Giuliani Lays Low

From CBS News' Ryan Corsaro:

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- When it comes to Iowa, Rudy Giuliani is saving his money. He'll see you all at the party later on.

Instead of campaigning two days before the first caucus votes are cast, Giuliani is raising money at private events in New York. The man knows the importance of money and thinks it's smarter to skip campaigning in Iowa – a state where Giuliani has as many supporters as Ron Paul, according to some recent polls – to raise money for the rest of 2008. That's the strategy at least.

It appears that every candidate is ignoring the new election calendar except for Rudy – at least that's what his people are banking on. In an e-mail today, Giuliani strategy director Brent Seaborn writes about their "bold and innovative" campaign strategy with the "radically different election calendar."

Seaborn says, "Our rivals seemingly have built campaigns based on the old calendars' strategies -- a couple of very early state wins to propel them deeper in to the nomination process. To the contrary, our plan allocates time and resources to the many states which vote a bit later -- on January 29 (Florida) and February 5."

The campaign says Giuliani is "looking good" going into late January and early February primaries, but whether he can sustain those numbers after other candidates get the Super Bowl commercial attention that comes with winning New Hampshire and Iowa remains to be seen. His campaign might think a new election calendar, but do voters think the same way?

It sounds like the whole idea is straight from the 2000 general election: the Bush electoral vote strategy rather than the Gore popular vote strategy.

After spending 48 hours in New Hampshire, Giuliani will be in Florida on caucus night. From there, he'll likely shout from the rooftops how the real race is in Florida in a few weeks, while his campaign will probably be e-mailing us and saying there's no news in Iowa and the caucus is not part of the "new election," as Giuliani coined it in a recent interview with CBS News' Byron Pitts.

Happy New Year from the Giuliani campaign – whose message seems to be that their strategy is solid and we'll all realize it by the beginning of February. Shows what we know!