Rothenberg, like the Curmudgeon, is impressed with Huckabee's rise and concerned about Giuliani's strategy.
In particular, he had this to say about Giuliani, which jibes with the analysis we posted recently:
"Under normal circumstances, Giuliani's strategy of jump-starting his campaign in Florida, in late January, would be political lunacy, and many seasoned observers rightly remain skeptical of it. It's a strategy based on weakness, not strength, and it makes the former mayor prisoner to the outcomes of races in which he is participating half-heartedly. Giuliani advisers are only fooling themselves if they believe that unbroken early momentum doesn't matter."
Rothenberg goes on to say that it just might work due to the "peculiarities" of the process this time around. We'd say it's not likely to work, UNLESS Giuliani can come in second in Iowa and a respectable third or better in New Hampshire, and we doubt it will work at all if Guiliani does not win a single contest before Florida.
As for Huckabee, Rothenberg notes that if the former Arkansas governor can actually pull off a win in Iowa--still a longshot--it would be a major blow for Romney. Rothenberg says it would be "lights out" for the Mittster, but we think that's a little overstated.
And Rothenberg implicitly agrees with the Curmudgeon that Thompson is drifting aimlessly, stating that the Tennessean has "been something of a bust" of late.
We also agree with Rothenberg that the situation is fluid--and exciting. A lot could happen, and it will start happening soon.
The national media, on the other hand, seems more fixated on the Democratic race, hoping that someone--presumably Obama--can knock Hillary off her perch. It could happen, and it would, of course be a big story, which is exactly why the media are rooting for it. But the Republican race, with five viable candidates all slugging it out, remains the more interesting, with the possibility that it will go into overtime.