Crane Collapse Causes Building DelaysAlso, the real Mr. Big thought watching the ‘Sex and the City’ movie was “eerie,” and Wachovia chief G. Kennedy Thompson is out the door. And more, in our daily industry roundup.
‘USA Today’ Notices Something Different About GiulianiIf 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.
in other news
Everything’s Up to Date in Jersey City
On the off chance you missed today’s USA Today, we thought we’d point you to some big news on the front page of America’s paper: The model of America’s urban future, apparently, is Jersey City. The onetime industrial burg across the Hudson is “clean, green and growing,” USA Today says. It’s gaining residents, jobs, and office space, and it’s got plans for a “mix of loft-style residential condos and rental units, restaurants, clubs, galleries, theaters and artists’ spaces” in the so-called Powerhouse Arts District.
So Jersey City’s up-and-coming and a good place for artists. Who knew?
Model of Urban Future: Jersey City? [USA Today]
If You Lived Here, You’d Be Cool By Now [NYM]
the morning line
Someone, Think of the Children!
• The state budget is here — virtually on time! — and guess what provision made it in while everyone was busy arguing about hospital cuts? A program that makes 400,000 uninsured children eligible for near-free health care. [NYT]
• Hillary Clinton set a record for pre-primary fund-raising, drumming up $26 million in the first three months of 2007. Her war chest now totals $36 million, with ten left over from the layup Senate campaign. Obama is at $20 million. And Chris Dodd apparently has subway fare. [NYDN]
• Q: When does the Post become touchy-feely about animal welfare? A: When it helps torpedo a Giuliani. Turns out that in the seventies, Judith then-Nathan used to shill for a medical-supply firm that put surgical staples on live dogs during sales demonstrations. Ew. [NYP]
• Today’s USA Today profiles, in heroic prose (“tempers flare as forklifts dart”), the armed federal agents patrolling the Fulton Fish Market for illegal clams. It seems 750 probes into local seafood-smuggling operations were launched in the last year alone. [USAT]
• And a new Arabic middle school will take up the top floor of Park Slope’s P.S. 282, which put the nabe’s parents in a somewhat un–Park Slope–ian nativist tizzy — with some threatening to pull their kids out. Thing is, it’ll be an Arabic language school, not a madrassa. [MetroNY]
in other news
MTA to World: Look How Vulnerable Our Subway Is!
Because we know you read the USA Today as carefully as we do, we know you were, like us, a bit disturbed by the how-terrorists-can-destroy-the-subway-system primer printed, with no particular news peg, in yesterday’s colorful paper. Some of the cited details might sound familiar, but what stays with you after reading the piece is the sheer October-2001-grade hysteria of the quotes, all of which come from pretty high up. The city’s 600 miles of track are, in the words of Senator Chris Dodd, “ripe, easy targets.” All the costly security upgrades undertaken so far, says MTA preparedness chief Lewis Schiliro, amount to “incremental risk reduction,” which doesn’t sound good at all. None of the nation’s subway systems will be as safe as they should be, he gravely threatens, unless agencies like his get more federal money. Okay, then. Is the money coming? Yes and no: The Homeland Security Department is doling out a paltry $172 million for transit security this year — nationwide. William Morange, MTA’s security director, any words for the boys in D.C.? “Even if you don’t have the money, do the testing for us. Do something.” Schiliro, take us out on the up note! “The magnitude of the problem is almost incomprehensible.” Thanks.
Protecting NYC Subways an ‘Incomprehensible’ Task [USAT]