To quote Oscar Wilde, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” In the case of the 2008 GOP race, we can start seeing examples of that already.

The art (work with me here, I know its a bit of a reach) is how the candidates are portraying themselves or how they are portrayed in the media. The life is how the campaigns are planning their strategies for the upcoming race.

Mitt Romney has not been a Picasso by any definition, but he has crafted a solid, traditional conservative image that he has defended vigorously against persistent calls that he has flip-flopped on several social issues.

What makes Romney the traditional candidate more than anything else has been the fact that he is following the time-tried game plan of attacking the opening states in the primary season, build momentum to Super Tuesday, take a majority there and win the nomination. He has sizable leads in the first two events, Iowa and New Hampshire, and several candidates are rumored to be considering abandoning one or both states. An article on Politico even asks the question “Does Romney have Iowa Locked Down?”, which would be amazing with six months remaining before the caucus.

If Romney is running a paint-by-numbers campaign, then Rudy Giuliani’s has to be abstract art. Giuliani’s campaign is betting on the newly non-traditional primary schedule.

Florida is now among the first few primaries. Super Tuesday has been replaced by Tsunami Tuesday, and includes delegate-rich states such as California, New York and Illinois. Giuliani is betting that the big states are his ticket to the nomination, as well to a heck of a lot of frequent flier miles.

Will a traditional strategy work in what is shaping up to be a very unconventional primary season? Does Rudy’s “Big State strategy” make any sense? Is Mike Gravel the 2008 version of James Stockdale?

Tune in next time for “Political Junkies on Art.”

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