Rudy '08 moving full speed ahead
This past week's Hotline strikes a major blow to the "Rudy won't run" crowd:
"Political aides to ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) will reorganize his presidential exploratory efforts over the next two weeks, expanding his national finance team and adding staff in early primary states to try to transform the New York-centric operation into a credible national campaign.
Giuliani backers have run into resistance among major fundraisers and with activists in early primary states because these activists are not convinced that Giuliani actually intends to run, his aides said. In Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Giuliani lags behind Sen. John McCain and Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney in recruiting staff.
“A revamping and a ramping up of the finance operation is occurring and will continue to unfold in the days and weeks to come,” a Giuliani insider said.
Giuliani’s exploratory committee will add a half dozen regional finance directors charged with raising money from tens of thousands of Republicans all across the country. Until now, the fundraising operation has been organized around donors in New York and Texas who could contribute the maximum and raise money for Giuliani from their friends. In the past, some of Giuliani’s top advisers have said that Giuliani would not run if he couldn't raise enough money to compete with McCain.
In addition, Giuliani’s team plans to announce senior level staff positions in early primary states. Also, the campaign is close to reaching an agreement with a pollster and media consultant. Aides to Giuliani declined to reveal the names of their expected hires.
The moves are “a recognition that things need to fall into place” in order for Giuliani to be taken seriously as a presidential candidate, the insider said.
This week’s announcement that ex-Rep. Jim Nussle would assist Giuliani in Iowa and the unveiling of four New Hampshire staffers to a Manchester political reporter are the first steps in that process.
“As we continue to expand our fundraising and finance team, the support we are getting is exciting,” said Roy Bailey, Giuliani’s finance chair.
Aides said there was no tension between Giuliani’s crew of long-time advisers, and his crop of new advisers, led by Michael DuHaime, the outgoing RNC political director, who was hired to run the campaign itself. They described the campaign expansion as a necessary step in the evolution of Giuliani’s candidacy. And they said that Giuliani himself recognizes the problem and agreed that changes were needed. One small example: statements from Giuliani himself will no longer be distributed by staff from his consulting firm. Instead, they will be sent out in the name of his campaign press aides."