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‘USA Today’ Notices Something Different About Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani
If you watched Meet the Press last weekend, chances are you noticed how demented Rudy Giuliani seemed when he kept talking about the Florida primary. Tim Russert would ask about Giuliani's flagging numbers in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina, and Giuliani would just reply something along the lines of: "FLORIDA! FLORIDA! FLORIDA!" Giuliani has always been banking on his lead there to overcome any shortcomings in primaries that come earlier, but last weekend he seemed a little bonkers about it. And USA Today reports today that he's finally changing his strategy.
Instead of emulating former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali's rope-a-dope strategy and letting his opponents tire themselves out in contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former New York mayor has had to start swinging hard in those states. That's because Giuliani is behind in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, polls show. So while Ali's strategy enabled him to unseat heavyweight champ George Foreman in 1974, it won't help Giuliani win next year's Republican presidential nomination.
He's buying more ads in New Hampshire and hoping to shorten Romney's thirteen-point lead, but staying quiet about it because he doesn't want to look vulnerable if he can't pull it off. This whole story made us realize that we should be reading USA Today more frequently. Not for the political analysis, really, but more for the writing. That Muhammad Ali metaphor was practically Shakespearean! Giuliani shifts tactics, goes on offensive [USAT] Update: According to one poll, Giuliani has even lost his lead in Florida.

Kristen Johnston Turns Forgetful Into Funny

Kristen Johnston
Former mayor Ed Koch said his scariest moment in office was when a bunch of doctors threw eggs at his face during the Iran hostage crisis. Kristen Johnston forgot her lines while performing at The 24 Hour Plays. Bill Clinton said that he'd like to do a makeover of Grumpy Old Men with Bill Crystal if Hillary is elected president. An assortment of famous folks ate at both Le Cirque and the Waverley Inn. Donald Trump's brother, Robert, and wife Blaine got a divorce. Ben Affleck said he'd rather worship Satan than flip baseball-team loyalty à la Rudy Giuliani. Maybe fat Ryan Gosling hung out with a hot brunette at Rose Bar.

Fashionistas Mad Wintour Likes Federer Better

Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet took offense to Molly Sims's comment that the label was "lower end" by claiming that Sims begged for free pants and a plane ticket to the show when she modeled for her last February. Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova claim to be just friends, but they were out singing karaoke together till 5 a.m. the night after Djokovic lost in the finals. In other tennis news: Some designers were annoyed that Anna Wintour spent more time with Roger Federer at the U.S. Open than at Fashion Week shows. Details editor Dan Peres is expecting his first child with Aussie wife Sarah Wynter. Walmart competitor the Wholesale Department Store Union bought out a showing of Off Broadway show Walmartopia. Chef Todd English, of Olives fame, may open up a new place on 98 Kenmare Street. Liz Smith's sources tell her that Rudy Giuliani is "a bad man and an erratic personality" but would make a good chief executive.

Muhammad Ali’s Daughter Is Crazy

What do you learn as Muhammad Ali's daughter? That it pays to be crazy. That's what Maryum Ali told us last night at the opening of an exhibit she curated of Magnum photos of her father. "My dad always told me — he told me this as a little kid — act crazy," she said. "Because I said, 'Daddy, how did you beat Sonny Liston when the whole world said you were going to lose?' He said, 'I acted crazy! I had him scared!'" It's a lesson that came in handy in the mid-eighties, when Maryum was living with her dad in L.A., and the champ, she said, was always a nice guy and would let anyone into the house. "This one guy he let into his house, this weirdo guy, the guy started stalking me," she recalled. "So I got a gun. I told the guy, I said, 'Look, it's me or you, and it's gonna be you. I'm not going to put on no gloves, I got a .38, so keep messing with me! I'm just as crazy.' In any situation where I'm face-to-face with somebody crazy, I'm crazier. And they just leave me the hell alone." Being a fighter's kid probably doesn't hurt, either. —Bennett Marcus