Former mayor Rudy Giuliani visited Barrington, New Hampshire store The Christmas Dove yesterday during various campaign visits in the Granite State and bought a ceramic angel. Perhaps it was an angel of mercy, as he has begun to pull back NH-related advertising in order to concentrate on the Florida primary, implicitly acknowledging that he doesn't have a chance against Republican front runner Mitt Romney and Senator John McCain, who has surged into second place in NH polling.
The Florida primary takes place on January 29, and currently Giuliani is trailing Romney and MIke Huckabee.
The Sun says that Giuliani's campaign had been hoping that he could win Florida, California and New York primaries, which have a large number of delegates, but his former 37-point lead in NY (over Fred Thompson back in October) is now an 11-point lead over Huckabee. And:
Although the mayor was never likely to win New Hampshire, where Mr. Romney has invested a great deal of time and money, Mr. Giuliani had sought to prevent the former Massachusetts governor from gaining national momentum with an easy win there.
Mr. Giuliani's gambit of leaving Mr. Huckabee to diminish Mr. Romney's early lead in Iowa, and thereby put the New Hampshire result in doubt, appears to have backfired.
The former Arkansas governor is now not only the favorite to win Iowa but is quickly gaining ground on Mr. Giuliani both in New Hampshire and in national polls, which until early December showed the mayor enjoying a substantial lead.
Ouch! So, Rudy's "apparently written off Iowa," as the Post says, given that his next campaign appearance will be in Missouri.
Some families of 9/11 victims are trying to organize a swift boat-like campaign to bring down Giuliani. And the Times looks at the McCain campaign's new life.
Photograph of Giuliani at The Christmas Dove with his angel by Elise Amendola/AP