Giuliani Loses Swagger in Durham, New Hampshire

Mayor Giuliani is trying to demonstrate that he has not lost the “Eye of the Tiger.”

His campaign warmed up the crowd here in the sedate dining room of Goss International yesterday with such rousing tunes as “The Rocky Theme” and “Eye of the Tiger” from the “Rocky” film series starring Sylvester Stallone as a championship boxer.

But like a boxer in the late rounds of a match, Mr. Giuliani’s team appeared to be slowed from a series of blows in recent weeks. The mayor spoke for a little more than 35 minutes to an audience made up largely of workers at Goss International, which manufactures much of America’s printing press equipment. His demeanor seemed sober and somewhat subdued. Gone was the swagger he demonstrated at a series of weekend events in New Hampshire just after Thanksgiving.

And even as aides acknowledged that he was cutting back on advertising in New Hampshire to focus on Florida and other major races on February 5, Mr. Giuliani stressed the importance of New Hampshire to his campaign. “I’ll be spending some of my Christmas holiday in New Hampshire,” Mr. Giuliani said. “We’ll be working hard to get your vote. This is a very, very important primary. It always has been. It always will be. It’s the first in the nation, and … we want to do everything we can to win the vote here now, of course.”

Last night on Fox News’s “Hannity and Colmes,” Mr. Giuliani called his decision to spend less money in New Hampshire a “proportionate strategy” aimed at winning 29 primaries before February 5.

“We do see it as a nine-inning game, so you’re going to see money moving around,” he said.

Following the speech, the chairman of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign in New Hampshire, Wayne Semprini, said the mayor was committed to campaigning in New Hampshire. “He and I were just in the car talking about our plans for the next weeks in New Hampshire,” Mr. Semprini said. “Rudy Giuliani is not pulling out of New Hampshire.”

Mr. Semprini, who acknowledged that the campaign was “weighing how we use our resources right now,” seemed to take aim at Mitt Romney — who served as the governor of neighboring Massachusetts and has been consistently advertising in the Granite State — when he said, “I would be worried if he were up on TV since April and 55 to 60% of the people were still undecided.”

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