Rudy Was First
Savoring the news and reading the blogs. The tone is positively celebratory out there, something that wasn't the case on Friday.
One slight correction to my earlier note. I said Rudy entered the race after McCain. That's not technically true. The papers were filed in New York on Friday (for a brief rundown of filing with the state vs. filing with the FEC, read Cillizza). While McCain leaked to the media on Friday he would form an exploratory committee, the papers are due to be filed this week. So Rudy was first.
Here are two statements collected by the Hotline, the first by
unnamed Rudy associates Tony Carbonetti:
Rudy has traveled the country campaigning tirelessly on behalf of Republican candidates and has had the opportunity to speak with Americans on a wide variety of issues. They have been encouraging him to run for President, and this filing affords him the opportunity to raise money and put together an organization to assist him in making his decision.
And from John Gross, his PAC treasurer:
Mayor Giuliani has not made a decision yet. With the filing of this document, we have taken the necessary legal steps so an organization can be put in place and money can be raised to explore a possible presidential run in 2008.
I don't want to say this is a done deal, but filing for an exploratory committee is as close as it gets to the real thing. Those who test the waters but never run (Warner, Feingold) never go through the step of setting up exploratory committees.