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Rudy runs late

June 21, 2007 | 12:05 pm

Rudy Giuliani must be glad the weekend is fast approaching.

Rudy As we noted earlier this week, Tuesday brought a cavalcade of ill tidings for the GOP presidential contender: a Newsday story questioned his motives for quitting the Iraq Study Group last year, his top Iowa advisor decided to leave politicking behind to take a high-level White House post, and the chairman of the Giuliani campaign in South Carolina was busted on cocaine charges.

It's also doubtful that Giuliani was thrilled by the prospect that Michael Bloomberg, who succeeded him as New York mayor, could embark on an independent presidential candidacy. How much oxygen exists in the political universe, after all, for two boys from the Big Apple?

Undeterred, Giuliani hit the trail Wednesday in Des Moines. Unfortunately, he showed up at his main appearance 50 minutes late, and earned a blog scolding from the dean of the Iowa press corps, David Yepsen.

"Giuliani and his campaign need to learn some things about campaigning in Iowa," Yepsen writes. "Like not being tardy. People will give up ten or 15 minutes but an hour? That's a pretty big screw-up."

That said, Yepsen goes on to make a persuasive case that Giuliani's status in the state that kicks off the caucus/primary season is not as dire as some have painted it. And the loss of his key advisor, Yepsen opines, "won't make much difference. The campaign wasn't doing well and can only get better."

-- Don Frederick