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Giuliani A Dud On The Campaign Trail

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As his numbers remain low and stagnant in the New Hampshire polls, Rudy Giuliani's campaign stops have done little to revive his souring presidential ambitions.

On Monday, the former New York City mayor traveled to Hudson in south New Hampshire to speak with voters at the Wattannick Grange Hall. The venue was not promising. At first glance, there appeared to be as many attendees (less than100) as there were members of the press. Younger voters were virtually non-existent. By one count, five were in attendance, the majority of whom appeared to be under the voting age. Journalists who have long covered Giuliani said such dynamics were not uncommon.

And Giuliani did little to inspire. Speaking behind a blue and red backdrop - "Tested. Ready. Now." - Giuliani spoke in the post-colonial community center for approximately fifty minutes. Topics ranged from tax policy, terrorism, and immigration.

"I'm good at doing things that people say are impossible," the New York Republican said. "The more impossible you tell me it is to be energy independent, the more possible it is that I will make it happen; same thing with ending illegal immigration."

The most dramatic moment of the whole affair - save for the "Rudy" movie theme music that accompanied the mayor's entrance and exit - came when he opened up the discussion for questions and answers.

"Why don't you end baby killing, when will you end baby killing?" screamed an attendee from the back, before being forced to leave the building.

Giuliani was undeterred. The same heckler had appeared at his events before.

Minutes later another attendee asked the former mayor how he could bridge the partisan divide in Washington.

"You deal with partisanship in two ways," Giuliani said, "You look at things you can accomplish together. You look for where there is the common ground." He then grabbed a campaign pamphlet detailing his 12-point vision for America. Looking through the list for a topic where he thought he could forge a bipartisan consensus, Giuliani settled on energy independence. "You have to make it an American achievement rather than a Republican or a Democratic achievement," he said. "And you have to talk about it differently." From there, he went on to criticize Democrats for wanting to raise taxes.

By and large, the mayor received a friendly but tepid response. Susan Adie, an Independent from Hudson who traditionally votes Republican said she enjoyed the mayor but was not persuaded. "I didn't get that emotional connection," she said. "You have to find that candidate most connected to you. And Rudy didn't do that today."

The most recent Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll has Giuliani registered at 9 percent in the New Hampshire polls; good enough for fifth place behind Sen. John McCain's leading 34 percent. Giuliani finished sixth in the Iowa caucus but has insisted that his strategy is to win the later, larger states in the primary process.