The greatest tactical mistake in recent politics — Rudy Giuliani's inexplicable decision to avoid the early primaries — is about to destroy his once-hopeful presidential prospects. That so superb a candidate should be destroyed by the political ignorance of his handlers is truly tragic.

If Rudy finishes third — and he's well behind John McCain — the voters who would have backed him will desert to the Arizona senator in droves all throughout the Super Tuesday states. Giuliani will go the way of Joe Lieberman and Wesley Clark, the two 2004 candidates who eschewed Iowa and New Hampshire.

It is truly sad to see Rudy go down, a genuine American hero, but such are the wages of bad advice!