Marc Santora Rams Rudy Again

Yet another "Political Notebook" piece by Marc Santora takes aim at Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. Santora's latest update from the trail, "Campaign Swing Reveals Trouble Spots for Giuliani," begins:

"An odd cellphone call from his wife, two rogue volunteers exploiting the memory of 9/11 to raise money, renewed questions about shifting stances on crucial domestic issues, upheaval within the campaign's upper ranks and more focus on an unconventional family life.

"It has been a rough time on the campaign trail for Rudolph W. Giuliani."

"In a three-day swing through California, including a speech here on Saturday before 1,500 members of the National Federation of Republican Women, the many roadblocks that could trip up Mr. Giuliani's quest for the Republican nomination were very much evident.

"These California Republicans are just the kind of voters Mr. Giuliani is hoping will propel him to the nomination through victories in the Feb. 5 megaprimary.

"But many conservatives continue to view him warily either because of his personal life, which includes two divorces, or his moderate views on certain social issues.

"Even Mr. Giuliani's supporters acknowledge the challenges."


"A subsequent discussion of the cellphone call brought up concerns on a different front: that his campaign is overly focused on 9/11. This concern was reinforced last week by the news that two Giuliani campaign volunteers were asking donors for $9.11. The campaign quickly disavowed the effort."

In his "Political Memo" three weeks ago, Santora also raised questions about Giuliani's possible "political exploitation" of 9-11. Yet John Kerry's undeniable political exploitation of Vietnam was never broached by the Times during the 2004 presidential campaign.