Poor Rudy Giuliani. The man hasn't had the best week -- and John McCain probably made it a lot worse today. In his post-Super Tuesday press conference, the straight-talker made sure to thank the other men on stage with him, Senator Lindsay Graham and Senator Joe Lieberman, and two prominent recent supporters, Florida Governor Charlie Crist and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But the name "Rudy Giuliani" was conspicuously absent -- like the man himself, who was, oddly, a fixture at McCain's side in the days following Giuliani's endorsement of McCain.
You'd think that McCain would want to take extra care to thank Rudy. The man has put his ego and the remaining political clout he has behind his former rival. It was only a week ago when Rudy limped out of the ashes of what was once the "front-runner" campaign to endorse McCain. Not only did he endorse his former rival, but he campaigned for him...in states that McCain won last night! He also went along as McCain's sidekick on the "Tonight Show" and he stood next to his candidate while Schwarzenegger was endorsing him. They spent enough time of the last few days together that you'd think he'd have a lot of Rudy on the brain.The bigger question is why did Giuliani spend so much time with McCain? One would guess that Giuliani wants to be McCain's vice president. But Giuliani deflated that idea when he was making his way to endorse McCain last week. He told reporters,
The New York Times' blog "The Caucus" runs two plausible theories for why Rudy is spending so much time with McCain:
"I am not seeking any position in government," he said. "I am going to be a very enthusiastic and active supporter of John McCain. I have offered, anything he or his campaign believe I can do, I will do for them."
1. Mr. Giuliani doesn't want to leave the limelight.
2. Mr. Giuliani doesn't want to go home and face the letdown of no longer being on the trail and/or the potential difficulties in rebuilding his business.
If the hunch that Giuliani wants to stay in the limelight or doesn't want to get off the trail turns out to be true then McCain isn't helping him at all. He certainly cut Giuliani out of the limelight today by not thanking him AND he certainly bumped him -- at least inadvertently -- off the campaign trail.