Rudy Tests The Waters

Rudy Giuliani has filed papers to start an exploratory committee for a possible 2008 Presidential bid, as he is widely expected to do. This step does not commit him to running, but it is the first step towards that decision. Giuliani is saying that he will make the final decision to run sometime next year.

I’ve been supportive of a Giuliani run for some time. Granted, Giuliani’s pro-choice and anti-gun positions are deeply problematic, but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed by Giuliani saying that he will appoint judges who will interpret the constitution rather than legislate from the bench. Despite all the declarations that social conservatives would reject him, Giuliani is almost certainly the most popular candidate with the Republican base right now.

I’m quite convinced that the CW on Giuliani is wrong. He can win in the primaries by focusing on his stance on illegal immigration and national defense. The American people trust Giuliani right now, despite his sometimes checkered past. He’s one of the few candidates who can reach beyond the 49-51% divide between the political parties and attract voters on both sides of the aisle. There’s a whole lot to be said for a politician in that position, and only a few are capable of pulling that off.

Giuliani may not yet decide to run, but if he wants the Presidency, he’s got a good shot at taking it — if not the best shot of anyone in the country.

8 thoughts on “Rudy Tests The Waters

  1. “I’m quite convinced that the CW on Giuliani is wrong. He can win in the primaries by focusing on his stance on illegal immigration and national defense.”

    Bring on the Republican Party civil war. I would just love to see your wing of the party kick the already pissed off evangelicals right in the balls with a Rudy nomination. Your party would fall apart for a generation.

  2. Kick ass!

    Now, one of the most interesting potential races for 2008 would be Giuliani v. Richardson. You can throw out every piece of red state vs. blue state culture war conventional wisdom on trying to call that election. A pro-gun Democrat vs. an anti-gun Republican? The hero of 9-11 v. America’s top hostage negotiator? A slightly scandal ridden mayor vs. a slightly scandal ridden governor? A Republican known for drag shows vs. a Democrat known for dressing like a cowboy? Hell, a hispanic (with an oddly WASPish last name) vs. an italian, in a country where it’s nearly impossible to get elected President if you aren’t an Anglo (or a German)? They’re both pro-choice (and Catholic!)- where would the evangelicals go? Richardson could flip New Mexico- and turn Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Nevada into battlegrounds. Giuliani could flip New York.

    THAT would be a race worth watching. Personally, I’d probably back Giuliani- a Giuliani presidency with a Democratic congress is my hope for 2008. (And could you imagine having both an Italian president AND an Italian Speaker of the House? Now that would be entertainment…)

  3. Can’t you just see it? Democrats offering Republicans their thanks for forgiving Clinton for his infidelities. If Cheatin’Rudy is their man, then they must have forgiven Bill, and won’t mention him again, right? And what an opportunity for the GOP to recover the cousin marryin’ good ol’ boys from Alabama to Arkansas! Not a chance in hell for Rudy. Carries more baggage than a bellhop. And after Bush’s performance, association with 9/11 is not a virtue, but a gigantic third rail best left alone.

  4. I’ve said all along that a Giuliani nomination would trigger a third-party challenge from the right, splitting the vote in the Deep South and painting Mississippi and Alabama blue based on the 40% the Democrat gets there (almost exclusively from black voters).

    Nicq, you ridiculed my quasi-endorsement of a Bill Richardson Democratic candidacy less than a month ago, yet now you are celebrating the idea. What gives?

  5. Mark:

    I was brainwashed by an ultra-right wing friend. Richardson’s been absolved of his involvements in the accounting scandal, and won re-election by an overwhelming margin. The more I looked at his policies, the less he seems like a break-the-bank spender and the more he seems like a fairly pragmatic manager; his infrastructure policies have all been advanced using permanent funds and investment trusts (and, frankly, the amounts being thrown around sounded huge to my South Dakota conditioned ears- in a state with a lot of mineral wealth and government land leases, they’re not so big). The recent election also changed the political map a bit; Democrats are looking increasingly viable in the Mountain states, and a mildly hawkish, pro-gun Hispanic Democrat could potentially swing much of the region. Warner dropped out, and Kerry might as well be out; this has cleared the field down to Clinton, Gore Richardson and Bayh. A lot can change in a month.

    That, and I was just throwing this out as a hypothetical; it would be interesting to see a race between two figures that throw the conventional wisdom about each party out the window- a “Red state” Democrat vs. a “Blue state” Republican could really shake up the landscape, and at this point, we could use a good shaking up. 2006 isn’t the end, it’s the beginning of another major realignment- one that Richardson could potentially cement.

  6. I think Rudy has too much association with omg teh gheyz, with those cute photos of him and all. The Republicans like their gays closeted and self-hating, and Rudy is probably too accepting and laid back for them.

  7. Gunowners were betrayed by Bush 41, Clinton, and even Reagan. Bush 43 has done nothing since becoming president to help. (The assault weapons ban exired, was not repealled.) He did support the Texas CHL law as governor so we had high hopes for his presidency. Now we just have disappointment.

    None of us have any confidence in Rudy to be any better. Same with McCain. I would vote for a 3rd party who couldn’t win before either one of them. A throw away sound bite in favor of the 2nd ammendment isn’t going to change that. To get my vote they would need to do something concrete to change my opinion of them. They need to lay the groundwork by stating strongly the truth that the 2nd ammendent is an individual right. Promise to repeal laws and executive orders that limit importation of low price/high quality guns. Detail plans to stop abuses by the ATF. Also need to convince me that they really mean it. Otherwise they will not win.

    They might get NRA endorsement with less. That doesn’t mean that they will get gunowner’s votes. We are not very trusting these days.

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