Hot potato.

Notes from the political sidelines.
Aug. 31 2007 5:57 PM

Hot Potato

Republicans can't drop Larry Craig fast enough.

80_thehasbeen
(Continued from Page 28)

Giuliani did manage to clarify one issue on Sunday. In fact, he offered what may be the single most definitive statement of his campaign so far: "I'm not a woman."

Wallace wasn't even trying to clear up any confusion on that score. Giuliani just wanted to show that his passions on the abortion issue only go so far:

"I believe abortion is wrong. I believe, as a personal matter, if it were my personal choice — and of course, it will never be my personal choice. I'm not a woman."

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It's hardly news when a thrice-married man clarifies his stance that he is not a woman. But Giuliani went further, volunteering that he will never be a woman. Fox viewers can rest assured: Some options are off the table.

Yet just a few sentences later, Giuliani threw even that certainty into some doubt, telling Wallace:

"If you said to me, as a woman, 'I have an equally strong view of this as you do' … I would support that."

The strict constructionist reading of "If you said to me, as a woman" is clear: Giuliani thinks he's a woman. Another flip-flop! But a more liberal interpretation might reach the opposite conclusion: Giuliani thinks Chris Wallace is a woman.

No wonder Giuliani is losing the Republican base. He has done so many Inner Circle productions, he thinks "fair and balanced" is Rosalind in As You Like It a man playing a woman playing a man playing a woman.

Either way, Giuliani's second point is as confusing as the first. Giuliani says he would happily defer not just to Chris Wallace but to any other woman who has "an equally strong view of this" as he does. Yet as Wallace demonstrated at the outset of the interview, it would be hard to find anyone in either gender as indifferent to the subject as Giuliani.

Despite his incredibly bad week, Giuliani still leads national polls. But in the more sophisticated political-futures markets, Giuliani shares are in free fall. Between Thursday and Monday, he dropped from 31 to 27 on Intrade, while McCain jumped from 23.5 to 29.5.

If this is clarity, the Giuliani campaign can't afford much more of it. On Mother's Day, the mayor made clear he is not now nor never will be a woman. Within hours, his stock plunged 5 percent. ... 12:59 P.M. ( link)

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