Per the Des Moines Register, Rudy Giuliani will skip the Ames straw poll in August, but still compete in the Iowa caucus. While blowing off the circus-like Ames event, Giuliani manager Mike DuHaime said ‘We are 100 percent committed to winning the Iowa caucuses. We’re going to take the resources that would have been spent in the straw poll and we’re going to dedicate all of them toward organizing for the January caucuses.”
Not bad: setting rock bottom expectations in IA caucus from bowing out of the straw poll while being able to stay underground and possibly exceed the expectations bar. Easily the best of any possible position Giuliani and his people could have chosen.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the Register article, as pointed out by NBC First Read: “Giuliani’s decision could dampen interest in the event as a true early test of strength in the Republican field.”
This opens a door for Fred Thompson to follow and also opt out of the straw poll — thus helping both to survive a weak showing on caucus night, and providing the opportunity to exceed the low bar. On the flip side, after so much discussion of the “lazy” Fred, there will be great pressure on him to show some fire and compete in the straw poll. Not competing drives the lazy narrative. key decision for Thompson ahead.
Regardless, this has been a good two days for Giuliani.