The timing of a 13-minute attack ad video against former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, created by the International Association of Fire Fighters, is interesting.

Why attack Giuliani now? Why not wait until closer to the primary elections?

A couple of observations by Republican consultants Frank Luntz and Rich Galen, quoted in The Telegraph (which postulates Giuliani is the Republican candidate most likely to benefit from a McCain implosion) might offer some reasoning behind the timing — and urgency — of the union’s attack ad.

Here are two excerpts from The Telegraph, July 12, 2007:

“Frank Luntz, a leading Republican pollster who is close to both Mr. McCain and Mr. Giuliani, raised the prospect of the Arizona senator throwing his weight behind the former New York mayor once he concludes his own campaign is doomed.

“‘I would be shocked if McCain didn't endorse Giuliani. There's genuine affection between the two of them. Rudy really likes John on a personal level.’

“Mr. Luntz said his focus groups indicated that McCainiacs were most likely to go over to Mr. Giuliani. ‘The people who support McCain are not your regular Republican apparatchiks. They're more likely to go with a maverick. McCain and Giuliani are both irreverent reformers who aren't afraid to take on the establishment.’

“Rich Galen, a senior Republican strategist whose son was a leading McCain aide who resigned on Tuesday, said: ‘I would guess that of the three, Giuliani would be the most likely to benefit because he's never worked in Washington. Mitt Romney hasn't either but he just doesn't look like he'd be the insurgent. He doesn't carry himself that way. Giuliani has got some rougher edges which would appeal to people who are looking for a maverick type candidate.’”