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Tipsheet

The Forbes Factor <i>(Bigger Than You Think)</i>

Reason 101 why Steve Forbes could prove to be a huge "get" for Rudy Giuliani.  This is from 1999:

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The Union Leader newspaper endorsed Steve Forbes in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, saying he may not be charismatic, but he's no phony.

In an editorial to be published Friday, Publisher Joseph McQuaid said Forbes is the only candidate who displays "steady, intelligent, conservative leadership" who is "God-fearing, respectful of innocent life, and determined to restore a sense of decency to the White House."

"Steve Forbes is not charismatic. (Some would say he looks like a geek.) But he's also not a phony," the editorial said. "Ask him a question, you'll get a thoughtful answer, not a soundbite. He is one tough, smart customer who can be the strong, principled leader America needs."

By contrast, the paper said Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Arizona Sen. John McCain "seem much more interested in what the news media say about them than in their own messages." ...

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In 2000, Forbes was also endorsed by movement conservative giants like Phyllis Schlafly, Morton Blackwell, and Paul Weyrich. Townhall contributing editor Ken Blackwell also served as his National Chairman.

These are the same conservative leaders who (with the exception McCain's having endorsed Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial race -- in the primary), have tended to have a rocky relationship with John McCain (As I recently noted, McCain is seeking to bypass the filter of conservative leaders).

By securing Forbes' endorsement, could Rudy be similtaneously making a move in New Hampshire -- and making a play for the support of conservative leaders?

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UPDATE: 5:30 PM

So why is Steve Forbes endorsing Rudy?  According to National Journal's On Call blog:  "Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney was not a lover of Steve Forbes's flat tax, and, as a "concerned citizen," took out ads in Boston, New Hampshire and Iowa in 1996 to send the publisher that message."

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