Chris' post below on how Huckabee actually hurts Rudy does nothing so much as to make one think about the monumentally stupid electoral strategy that the former mayor's campaign has followed all year. Giuliani's (probable) loss of the nomination, however, may have at least one good side effect for ailing fans of smart politics. Namely, the idea of committing halfway to states will be permanently put to rest.

When John McCain decided to cede Iowa to George Bush in 2000, he completely ignored the state. This had the benefit of totally changing the media's narrative when Bush handily beat Steve Forbes. There were no negative stories about McCain, and the Arizona Senator was allowed a fresh shot at Bush in New Hampshire. What Rudy has done in Iowa this year represents the worst of both worlds. He hasn't put in enough time or money to really compete, but he hasn't disavowed the state either. Perhaps, as the "front-runner,"  it would have been harder for him to completely ignore Iowa; still it would have at least made more sense than his current course. Sure, he'll probably get a few more votes than McCain did in 2000, but it will be considered a bad loss by the media, and probably come as a surprise to some voters. (I don't quite understand McCain's quasi-run in Iowa this year, either).

On a related note, can anyone conceive of any possible reason why Giuliani would scale back his ad buys in New Hampshire?

--Isaac Chotiner