I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rope-A-Dope Rudy

Last night, following the closing of the South Carolina primary polls, I appeared on The Rick Moran show and decided to make a perhaps startling prediction. For the record, I believe that when you dip a toe into the punditry pool you should probably do more than analyze politics. Dissecting the past is fun, but what use is it if you can't try to take your amazing insights and peer into the future? Well, I decided that as of this moment in time, Rudy Giuliani resembles Muhammad Ali more than anyone else. Why? He's doing the rope-a-dope. For those who are not historians of the sweet science, this is a reference to Ali's fight against George Foreman which was dubbed The Rumble in the Jungle.
In the second round, the challenger retreated to the ropes inviting Foreman to hit him, while counterpunching and verbally taunting the younger man. Ali's plan was to enrage Foreman and absorb his best blows to exhaust him mentally and physically. While Foreman threw wide shots to Ali's body, Ali countered with stinging straight punches to Foreman's head. Foreman threw hundreds of punches in seven rounds, but with decreasing technique and effectiveness. Ali's tactic of leaning on the ropes, covering up, and absorbing body shots was later termed "The Rope-A-Dope."

By the end of the seventh round, Foreman was exhausted. In the eighth round, Ali dropped Foreman with a combination at center ring and Foreman failed to make the count. Against the odds, Ali had regained the title.

This led me, on the radio, to make the following prediction... Rudy will be the new Muhammad Ali of politics. He's playing the rope-a-dope strategy. The Republican race is still in a muddle, and in Florida he's going to pop back up leading into Super Tuesday when he blows the whole race wide open again.

Many amateur political referees have already counted Rudy Giuliani out on the mat. (Just as they did with John McCain last summer.) However, Florida represents a huge chunk of delegates, and is only a few days before Super Duper Tuesday, when the biggest states in the nation will hit the primaries, many of them winner takes all contests. None of the GOP candidates have mustered the huge surge of momentum which they expected and only a handful of delegates have been awarded.

We're only about six rounds into this fight. Florida will be the seventh round and I believe you're going to see Rudy come off the ropes and start swinging.