Squishy elections, like the one in 2000, are ones where the candidates attempt to blur the differences among them on major issues and run, instead, on more ethereal attributes like character and authenticity, the kind of traits best demonstrated by sipping beers or emoting on “Oprah.” Rudy Giuliani wouldn’t stand much chance in a squishy election. But 2008... may be a crunchy year, where the nominees of both parties present sharp contrasts on hard philosophical questions, starting with how to view the threat of Islamic terrorism and what course to take in Iraq. And Giuliani is well positioned for such debate, having defined himself, in the public mind, as the unflinching foe of a radical and dangerous ideology.
September 9, 2007
But if it's going to be a crunchy election, look out.