Deroy Murdock has an interesting piece on how Rudy Giuliani is winning over the Republican base:
“Republicans are united by our belief in going on offense to win the war on terror,” he recently wrote. “Republicans stand for lower taxes; Democrats stand for higher taxes — it’s as simple as that,” he added. “The successful appointments of Justices Roberts and Alito are signs of promises kept,” Giuliani observed. “They are principled individuals who can be trusted to defend the original intent of the Constitution rather than trying to legislate their own political beliefs from the bench.” And, as Giuliani concluded, “the issues that unite us as Republicans are the same issues that unite the vast majority of Americans: a commitment to winning the war on terror; a core belief in fiscal conservatism; and a faith in individual freedom. Advancing these principles, while staying on offense, can help keep the GOP a strong majority party.”
Murdock notes one Rudy critic who has become a Rudy fan, and I suspect he won’t be alone. The conventional wisdom is that the GOP base doesn’t know about Rudy’s stand on social issues. I don’t think that’s true at all. I think that the GOP base is well aware of those stands, but trust Rudy to nominate judges who will respect the role of judiciary in American politics and society, will keep taxes low, and will provide for a strong national defense.
I think Giuliani’s Reagan-esque manner and accomplished record will more than make up for his less than conservative positions. Especially now, the GOP needs someone who can break the 51-49 divide in American politics today. Giuliani is one of the few candidates who can do that. His appeal is based partly on the way in which he is able to communicate with the American people, but he also has some very impressive policy chops.
The conventional wisdom on Giuliani isn’t without its grounds, but in the end I believe that Giuliani has the qualities that Americans look for in their leaders. For all the talk about the influence of the religious right and how moralizing we are, that isn’t the case. We’re willing to overlook one’s personal foibles if one has the essential elements of leadership. Giulani has the skills to be a great leader, and he knows how to get things done. Ultimately, that’s what matters the most in selecting a President.