Opinion: Giuliani - But Not Bloomberg - for Mitt Romney

 

Former Mayor and past Presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani endorsed Mitt Romney on Monday.

So?

Giuliani's support was presumably timed for today's New York primary. Given that Romney had the Empire State sewed up already, it would be hard to call Rudy a Kingmaker (and besides, he'd prefer "King"). Had he weighed in before Santorum dropped out, it might have been news. Now, it's in the running for the day's biggest yawn, likely rivaling Mitt's planned victory speech.

There are many occasions where an endorsement doesn't matter one iota. Giuliani's move actually may be net negative. While the praise he offered Romney was predictable, the endorsement is more notable for everything the Romney camp doesn't want you thinking about.

Giuliani's timing is a reminder that he hadn't endorsed already -- and that many high-profile Republicans are only coming on board because this is the only ship that hasn't sunk. Early endorsements can energize voters; when it's this late, it just reminds everyone that nobody liked your candidate earlier.

Rudy's endorsement is also a reminder of who hasn't stepped up for Mitt - most noticeably New York's current and far more popular Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Despite McCain urging Bloomberg to stand with his fellow 1-percenter, Mayor Mike is staying out of it. Maybe he's considering Tom Friedman's continuing call for him to toss his own hat in the ring. Or maybe he just considers Millionaire Mitt bad for the business of America.

Seeing Rudy talking about Mitt can't help but recall all the nasty things he'd said about the former Massachusetts governor and his former rival. So every headline that says Giuliani is on board is immediately followed by past accusations of Romney as an unprincipled flip-flopper.

And, of course, Giuliani - a one-time pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-gun-control Republican before he ran on the national stage -- suffers from his own case of the Romneys. As Mitt ties up the nomination, he'd probably prefer fewer etch-a-sketch Republicans hovering around.

All told, Giuliani's endorsement could have been irrelevant -- instead, it's probably harmful. Then again, the Mayor would rather have a negative impact than no impact at all.

Maybe it's all part of a ploy. Endorse Romney in order to poison him. Weaken him until he crumbles. And when the GOP looks for their next savior, it's Giuliani Time. Stranger things have happened in the mind of Rudy Giuliani.