April 7, 2006

Will Rudy run?

I hope he does, but it's complicated:
"Rudy knows that his views on the social issues — abortion, gun control — are one reason not to run," said one friend of Mr. Giuliani's, who, like others, would discuss their conversations only on the condition of anonymity. "I told him that the nomination would be very hard to win. He knows that. But if he doesn't run, a lot of his friends will tell you, it's because he's having too much fun in his life right now."...

"He never had money, he never thought he had money, and now he is making more money on a weekly basis than his father ever dreamed of," [a] former aide said....

Another consideration may be the harsh scrutiny and news coverage that Mr. Giuliani saw his friend and former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, undergo. Mr. Giuliani championed Mr. Kerik's nomination to be Homeland Security chief in 2004, but it collapsed when details about his past emerged. Mr. Giuliani's own complicated history, from reports of organized crime connections in his family to his bellicose conduct in office, would receive new attention; a new, unflattering political documentary, "Giuliani Time," is to be released commercially in New York next month, and at least one forthcoming book is investigating Mr. Giuliani's handling of 9/11.
I'd like to think Giuliani's sheer brilliance as a speaker will allow him to best his opponents, even if they do have loads of material to use against him.

75 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I'd like to think Giuliani's sheer brilliance as a speaker will allow him to best his opponents, even if they do have loads of material to use against him.

But are people who cast votes getting their information from audio sources, or from printed sources? I don't have time to listen to politicos speak (do candidates have podcasts? I suppose some must by now), but I do read. How well does brilliance as a speaker translate to the written word? In my experience it loses something.

Simon said...

I could shelve my disagreements with Rudy if he gave me a reason to think that he is a believer in Federalism. If he's pro-choice but he believes that the Federal government has no role in abortion policy and that the Constitution says nothing about the matter beyond leaving it to the discretion of the states, and if he gave me good reason to think he would appoint the right kind of judges, I could happily vote for him. The question isn't just whether he believes abortion should be legal, the question is who he thinks should get to choose. This offers him an easy way out: he can tell conservatives "look, I'm pro-choice; if I were running for governor of New York, you guys should vote against me, because I'd sign a bill legalizing abortion. But I'm running for President of the United States, and as President Taft once said, 'The President can exercise no power which cannot be fairly and reasonably traced to some specific grant of power . . . in the Federal Constitution or in an act of Congress passed in pursuance thereof. There is no undefined residuum of power which he can exercise because it seems to him to be in the public interest.' So you guys can vote for me, safe in the knowledge that it doesn't matter what my views on abortion are, because as President, that isn't the job before me."

Dave said...

I would vote for Giuliani for Prez but then I saw him firsthand during 9/11. (I worked on one of the mayoral campaigns in NYC in 2001...)

But there is a large bloc of ideological, axiomatic activist voters who will not look too keenly on his attitude toward abortion or gays. I don't see how he can win the nomination.

Perhaps pragmatists like Grover Norquist will be able to convince the ideological wing of the Republican Party that Giuliani is worth supporting, but I don't see it.

lindsey said...

I saw an interview with (I think it was) Jerry Falwell or some other Religious Right figurehead about 6 months ago where he expressed support for Giuliani, so who knows. It's possible that after the Bush debacle, the Republicans might be so desperate to find the anti-Bush they'll go for Rudy. I hope so. I'm just not sure I can see us electing a bald man especially if he's running against another man with thick lustrous hair.

Simon said...

Lindsey - you've been reading The Dilbert Future, haven't you?

DaveG said...
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DaveG said...

Simon -

Unfortunately, (and incorrectly, IMO) these days the candidate that espouses Federalism can only run under the Libertarian banner. The two major parties want nothing to do with it.

AllenS said...

Rudy needs to take a page from the Scalia playbook, and give any MSM reporter an "Italian Salute". That would firm up his base among conservatives.

me said...

I appreciate what Guiliani did for New York in terms of reducing the crime rate. However, I've never understood why people credit him for doing such a good job on 9/11. The command center was put in the Trade Center, notwithstanding it was already subject to an attack in 1993. People were told to stay in the second tower, after the first tower was hit. I don't think either decision was sound.

brylin said...

Simon, I think your suggestion about Giuliani's abortion position makes great sense.

peter hoh said...

Bernie Kerik was not a gifted speaker, and as a result, he was not able to counter the negative stuff in the press. He looked the part of a tough guy, but when the media brought up unpleasant facts from his past, he couldn't muster the bluster.

Madisonman, I am willing to bet that voters are more persuaded by what their visceral reaction to a candidate than anything written about him or her.

Too Many Jims said...

"So you guys can vote for me, safe in the knowledge that it doesn't matter what my views on abortion are, because as President, that isn't the job before me."

And it isn't the job of any member of the House of representatives and isn't the job of any Senator (except as it relates to confirming "the right judges"). So why don't all Republicans running for federal office just toe this line and scrap the "pro-life" credentials that most of them tout?

I suggest it is for (at least) two reasons. First, it does matter. Whether we are talking about the Party's platform (could he support it? could the base support him if he did not?), actual legislation (e.g. "partial birth abortion"; spending measures) or symbolic actions (e.g. flying back from vacation to save Terri Schiavo's life) a federal elected official's position on abortion does matter.

Second, even if it didn't there are some that want it to matter. Currently this takes the form of proposing and supporting amendments to the constitution but I suspect that if the composition of the courts was changed some people might push for legislative action similar to what was recently done in S.D.

Matt Barr said...

Rudy isn't necessarily as lost to religious conservatives as people think:

"In response to a question about whether religious conservatives would split off from the Republican Party if a moderate like Mayor Giuliani were nominated for president, Rev. Robertson quickly said, 'I don't think so. Rudy is a very good friend of mine, and he did a super job running the City of New York. And I think he'd make a good president. I like him a lot. Although he doesn't share all of my particular points of view on social issues, he's a very dedicated Catholic. And he's a great guy.'"

SteveR said...

I too have heard a religious right figure (not sure who) say that he could support Rudi. I know I could but I am so not ready to talk about '08, except to indulge Ann's Condi push.

dearieme said...

Unlike Clinton or W, Mr G does give me the impression of being a grown-up. Help or handicap?

downtownlad said...

The religious right will not vote for Giuliani when they find out that he used to live with two gay men.

reader_iam said...

I think he should go for it. His chances might be better than they appear on the surface. In any case, his presence on the scene would be good for the process itself, IMO, and clarifying in terms of those who run against him.

I really dislike the idea of people such as Guiliani, who represent a hybrid of views (like a lot of us out here, by the way) or a moderate position, "self-selecting" themselves out of the process. That' how we get stuck with such shallow mediocrities as our final choices.

Slight OT: Every time Bernie Kerik's name comes up, I wonder how much better DHS might have performed with him at the helm. Anyone else wonder about that?

reader_iam said...

Mr G does give me the impression of being a grown-up. Help or handicap?

If it's the latter, we're really screwed. Because grown-ups are what we need, not choirboys.

Simon said...

Interesting comment on Rudy from Richard Viguerie:

"I did raise money, and excitedly, enthusiastically for somebody four years ago that I never thought I would, and that was former mayor Rudy Giuliani. And I was excited and enthusiastic about raising money for him. He was running against Hillary Clinton, and it was just no contest. Conservatives who were very opposed to Giuliani before he ran for the Senate there in . . . `99 and 2000, found themselves very -- all of a sudden, big fans of Rudy Giuliani." Presumably the same logic would apply a fortiori in a Presidential race: if it became apparent that Hillary was going to get the nomination, I really have to hope that the GOP would nominate whoever it takes to beat her, and Giuliani or McCain - both of whom have serious defects - are the two who are likely candidates in that eventuality. Sure, conservatives don't much like McCain on immigration and BCRA, and they don't much like Rudy on social issues, so in some ways, no-one thinks that these candidates would be ideal, but I refuse to believe that we're stupid enough to nominate our very own Walter Mondale at this juncture in history. Electability matters.

Simon said...

reader_iam said...
"I think he should go for it. His chances might be better than they appear on the surface. In any case, his presence on the scene would be good for the process itself, IMO, and clarifying in terms of those who run against him.

I agree with this logic; as I've mentioned before, I'd like Newt Gingrich and Olympia Snowe in the 2008 primaries, too. Heck, throw Condi in there too, why not. I think a vigorous debate about how to move forwards after Bush 43 is a good thing in and of itself.

Fitz said...

Simon.. Interesting initial point you make. (about Federalism)
It is the only remotely winning strategy I have seen (to date) for Rudy in the primaries.
I might buy it if it was delivered sincerely, but I’m afraid it’s a little sophisticated for the Republican primary voter. (as well it should be)

Let me correct myself. On consideration I would not buy it. Although I am a Federalist, I’m also Pro-Life. We have marched for to long to surrender our standard bearer on the alter of personality. We get precious little rhetorically from even pro-life presidents. Ours is not a battle for Federalism but for human life. Federalism may be the proper means, but it is not our ends.

Abraham said...

The command center was put in the Trade Center, notwithstanding it was already subject to an attack in 1993. People were told to stay in the second tower, after the first tower was hit. I don't think either decision was sound.

Any leader responsible for making such decision will inevitably end up making decisions which, with the benefit of hindsight, turn out not to be the best.

But that is only a tine aspect of leadership. Where Guiliani excels is not necessarily in policy or planning, but vision and the ability to inspire people to work toward a goal - in other words, leadership. In that way, very similar to Reagan, I think.

somefeller said...

Party primary voters tend to be an ideological sort, and I suspect are less interested in rhetorical brilliance than one's stand on issues. While Giuliani is a great speaker, his positions on social issues will be a dealbreaker with staunch social conservatives. They want to know whether you are against abortion rights, gay rights, etc., as a matter of principle, because they see such issues as matters of principle, and federalism is just a means to an end on that point.

somefeller said...

Wow. While I was typing my post fitz came on and posted something supporting my (eventual) position. Thanks, fitz!

tcd said...

fitz and somefellar,

Staunch social conservatives ain't gonna win the general election for you. If the Republican candidate cannot appeal to moderate voters, we can all hail to President Hillary.

Fitz said...
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Fitz said...

TCD

Staunch social conservatives won’t lose the election either. There is no reason in election history to suppose that anything less than a pro-life president is needed to win the general election. Indeed, something less could easily lead to this crucial voting block staying home. This gets you Hillary for sure.

Somefeller
I don’t believe you read my post carefully, when I say Federalism was the “proper” means to this end, that means I support it on principle. (it is a good onto itself – in this case proper governance under our constitution) It is not however the end of social conservative’s conviction on life issues, that end is human dignity – and Federalism dose not get us there.


As for “They want to know whether you are against abortion rights, gay rights, etc., as a matter of principle,”

Perhaps you should not just read more carefully, but write more carefully. When you say “against..gay rights” it depends on what right your talking about. The enumerated rights of our Constitution like the right to bear arms, or the right to free speech, or the right to suffrage…are open to gays. You have something else in mind you would do well to articulate it.

Alan said...

After the Shiavo fiasco the only way a staunch social conservative can get in is under the veil of the War on Terror. If the Dems weren't such idiots when it comes to National Security they'd have no problem winning in '08.

Giuliani '08

miked0268 said...

"People were told to stay in the second tower, after the first tower was hit. I don't think either decision was sound."

Too much benefit of hindsight here. It was not initially clear that it was a terrorist attack so there was little reason to suspect a threat to the other tower. Also, the environment in the streets around the towers was very hazardous at that time - falling debris and (shudder) people. The instruction to remain in the other tower was probably the most logical choice given what was known at that moment.

Ken Begg said...

"...a new, unflattering political documentary, "Giuliani Time," is to be released commercially in New York next month..."

Let's see, the very title of the 'documentary' references a fake, made-up quote used to falsely taint Giuliani. Good to know the spirit of Michael Moore continues to live on in other filmmakers.

Simon said...

"Interesting initial point you make. (about Federalism) It is the only remotely winning strategy I have seen (to date) for Rudy in the primaries. I might buy it if it was delivered sincerely."

Well, as you hint at, if it sounded like a strategy - I mean, if it sounded insincere - then I wouldn't buy it. If he really meant it - really, what I mean is, if there were a candidate that said it and meant it - then I would accept that. If Clarence Thomas ran for President and said "by the way, I have to warn you guys, I'm pro-choice; I just oppose the abortion decisions because it's a federalism thing", I would still vote for him.


"I’m afraid it’s a little sophisticated for the Republican primary voter. (as well it should be)"

I'm not sure what you mean by that.


"Although I am a Federalist, I’m also Pro-Life. We have marched for to long to surrender our standard bearer on the alter of personality. We get precious little rhetorically from even pro-life presidents. Ours is not a battle for Federalism but for human life. Federalism may be the proper means, but it is not our ends."

Mine is a battle for both. I am pro-life, but the Constitution of the United States is the start, beginning and end of this matter, and any other, when it comes to public policy, over and above any moral considerations. I do not have the freedom of a native-born citizen to ignore its dictates; people who come here and become citizens must swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and for me, that oath supercedes any opinions I might have. Any exercise of Federal power which exceeds that permitted to it in the Constitution - even an excercise of such power carried out purely for the most benevolent or morally pure purposes - must be rejected. If it matters so much that the federal government do somthing it is not now permitted to do, the Constitution can and should be amended.

Moreover, I believe that even if an abortion ban were passed as a constitutional amendment, the court should go out of its way to repudiate Roe, because what is wrong with Roe is not just a question of abortion: it's a question of federalism, a question of how to interpret the constitution, and frankly, a question of the court's power to amend the constitution. The Federal government has almost no role in abortion policy, but that it not to say - as an earlier commenter did - that one's view on abortion should be irrelevant if you run for Congress; while a Federal ban on abortion would be (and the federal ban on partial-birth abortion is) unconstitutional, there are still ways in which Congress can pass laws which are relevant to the abortion debate: it can ensure that Federal money is not spent on abortion-related matters, and it can ban it in areas over which Congress has unquestioned authority (for example, military hospitals and the District of Columbia).

I would prefer every state to decide to make abortion illegal, but if the price of overruling Roe was that every state legalized abortion, I would still say Roe must be overturned.

Simon said...

Somefeller
"I don’t believe you read my post carefully, when I say Federalism was the “proper” means to this end, that means I support it on principle. (it is a good onto itself – in this case proper governance under our constitution) It is not however the end of social conservative’s conviction on life issues, that end is human dignity – and Federalism dose not get us there."

I don't disagree with any of what's actually written, there, but I do have to clarify that while I agree that "[the] end is human dignity," and that Federalism alone does not get us there, nor can or should we get there by going around Federalism. In a post-Roe world, if the state of Massachusetts is determined to permit abortion, and the population of that state overwhelming supports it, despite our best efforts to convince them not to pass such a law, we have to suck it up and live with it, or amend the U.S. Constitution, one or the other.

Jonathan said...

In the 1980s Giuliani persecuted Michael Milkin and other traders, and he sometimes showed contempt for civil liberties as mayor of NYC (e.g., supporting confiscation of the automobiles of people who were merely arrested for DUI). He has good qualities but his history of results-oriented authoritarianism makes me ambivalent about him as president. He might make a good cabinet secretary, however.


"hcbcodsp"

Fitz said...

Simon.

I think we are pretty much on the same page. Actually we are most probably in complete agreement. (at least on this) As a lawyer and Federalist society member, I abhor the legal reasoning of Roe & believe it needs repudiation for the bad law it is.
My only point was that the Republican primary voter need not make the false choice Rudy presents. The man is in fact pro-choice. Why not get a Federalist who is also morally apposed on principle to abortion. Mine is a social-political argument. If we surrender our standard bearer (i.e- the president) now as a matter of expediency, we may never get him back. The pro-choice side is even more adamant than the Republicans our on this point, having only recently allowed lip service to anything other than abortion on demand, and now only as a matter of electoral necessity.

somefeller said...

TCD:

"Staunch social conservatives ain't gonna win the general election for you. If the Republican candidate cannot appeal to moderate voters, we can all hail to President Hillary."

Actually, that would be fine with me, I'm not a social conservative, and I'd be happy with President Hillary. I was just making a point about primary voters as a group.

Fitz:

"Perhaps you should not just read more carefully, but write more carefully. When you say “against..gay rights” it depends on what right your talking about. The enumerated rights of our Constitution like the right to bear arms, or the right to free speech, or the right to suffrage…are open to gays. You have something else in mind you would do well to articulate it."

Testy, testy. I simply used the term "gay rights" as a shorthand term. Sort of like the guys I saw on the floor of the 1992 GOP Convention in Houston with the "Family Values Forever, Gay Rights Never" signs, back in my misspent young Republican youth. They seemed to think the term was a shorthand cue of some sort. But if you want something more specific as per what I mean by "gay rights", some examples of what I mean are promotion of (i) laws against discrimination against gays in the workforce, (ii) laws against discrimination against gays in accommodations, and (iii) a general cultural sense of tolerance and acceptance of gay people as decent human beings, not as being "fundamentally disordered" or the like. In other words, promotion of things that social conservatives have tended to oppose.

Wade_Garrett said...

I'm from New York, and even though I'm a Democrat I love Rudy Giuliani and would have voted for him for the Senate (over Hillary Clinton) had he not withdrawn from the race. He is the one candidate the Republians could nominate who I would consider voting for.

However, a lot of Democrats are hoping that Giuliani runs up against some Sam Brownback/Rick Santorum types in the primaries, thus the rest of America the ever-increasing rift between the evangelical Christian wing of the party and the socially moderate, pro-business/tough on crime wing of the party. I can imagine a really bloody, drawn out primary season that could hurt the Republican party in a way that, say, the '68 primary season hurt the Democrats. Something to consider.

Simon said...

"My only point was that the Republican primary voter need not make the false choice Rudy presents. The man is in fact pro-choice. Why not get a Federalist who is also morally apposed on principle to abortion[?] . . . If we surrender our standard bearer . . . now as a matter of expediency, we may never get him back."

The reason to consider it is because we have to win the 2008 election. One has to get elected to be a standard-bearing President, and the fact is that Antonin Scalia isn't running and Newt Gingrich will not win the 2008 election. So we're left with imperfect candidates: GOP candidates who can win include Rudy and McCain, both of whom present serious problems, so it's a case of choosing our poison. McCain will likely appoint the right kind of judges, but his commitment to the limits of federal power has to be open to question after BCRA, and I think that the McCain/Bush view of immigration (by which I obviously mean illegal immigration) is concerning (see this article). Rudy has strong points too, he'd probably even carry more voters than would McCain, but again, you have to wonder: he's pro-choice, but is he anti-Roe? Will he appoint judges who are anti-Roe (using that case here as a surrogate for that entire line of legal reasoning, if such a name it deserves)?

The bottom line is, we cannot afford to cede the White House because we thought Sam Brownback was more ideologically pure, or we will waste the opportunity to get back control of the Court. This happened before: in 1992, conservatives thought it was more important to punish Bush 41 than to win an election, so some didn't show up and some voted Perot, and the net result was that we got Ginsburg and Breyer. It is simply inconceivable that on January 29th, 2013, John Paul Stevens will still be on the court; that means that the 2008 election may determine who gets to decide whether liberals remain in the majority on the Supreme Court: a Republican President or a Democratic President. I will take my chances with President Giuliani as an alternative to the certain defeat of a President Hillary Clinton.

Thorley Winston said...

I don't disagree with any of what's actually written, there, but I do have to clarify that while I agree that "[the] end is human dignity," and that Federalism alone does not get us there, nor can or should we get there by going around Federalism. In a post-Roe world, if the state of Massachusetts is determined to permit abortion, and the population of that state overwhelming supports it, despite our best efforts to convince them not to pass such a law, we have to suck it up and live with it, or amend the U.S. Constitution, one or the other.

Exactly. Absent a clear constitutional prohibition to the contrary, public policy decisions like finding the right balance of the rights of the mother, father, and unborn child (funny how Dad kept getting ignored in both Roe and Casey) are the proper role of the legislative branch of the States, not the judicial branch. Don’t like the decision? Persuade a plurality of your fellow citizens to get the legislature to change the law or see if one of the other 49 States has achieved a balance more to your liking.

Thorley Winston said...

In the 1980s Giuliani persecuted Michael Milkin and other traders, and he sometimes showed contempt for civil liberties as mayor of NYC (e.g., supporting confiscation of the automobiles of people who were merely arrested for DUI).

I don’t get it, how is confiscating the vehicle of someone who gets a DUI “show[ing] contempt for civil liberties”? Unless that wasn’t the law before and he changed it on his own accord, it seems a perfectly reasonable step to prevent someone who is a proven public danger from using their vehicle to injure or kill someone else.

Also IIRC doesn't Minnesota (my home State, I don't have any personal experience with DUI cases) and a number of other States also take your vehicle when you drink and drive and make you pay to get it out?

Fitz said...

somefeller
“But if you want something more specific as per what I mean by "gay rights", some examples of what I mean are promotion of (i) laws against discrimination against gays in the workforce, (ii) laws against discrimination against gays in accommodations, and (iii) a general cultural sense of tolerance and acceptance of gay people as decent human beings, not as being "fundamentally disordered" or the like. In other words, promotion of things that social conservatives have tended to oppose.”

The problem of coarse is that is not what is typically meant when gay “rights” is intoned. (which makes me glad I inquired) As is the case with women’s “rights”, the use of the mantra typically entails not just employment issues or basic fairness, but is used for proxy on abortion. As in “why are you apposed to women’s rights/basic freedoms?” Thus it is so with gay “rights” – If one is against gay marriage one is against gay “rights” in general.
Evidence of this is the fact that the entirety of the gay “rights” movement is aligned behind gay “marriage” at present. They could have slowly pushed for the more benign rights you articulate in (i) & (ii) but they did not. Now the problems of adopting (i) & (ii) is they become further legal precedent for protected class status & cultural moves like gay marriage.
I myself think discrimination in housing and most employment is unjust. But to say that federal or state laws must be enacted to make homosexuals a protected class is a hoarse of a different color. As for (iii), there are problems with your “general sense of tolerance” in as much as it becomes “acceptance”. They are to nuanced to go into here. (but I find it interesting that you group those two words)

I’m not testy, - just exacting.

Terry
I’m not aware of an ever-increasing rift in the Republican party, or with greater America. Maybe its something that’s regional to the north east. The only rifts I see (and I’m involved in party politics) is over populist issues like immigration, and things like spending.

Thorley Winston said...

I’m not aware of an ever-increasing rift in the Republican party, or with greater America. Maybe its something that’s regional to the north east. The only rifts I see (and I’m involved in party politics) is over populist issues like immigration, and things like spending.

IMO the “ever-increasing rift in the Republican party” is more wishful hoping on the part of Democrats who have been predicting this ever since the 1980’s when Ronald Reagan was “too conservative” be the standard-bearer.

Funny how that worked out.

Yep, we’ve got our differences and disagreements (only natural when you’re the majority party or even a major party) but issues like the GWOT, judicial nominees, American exceptionalism, and the ownership society have been more than enough to keep the tent in good working order.

Fitz said...

Simon
“The bottom line is, we cannot afford to cede the White House because we thought Sam Brownback was more ideologically pure, or we will waste the opportunity to get back control of the Court.”

Agreed. (100%)

I throw my vote around, even in the primaries. I will probably be on McCain’s primary campaign. I’ll take his voting record over Rudy’s sex appeal. I think were in good shape with either. Politics is about compromise. What about Allen though? I don’t really fear Hillary that much.

Simon said...

"I’m not aware of an ever-increasing rift in the Republican party, or with greater America . . . The only rifts I see (and I’m involved in party politics) is over populist issues like immigration, and things like spending."

I think there are obviously rifts; even if questions about immigration and spending weren't enough (and surely they are) one has only to look to the Schaivo business, or NCLB. There is a distinct section of this party which basically doesn't care about the sort of basic principles of federalism and limited government because they see that a Republican-controlled big government can be helpful in adopting their agenda. I don't see how it can be denied that there are groups with wildly different agendas in the GOP.

Brando said...

I have alot of respect for Giuliani, although I don't agree with him on lots of things. But if I were him, you got to wonder why it would be worth running on a republican ticket when the republicans are under such a stranglehold of the social conservatives.

I mean, look at the political prostitution that McCain has to go thru now to garner support from such right-wing lunatics as embodied in the fulminating bigot Jerry Falwell. I once had respect for McCain. But McCain now has to talk out of both sides of his alimentary canal in order to gain support in the Republican Party. At least Bush knows from which end all of his talk has to spew forth (and it aint his mouth).

If I were Guiliani, I'd run as an independent and you know what: I bet he could win.

Fitz said...

Simon
I’m not denying that. Just that such disagreements amount to a “big rift”. The party is strong, of coarse there is always competing factions, but between the social conservatives desires on abortion (and electoral strength) & our intellectual heavy hitters dedication to Federalism; you shouldn’t worry to much.

Simon said...

I throw my vote around, even in the primaries. I will probably be on McCain’s primary campaign. I’ll take his voting record over Rudy’s sex appeal. I think were in good shape with either. Politics is about compromise. What about Allen though? I don’t really fear Hillary that much.

You know, everyone keeps talking about Allen as the annointed candidate of the establishment, and I just don't understand why. Even if being the annointed candidate of the establishment didn't have a nasty whiff of the '76 primary, I just don't get what the appeal with Allen would be. What does he stand for? What's the killer argument for him? In what way does he stand out? He just seems like our answer to John Kerry: a boring, bland, "near enough is good enough" default candidate who doesn't offend anyone particularly. I feel like I'm missing something, as if everyone else but me is aware that he is a war hero or a major thinker, or has in some way done something to stand out, but as far as I'm concerned, he's just some Senator from a southern red state. I'm sure he's a nice guy, that his heart's in the right place, and I'm sure he's not a bad Senator. Big deal.

I think we would be foolish to rule Hillary out. She's smart, good-looking, she energizes the other side, and given her record in the Senate - which is far more palatable than I think any of us expected it would be - I think she is a lot more electable than most Republicans dare imagine. My thinking is thus that we should proceed on the assumption that she will be the nominee and it will be a fight to the death. What's the alternative? If we assume it'll be a walkover, we're going to look pretty stupid if it isn't, while if we fight to the death and it turns out to be a walkover, big deal, it just means we'll win with 49 states instead of 51%. I can live with that. ;)

I'm leaning the same way as you on McCain. I have real concerns about him, but the fact is that he can win, he might even win big (which surely to God would be a good thing - it'd be wonderful to have an election that didn't turn on a handful of the votes of one or two states) and he just seems a better prospect than any other guy who can win. There are other folks I like more, and were I king, McCain would not be my first choice for Prime Minister, but the fact is, we've got to win the election or this is all just so much armchair quarterbacking, and the next generation of conservative legal theorists are going to be writing law review articles and corporate contracts instead of court opinions.

Fitz said...

Simon.
That should have read I don’t throw my vote around.
I agree on Allen, and find your observations trenchant. He seems pretty bland to me. McCain has a solid voting record. He would bring credibility on spending cuts with his anti-pork background. The establishment media would have to do a big circle in being against him (and they will). And he has obvious qualifications in defense and foreign policy and has stood firm on Iraq. His propensity for campaign finance troubles me the most as a Federalist and as First Amendment jurisprudence.

Brando said...

Simon and Fitz, pplllleaaase. It's getting a bit too steamy between you two. Why don't you carry on in the privacy of your own bedrooms? Oh right, you guys want to make what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom illegal. That's gotta hurt.

Cat said...

"Me" - Talk about hindsight being 20/20...The orders to stay in the building came from the Port Authority who managed the building and was also located in the towers. Debris was falling everywhere - pieces of plane, people, and building. Constantly. Many people were hurt or killed (I know of one FF who died when hit by a falling person) by that. They did not anticipate that the country had many targets that day (NY, DC). In fact, if you watch the film from that day made while events unfolded in the lobby, they didn't know the south tower was hit when it was. Just thought it was another explosion.

Your comment is as annoying as the families suing Giuliani now for not preventing 9/11. It's not like Nagin who didn't seem to know how to organize and evacuation.

As far as him running, I think he should run for either the Gov of NY or the Senate (useless job in my book). I don't think his chances nationally will be good when they start poking around his personal life (3rd wife and all that). His chances are better if he has the "CEO of a State" cred under his belt.

Gerry said...

I'd like to think the guy's sheer brilliance in office, along with his inherent goodness, would suffice.

I am originally from NY. I lived and grew up on Long Island. I remember what the City was like, under Hizzoner Ed Koch (who I liked) and the deplorably inept David Dinkins.

And I never imagined it could be any different. That was the City. It was what it was. The Big Apple. Love it. Hate it. It was bigger than change.

And then Rudy changed it.

And not just slightly. Totally revitalized it. Years of decay swept away. And inevitable slide into the abyss suddenly turned into an ascent no one thought possible.

And that was a long, long time before 9/11. And he just showed on that day what I had learned-- he simply was the most capable governmental executive I have ever seen or read about.

So, yeah. I disagree with him on abortion, and on guns, and on gay marriage, and most social issues, not to mention size of government and spending.

Which doesn't leave much for me to agree with him on, actually.

But if Rudy is on the ballot in the primary, I'm pulling the lever for him. Any day of the week and twice on Tuesday (so as to offset some of the Milwaukee shenanigans).

Gerry said...

I meant to say something in that post to explain what I meant by his inherent goodness.

The guy cheated on his wife, and supports some things that I think are sins.

But no one runs government as well as he did, with so little corruption and with so many results, if they are dirty. No one says all the right things and makes all the right moves when the chips are down and all hell has broken loose unless they have their head screwed on straight and the hand of God upon their shoulder.

He's a good man.

MadisonMan said...

I don’t get it, how is confiscating the vehicle of someone who gets a DUI “show[ing] contempt for civil liberties”?

Arrested for does not equal convicted of. Are innocent people required to pay to get their vehicles out of hock?

I don't know the circumstances, but it seems that would be a problem.

The Cranky Insomniac said...

I think a lot of people forget that before 9/11 a majority of NYC folk really disliked Giuliani. He was viewed by many as petty, vindictive and thin-skinned, and it wasn't until he showed his competence and calm in the midst of chaos that a lot of NYCers came to admire him.

Unless he's mellowed with age, Giuliani's thin skin will not serve him well in a long, hard national campaign, particularly in those parts of the country where pushy and arrogant New Yorkers are not looked upon favorably, especially if they're "ethnic."

After 9/11 I don't think anybody doubts his ability and strength in times of crisis, but I think there are a lot of people who remember the pre-9/11 Giuliani and think that he's one of those people who should be kept in a glass container that says "open only in times of emergency."

Gerry said...

I'll admit that I was not there during the last few years of Rudy in NYC, so maybe the Cranky Insomniac has his fingers on the pulse better, but I do not think so.

Rudy was elected and re-elected comfortably. Very comfortably. As a Republican in a town that generally only likes their Republicans if they are former Democrats who still believe in everything that Democrats do, but just changed parties for expedience, like Bloomberg.

And no one, at least who was not blinded by partisanship, could ignore the progress he made in cleaning up Times Square, Manhattan, and reversing the tide in Staten Island. Following his lead, even the Bronx (which continues to this day, to my utter amazement. The South Bronx is no longer a complete war zone.)

The question is not if Rudy can win. If he is the Republican nominee, he wins going away. The question is if he can win the primary. Oddly, the left wing, so over-represented in the Blogosphere, really would be better served if the right wing of the Republican party (of which I am part) were able to shoot Rudy down.

Except that a good portion of us are not inclined to. Because he's the right guy for the position, and the position matters tremendously. Ideology aside.

Gerry said...

Was.

chuck b. said...

I would love to vote for Rudy. I'd write him a $2000 check right now.


(that's the max, right?)

The Cranky Insomniac said...

Gerry:

You're correct that Giuliani was re-elected mayor by a comfortable margin. And I never questioned his accomplishments. But the fact remains that by the end of his last term New York City was ready for him to go.

I admit that I wouldn't vote for him because he has the soul of an autocratic statist, and that doesn't mesh with my wacko libertarianism. But, hey -- to a large extent it's those qualities that made him such an effective leader during those dark days of September '01.

But my personal opinion aside, it remains true that between his sometimes abrasive style and the mini-scandal involving his wife and girlfriend, his popularity in NYC was pretty low on 9/10/01.

Thersites said...

The second you start talking about a politician's "inherent goodness," you're nuts.

Giving credit to Rudy for everything that happened to NYC in the 1990s is pretty silly. Unless you think it would be fair to similarly credit him with the happy resolution of the Abner Louima affair.

But you want to make a hero of the guy who aggressively enforced rules about dancing in bars in Manhattan being illegal, knock yourself out. You'll deserve him.

Thersites said...

our intellectual heavy hitters dedication to Federalism

Yeah, and your Erector sets and tomato soup.

dick said...

Thersites,

You forget that the laws about dancing in the bars in Manhattan were on the books long before Rudy came into office.

As one who has lived in New York for over 35 years, comparing the city as it was before Rudy when it was worth your life even to venture out to Times Square after 11 PM and just trying to walk down 8th Ave without being propositioned by 14 year old hookers and drug dealers and having the rag men slop up your windshield if you got stopped by a traffic light and then threaten you if you didn't pay up and getting on the subway cars and not even being able to see the maps on the wall to check your route. Then compare that with after Rudy, even if he did enforce the laws about dancing in bars, when you could walk anywhere in the midtown area at night, Bryant Park was cleaned up, drug dealers and hookers were removed, the rag men were eliminated, crime was way down and the police were actually doing something about places like Fort Apache and the South Bronx. If you are so enamored of dancing in bars that that is your basis for voting for president, then go right ahead. The adults will instead look at the quality of life for the whole city and country and they will vote for Rudy in a heartbeat. The media was trying to equate Rudy to Hitler just as they are trying to do the same with Bush. Rudy beat them at their own game and so did Bush. Evidently that does not matter to you, but I prefer to be able to walk around in my city without having to worry about getting mugged or stabbed or assaulted by criminals.

Dawn said...

I wish Rudy was mayor of Minneapolis, instead of Brave Sir Robin, R.T. Rybek. Rybek is an absolutely worthless 'leader'. There have been two terrible murders in the past three weeks, and what does BSR do? Go for a walkabout with a phalanx of the press, cronies and security, just to show how 'safe' the downtown and Uptown areas of Minneapolis are.

But not many are buying what he's selling. This guy is a textbook lib - hates cops, hates any thought of cleaning up the scum that have taken over downtown Minneapolis. In his world, all of society's problems can be solved with 'programs to find out why these youth are so angry'. Puhleeze.

Yipes, I sound like Travis Bickle, but that's how I feel.

I know Rudy hasn't been the greatest husband, but after seeing how he cleaned up NYC (my family's hometown) and his actions on and after 9/11, I'd pull the lever for him.

Gerry said...

"But the fact remains that by the end of his last term New York City was ready for him to go. "

I dispute this being a fact. It strikes me more as an opinion. Granted, it was a year earlier, but in 2000 (the last I have the numbers for) his net approval rating was at a comfy +15. And the people I knew and know certainly were still enthusiastic for him.

But, as always, YMMV.

Townleybomb said...

I can absolutely see Giuliani putting in an impressive performance in a wide-open primary race, and soundly beating the kind less-than-impressive candidate I'm afraid the Dems will wind up nominating. I'm gay, registered Democrat (no contested Rep. primaries where I live) and would re-register, donate and campaign for him if he ran, just to piss off the religious right. Remember that there are lots of places (primarily suburbs of big cities) that were heavily Republican in the 80s and now comfortably Democratic-- in large part because we see inarguably hate-filled and un-American people like Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan as dominating the Republican party in the way say the unions dominate the Democrats. This is a not-inconsiderable slice of the electorate, and just the spectacle of a dude who used to pretty regularly do campaign events in drag getting votes for being a hardass on crime and terrorists will at least soften them up for the R's.

And just to second another comment, NY has indeed come very far from the "wrote a book about it, said it was just like ancient Rome" days of Dinkins. Just in case anybody out there is too young to remember/ out there past say Columbus.

Thersites said...


You forget that the laws about dancing in the bars in Manhattan were on the books long before Rudy came into office.


I did? Wow. I thought I knew that but that they were not enforced. Thanks for the mind reading.

You're grossly oversimplifying what happened in the 1990s, and attributing to Rudy trends that were visible nationally. Crime was down everywhere. But whatever.

Rudy would be a hideous president. He has no regard for civil liberties. He rather notoriously is incapable of compromise. He is brittle and will break, not bend. So he'll never make it out of the primaries.

lindsey said...

"Remember that there are lots of places (primarily suburbs of big cities) that were heavily Republican in the 80s and now comfortably Democratic-- in large part because we see inarguably hate-filled and un-American people like Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan as dominating the Republican party in the way say the unions dominate the Democrats."

Pat Buchanan has been completely ostracized from the Republican party for years now. You may want to keep up on your Pats.

George Allen is too Southern. We'll lose if we run him for Pres. People in the other parts of the country are a little sick of the south.

lindsey said...

Also, I remember Allen as governor of Va. I hated his guts. There's something slimy and ingratiating about him. Southern in the wrong way.

tcd said...

Thersites said: "You're grossly oversimplifying what happened in the 1990s, and attributing to Rudy trends that were visible nationally. Crime was down everywhere."

Oh puhleeze! Give credit where credit is due. Rudy cleaned up NYC by enforcing laws already on the books unlike his predecessors. So Rudy actually performs the job of the executive office the people of NYC entrusted to him and that makes him a bad person in your eyes?
Why do you think crime rates decreased? Do you think all the criminals died off in the 1990s? Or maybe they all found it in their good hearts to stop committing crimes?
I remember my first visit to NYC in the summer of 1994. My friends and I walked everywhere and when we weren't walking, we were riding the subways. Not once were we molested. Not even at 4:00 AM in the Meat Packing District, walking to an all-night diner. And 2 years ago, on another trip, my husband and I found ourselves wandering in Central Park, a little lost. What happens next but that a nice elderly couple walks up to us and hands us a map of the park? Contrast that trip with my experience in San Francisco in the spring of 2000. While walking in Golden Gate National Park, a homeless lady, walking stray dogs, felt compelled to walk up to our group to spit at us and scream profanities. Guess which city I will revisit time and again?

knoxgirl said...

Liberals like Thersites care nothing about practical results, so they're not going to be inclined to give Giuliani credit, or really even care about anything he actually accomplished either pre- or post-9/11.

Their ends are purely political, all other considerations be damned.

dick said...

I like it that Thersites is complaining because a mayor actually enforces the laws that are on the books. If they are there but not enforced except for those cases where the bar owner does not kowtow to the powers that be, then there is clearly something wrong with the city. Either get rid of the laws if the residents don't want them or enforce them.

I have seen many of the people from the city who want to party and drug it up and ignore the rest of the residents who would like to live a normal life. Those are the ones who complain when the city enforces the laws on the books. The rest of us would like to be able to go to sleep without having the disturbances right outside our windows and the police doing nothing about it. We also would like to be able to walk around the city without being accosted by druggies and pimps and whores all over the place.

I remember under Dinkins that a church in Brooklyn was complaining because the ladies of the evening were camping on the church steps as early as 7 PM to turn their tricks. The church asked the police to move them off the steps because the parishoners could not even get into the church without being propositioned by these women. The police told them that because the church was a public building they couldn't. When Giuliani came into office that changed in a hurry. That is what the people voted for in NYC and why Giuliani as a republican got 70% of the vote in the re-election campaign. That is also why Giuliani would make a good president. He is not a "go along to get along" kind of guy. He does what is right for the whole population.

Townleybomb said...

Pat Buchanan has been completely ostracized from the Republican party for years now. You may want to keep up on your Pats.

I do realize this, though it wasn't clear from my comment. My actual point still stands though-- there are large and growing (Northern Virginia, for example) parts of the country where the Republicans are seen as "not us" by many people as a result of things like the "cultural war" speech back in 1992. Embracing Giuliani would do a lot to undo that perception.

Fitz said...

So Rudy cleaning up Times Square huh is reason to make him president? Rudy chasing out pornography, panhandlers, going tuff on crime – all giving New York a “livability” it did not have under other administrations. The idea being that he could do the same for America. But what’s missing? I guess this presupposes that he “took on” the lefts sacred cows and won. The idea being that he could do the same for America?

I say there is a flaw in this analysis. Rudy was cleaning up the lefts New York, their own backyard. Its all fine and good for the left to ignore its sacred cows when it benefits them. But try and institute such policies in other cities, or across the United States and they will hang him for it. The powers that be in New York let Rudy do his thing (and are glad he did it as a Republican) son they could have their cake and eat it to.

dick said...

Why should it be any different anywhere else? The left has its sacred cows all over the place and they surely aren't doing anything to clean them up. Somebody has to if we are to have a livable country. Rudy has proved that he is able to do this.

Gerry said...

I think it is a bit understated to say "he cleaned up Times Square." A dying city not only stopped dying, it started reversing the aging process. That's impressive, and can't be explained by national trends-- if NY improved merely by the national average, it would not have made much of a difference, while if the measure was accurate and NY's improvement accurately was depicted in it, then NY's improvement would account for the entire national average (meaning it wasn't a national trend at all but a NY trend that was so huge for such a large population so as to carry the nation).

Either way, yes. The job Rudy did makes him worthy of our votes (in my estimation).

And that was before 9/11.

Simon said...

Brando said...
"you guys want to make what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom illegal."

I can't speak for the other fellow, but I have no interest in "mak[ing] what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom illegal"; I simply deny that the Constitution of the United States prevents a majority from enacting such a law in a given state.

Simon said...

Incidentally, when I say that I have no interest in such laws, I am of course taking your point at face value; obviously I am very interesting in regulating what two people do within the comfort of their own bedrooms when what they do their is spousal abuse.