Philip Klein in The American Spectator takes a look at Rudy’s aggressive baiting of Hillary Clinton and wonders if he isn’t the one to go after the Hillary juggernaut. Something tells me that Rudy is relishing the possibility of a rematch with Hillary — one that he’ll be able to see through. (In the 2000 NY Senate race, Giuliani dropped out due to a bout with prostate cancer.) Giuliani’s ad in The New York Times was a gutsy move, one that put him on the offensive against the Clinton machine while at the same time reminding everyone that Clinton was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War when it was popular — which forced the Clinton camp to try to spin its way out of its most difficult logical conundrum once again.
There’s a reason why Giuliani is at the top of the GOP match, and his performance during the aftermath of September 11 is only one facet of it. Giuliani exudes a sense of leadership and tenacity in a way that no other politician in the race does. It’s his single biggest asset. The American people could see Giuliani taking on the Iranians and the corrupt Washington establishment with equal verve. Contrast that to Hillary Clinton, who now has 8 years of Senatorial waffling to explain as well as a well-deserved reputation for being someone whose ambition drives her to say whatever she thinks will get her elected.
Neither Rudy nor Hillary are shoo-ins for the nomination — at least not yet. However, unless there’s a dramatic shift in the Presidential winds, the smart money is on a Rudy-Hillary matchup in 2008. Fred Thompson’s slow start even after his lengthy wind-up isn’t helping him. Barack Obama isn’t yet posing the kind of challenge to Hillary that can keep her from double-digit leads. There’s always room for an upset in American politics, but the tea leaves don’t show anything like that happening.
A Giuliani-Clinton campaign would be a clash of the political titans — but in the end, America needs real leadership. Mayor Giuliani has executive experience, he has a strong anti-corruption record, and he says what he believes, even when it’s less than politically expedient to do so. Hillary Clinton is a political chameleon who is intensely ambitious and deeply disciplined — but ultimately her ambition is to get into power, not to serve her country. No doubt such a hypothetical matchup would be close — but knowing Rudy’s tenacity, he’s the candidate who is in the strongest position to take down the Hillary machine.