Rudy Giuliani withdrew from the presidential race today. After his poor performance in Florida this was no surprise. But Giuliani then stunned the world by endorsing Ron Paul as Super Tuesday approaches.
"I've been a fan of Dr. Paul for quite some time now," said the 9/11 hero, "I remember back in my days working for Ronald Reagan, how he spoke fondly of libertarians and how that was where the Republican Party should go. Ron Paul represents what the Republican Party used to be about, and where it should be in the future."
Giuliani's announcement came as a surprise to many. CNN had been reporting that Giuliani would endorse John McCain at an event in California. The former mayor of New York City had also been quite critical of Ron Paul during the campaign, picking a fight with him during one debate and mocking him only yesterday during a speech in Florida.
Major media figures were apoplectic. Tim Russert would not go on the air, and was seen talking to himself and slapping himself in the face. Sean Hannity appeared on TV but went speechless when asked about the endorsement. CNN's Glenn Beck fainted when he heard the news. FOX News ignored the endorsement, continuing its coverage of the effort to get Fred Thompson back into the race.
The Ron Paul campaign also was taken aback. Campaign Chair Kent Snyder denied that any negotiations had taken place, or that Giuliani is being considered as a potential VP nominee. At least one insider suggested the campaign is more concerned that Giuliani's endorsement was a trick designed to splinter the coalition that has formed behind Dr. Paul.
Polling today after the endorsement showed Ron Paul gaining dramatically, with his poll numbers nationwide at nearly 10% -- still behind all the other candidates including Giuliani himself.