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"Preseason" Presidential Poll Priorities

Usually these sorts of sports-politics analogies are applied in the opposite direction, but writer/pundit Alex Massie, guesting today on Time's Daily Dish for the vacationing Andrew Sullivan, uses SMQ's October analysis of ranking methods for college football as a standard for questioning conventional navel-gazing on the hardly distant 2008 presidential race. Specifically, he wonders why Rudy Giuliani's resume as mayor of New York City doesn't make him a more viable Republican candidate in punditry "power polls":

He's nowhere in the "power rankings" because few people think he can really win. But if you were to judge the candidates on their "resume" I'd want to know your explanation for not ranking him at the top of the list.

This is true even if you factor out 9/11. Being President of the United States of America is quite a tough assignment. Executive experience would be an advantage. But it also needs you to set a tone, construct a framework for public affairs and debate etc etc. You have to boss the public square. That also takes vision and leadership.

Is there a better training ground for the Presidency than being Mayor of New York City? It's hard to think of one.

The Mayor of New York must grapple - nay, fight! - a bewilderingly complex and byzantine bureaucracy plagued by turf wars, vested interests and a bloody-minded  determination to thwart change or reform. Hmmm, isn't there a similar, but even larger and more powerful Hydra in Washington?

And it's not as though this training takes place in a media backwater either. The scrutiny the NYC Mayor receives might  - just might -  be useful training for the Oval Office.

So perhaps Giuliani's biggest challenge is to confound the "power ranking" expectations by dismantling the preconceptions that condemn his candidacy to also-ran status before it has even started.

A little like, say, Boise State's challenge in the BCS? Hey, analogies are made to stretch.

Looks a little like Jim Tressel, only without the early poll advantage.