Rudy rakes in $800K at fundraiser
That's the scoop from the New York Sun.
"Hundreds of donors turned out for a Midtown presidential fund-raiser for Mayor Giuliani last night in what he called "a good start"to his exploration of a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.The Rudy detractors who have been claiming that Rudy is getting too late of a start are being proven wrong every day. And the only reason it has ever seemed that way is that McCain and Romney got ridiculously early starts on the rest of the field, albeit for different reasons. Romney knew the number of times that a non-heir-apparent governor of a mid-sized state has won the GOP presidential nod in the last few decades. As such, he realized that if he were going to have any chance at the nomination, he'd basically have to start running just as soon as he was seated as governor in the Bay State. McCain, on the other hand, realized that if he were going to become the GOP crown prince who almost always wins the nomination, he would have to create a sense of inevitably early and often. Hence the sense that Rudy, Newt, Huckabee, and others were all getting a late start. And while the actions of McCain and Romney did to some extent force the other candidates to begin moving earlier as they scooped up the talent and endorsements, the thing that guys like Rudy and Newt have going for them is that they're already household names within the GOP. This allowed them to wait until the ink was dry on the midterms before jumping in, while most people are already writing Huckabee and Brownback off more than a year before the first votes are cast in Iowa.
Officially, Mr. Giuliani's camp said it was pleased with the showing for the former mayor's first fund-raiser since he formed a presidential exploratory committee last month. The $2,100-a-head benefit was closed to the press, but supporters put the number of attendees at more than 400, which could yield more than $800,000 in seed money for Mr. Giuliani's committee.
Mr. Giuliani spoke for about 20 minutes at the event, attendees said, touching on lessons that he had learned as mayor and saying the nation had to stay "on the offensive" fighting terrorists in Iraq and around the world.
Addressing reporters afterward, Mr. Giuliani had nothing but praise for one of his chief rivals for the Republican nomination, Senator McCain of Arizona, calling him "a fine man," "a good friend," and "a hero."
But in a sign of the growing battle between the two men, Mr. McCain picked the day of Mr. Giuliani's first fund-raiser to release a list of 57 prominent donors in the tristate region who have committed to his all-but-announced campaign, sending a signal to Mr. Giuliani on his home turf. The list includes Secretary of State Kissinger, the former chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, John Whitehead, and Edward Cox. Mr. Giuliani expressed little concern about Mr. McCain's move last night.
" John McCain is doing the same thing I'm doing. He's exploring running for president," he said. "I can understand why people would support him, and we'll have a large number of people who support us, and then we'll figure out who has the better chance."
Mr. Giuliani also lauded Governor Romney of Massachusetts, noting that he and Mr. McCain were "probably the two most prominent" Republican hopefuls. One man he omitted was his former New York colleague, Governor Pataki, who has traveled extensively across the country to explore a presidential bid but has barely registered in most polls. Mr. Giuliani will decide formally on a presidential run "sometime next year," he said, and he plans to travel to key states in the coming months. His exploratory committee yesterday unveiled its Web site, joinrudy2008.com, which features a photo of the former mayor, hands clasped, next to an early campaign slogan, "Proven Leadership."
Among the attendees of last night's fund-raiser at the Marriott Marquis were several longtime supporters of Mr. Giuliani and members of his administration, including a former fire and police commissioner, Howard Safir. The co-founder of Home Depot, Kenneth Langone, hosted the event."
Make no mistake; Rudy is running, and he will be nothing less than supremely formidable.