg:

As we say out here in the Red States (where we’re still not sure that crudités aren’t something dirty), “OH, CONTRARY, Mr. Blue State Sophisticate!”

While I like your funny baseball talk, I must assess a 15-yard penalty in this Super Bowl season for assuming I voted for Richard Nixon.

My first presidential vote was cast for George McGovern. I don’t mind admitting that. I do blush, however,when I admit that four years later I voted for Jimmy Carter. That’s the vote I’d rathermy kids not know about.

Your memory is failing if you think I ever defended Richard Nixon. I figured he was a crook at the time, and today I figure he was a LIBERAL crook. (Real conservatives don’t like wage and price controls, and his revenue-sharing idea turned into the pork bacchanal we see today.)

I’m a textbook case of voting with my heart when I was young and living off my parents, then votingwithmy brain later on, after I got a job and figured out where the money was coming from.

Ronald Reagan- who even some liberals have decided wasn’t such a dope after all – turned me around, and I voted for him in 1984 to absolve my Big Carter Mistake. Your lefty friends called Reagan a “cowboy,” but out here where I live, that’s a compliment. (Today, even your man crush Barack acknowledges that the old cowboy did pretty well when it came to change.)

So now you’re dancing on Rudy’s grave, assuming that because he didn’t enter the early primaries, the nation roundly rejected himlike spoiled tuna. But, he’s trying something unheard of, Greg, and if it works, you Mondaymorning quarterbacks will have to admit he was a genius. If not, I’ll admit he made a terrible mistake.

But, I still think a guywho cut taxes and made New York City safe for Red Staters like myself to visit deserves some credit, and he might do great things in Washington. After all, if turning New York City around is no big deal, what bigger accomplishments do we expect of these candidates, and what has your main squeeze Barack done that makes a safe Times Square pale by comparison? Answer me that, Greg.

I spent some years in Illinois, and all I remember of Barack Obama was the title “Most liberal member of the Illinois State Senate.”No thanks.

The good news is that my team has a deep bench, Greg, and I can easily support McCain,Huckabee or Romney if Rudy’s big gamble turns out to be a huge mistake. By comparison, if Barack doesn’t win, you’re stuck with Angry Bill’s Candidate or Mr. $600 Haircut. Ouch!

Nice to know, however, that you’re so worried aboutmy party and its candidates. When you talk about Republicans, it’s like turning to Ted Kennedy for unbiased information aboutNewt Gingrich. So, old friend, I’mkeeping the faith forHigh Stakes Rudy, and hoping for the best.

Sincerely,

Red State Dave

You can reach Greg Bean via e-mail at

gbean @gmnews.com. Dave Simpson can be

reached at d_simpson@bresnan.net.