November 19, 2006

Advice for Giuliani.

From four political consultants. His biggest problem seems to be dealing with the social conservatives well enough to get through the primaries.

Mary Matalin: "[C]arefully evolve, but don’t be a phony. Social conservatives are conviction voters. And social moderates will reject political opportunism. Indicate your respect for conservative convictions and try to 'refine' your own. A late-life reversal on late-term abortion is entirely plausible and mandatory. Try to keep focus on constitutionalist judges."

Paul Begala: "You can’t switch on everything. So surrender to the far right on one issue: abortion. But the only way to do it is whole hog. Use your trump card: 9/11. Tell them the death you saw that day gave you a greater appreciation for the sanctity of life. You’re Saul on the road to Damascus. Praise the Lord and pass the delegates."

Mark Halperin: "Giuliani would seem to have two choices — try to back off of his previously held liberal positions on social issues, or confront the party by arguing that his conservative record on crime, taxes and national security should be sufficient for a party serious about being a big enough tent to win national elections. Giuliani watchers say they have no doubt that if he runs, he would pursue the latter course."

Rich Galen: "As to Rudy’s positions on social issues, I would interview the staff who ran Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign. California Republicans are decidedly conservative. Notwithstanding Arnold’s very moderate stance on most social and environmental issues, he got (according to one exit poll) 91 percent of the G.O.P. vote. That tells me Republicans want to win much more than they want to lose on the point of an ideological sword."

I'm very interested in this strategic problem, because I want more social liberals to succeed within the Republican Party -- just as I want more national security hawks to make it in the Democratic Party.


Randy said...

I'm very interested in this strategic problem, because I want more social liberals to succeed within the Republican Party -- just as I want more national security hawks to make it in the Democratic Party.

Me too! FWIW, I think Begala's suggestion would be political suicide and Matalin death by a 1,000 cuts (or million questions raised). No one will believe him. Halperin probably gives the best advice.

The problem using the Arnold model is that he was elected under extraordinary circumstances that allowed him to bypass a GOP primary he would never have won, and the running for re-election against one of the most inept candidates in modern California political history. (BTW, early reports I read indicated that the GOP turnout in California was below normal. Don't know if that ended up being the case. Turnout in GOP hotbed Orange County, for example, was 10% below the state average.)

The Drill SGT said...

I was struck by how Paul Begala's hypocritical advice so typified the way Bill Clinton campaigned and governed, with of course Paul Begala's advice.

deadly advice for any GOP candidate IMHO. GOP voters want to win, but they won't accept the blatant pandering and flip flopping for interest groups that KOS types would in the Dim party.

Character, courage, and tested leadership under pressure is Rudi's brand (and McCain's as well). Neither can risk damage to the trademark strengths

jaed said...

I don't see why this is supposed to be a problem. As far as I can tell, the Republican base loves Rudy, liberal positions or no liberal positions. They see in him a person of inner strength (very important perception), he has national security credibility, they still like what he said to that Saudi price (so do I), and they like the way he cleaned up NYC during his tenure as mayor.

(Also, as a practical matter, who else is there? McCain has a little First Amendment problem with the base. Plus it's irritating that he's become the token conservative politician that the MSM likes.)

The straw polls I've seen have Giuliani riding high among conservatives. Is there any actual data that indicates the Republican base won't vote for him? Or is all this "Rudy has a problem" discussion based on sheer speculation? It sounds like a set of solutions panting after a nonexistent problem to me.

Zeb Quinn said...

The simple truth is that Guliani stands about the same chance of winning the Republican nomination as Lieberman does winning the Democrat nomination.

knox said...

I'd like to hear what Dick Morris thinks on this.

Plus it's irritating that he's become the token conservative politician that the MSM likes.

Don't forget, as soon as it looked like he was doing great in the primary for the '00 election, the media turned on him, and all you heard was stories about how he was "unbalanced" because of his POW experience. They'll cut him off at the knees when necessary.

Randy said...

BTW, John McCain will be 72 in 2008.

The Drill SGT said...

I'd vote for either over the rest of the field, GOP or Dims

72, three years older than Reagan's 69.

Cedarford said...

Many of the Republicans - the NH delegation, the Indiana delegation, Simmons & Johnson of CT - had voter approval in the 60s and 70s. Same with Chaffee and Talent(barely - and only up to a year before elections) in the Senate.

It didn't help when the election was about Bush's refusal to listen on Iraq and a range of other issues and change course (which he secretly was doing, but decided to keep secret from the voters). The Republicans lost some of their best. (and Chaffee - who joins the Bush and Kennedy families as living testimony to how genetics trump dynasties)

What Arnold did in his landslide was buck Bush early on and both admit to mistakes and make clear he was California's man, not the Party's or Bush's.

Yes he had a bad opponent, but so did many well-regarded moderate & conservative Republicans packing up their offices with the knives of Bush, corrupt peers, and clueless leaders still stuck in their backs.

Which makes what Arnold did, still extraordinary by all measures. A crushing when national Republicans including some of their best - were crushed. Carrying 91% of Republicans and the moderate and Latin vote. Some of that was surely Schwarzenegger being an extraordinarily smart, larger than life person....but I daresay that Republicans can get big lessons out of his campaign. (and Lamont's)

1. Ideological purity is crap. It matters in Party backrooms and to activists, but not the people. Getting candidates more "pure" than Reagan on his most "pure" day ensures they forget Reagan signed the first law relaxing abortion restrictions and ensured that Republicans in California were hosed and out of power. Arnold never sucked up to the Religious Right yet got solid Republican voter support. Best keep your statue of McClintlock in your home shrine and go with electable people. (And on the other side of the spectrum, the Netroots purists got their comeuppance).
2. When you fuck up, as Arnold did with his referandums, admit it! Voters do not want perfection. They do not want politicans who refuse to admit error, change course when it is obvious policy corrections are needed.
3. They want honesty and willingness to fix things from strong, pragmatic leaders.
4. Republicans under Bush and DeLay started a cult of loyalty - where loyalty prevented both change and speaking out against failing policies and corruption. Arnold rejected that cult. The Republicans packing their Congressional office mementos up did not.

All Hail Ahh-nold!! All cheer his continuing to run Colli-Fornya, a state he still can't pronounce. And every Republican should best concern themselves not with what Dear Leader wants or what "Congressional leadership" wants - but what their voters want.

Unknown said...

I agree with Halperin--run on what you believe, but it might be convenient for Rudy to believe in originalist judges. There's no way that Rudy or anyone else is going to run on actually doing anything about hot button values issues--FMA, etc. He can personally favor a socially liberal position while deferring to the will of the people.

He might also favor a strong national defense, border security, tax cuts, and fiscal responsibility.

Joe Giles said...

Late shifts in ideology take a lot of explaining.

He might be better off with "I'm pro-choice and pro-gay marriage but would leave it up to the states."

Then just keep repeating like a mantra, "I can beat her."

Dave said...

I think Giuliani is great.

Forbes had a big cover article about some of his consulting firms' shady dealings.

I don't know if the article was a smear campaign, or factually accurate, but it at least raises some questions about his post-Mayor record and judgment.

The partisan moderate said...

We have debated this previously on the blog and although he was an excellent Mayor and would probably make an excellent President, Giuliani can't win.

He has way too much personal baggage and too many prominent enemies to do so.

The African-American community in New York disliked him, including many if not most of its prominent leaders. Former Mayor Koch and Dinkins hate him with the former writing a book about it. His first wife was his cousin, which is a little weird and his second wife wouldn't say if she voted for him. One of his deputy mayors was the Liberal party's son who he appointed in order to get their endorsement. His father was allegedly in the mafia. Bernie Kerik and all his scandals was his former driver and the one he appointed head of the Police Department. While he was quite good, his qualifications probably didn't warrant the job.

More research would probably demonstrate more personal problems. He could win the nomination with his positions if voters were willing to forgo his personal baggage which they would not be willing to do.

Gerry said...

Unsurprisingly, Begala's advice is dead wrong and is the most sure-fire way for Giuliani to be dead in the water, as internet ronin suggested.

It is almost as if Begala did that on purpose.

If Rudy comes out for justices in the mold of Roberts and Alito, and for parental notification/consent laws, and for the ban on the latest of late term abortions, then that will likely be enough. If he tries to go whole-hog, he'll get rejected by both moderate and conservative GOP voters; the former for not being one of them and the latter for being disingenuous.

In other words, exchange a very liberal position on abortion for a moderate (but on the conservative side of moderate) one, and he should do fine in the primaries.

Brian Doyle said...

Zeb -

The election is over. There's no need to refer to "the Democrat nomination" anymore other than to sound like the president, which no one really wants to do.

Say it: Democratic. It sounds better and is the actual name of the party.

As for Giuliani, I agree he has no chance. Lieberman has a better shot at the Republican nomination than he does.

Gerry said...

"The African-American community in New York disliked him, including many if not most of its prominent leaders."

And Lord knows, a Republican cannot win without carrying the African-American vote overwhelmingly.

Especially the New York African-American vote.

Gerry said...

I love how Democrats seem to think they know how conservatives think and how the GOP works.

Not only does Giuliani have a good shot at the nomination, doyle, I think at this point he is the frontrunner.

Brian Doyle said...

Okay, Gerry. We'll see.

The mind of the Republican primary voter is one of nature's own mysteries, but I think "frontrunner" is a little strong for the former mayor of Sin City. 9/11 is going to be a little harder to play up in 2008, too.

I hope you're right. He'd get demolished.

Sloanasaurus said...

Most social conservatives know that it is the judges appointed that really matters in the end.

Giuliani should say 1) I believe that there sould be rights to abortion with many restrictions. However, I do not believe that the federal government should be involved in this and that I will not move to change any of the policies currently held in the federal government over abortion.(GWB said essentially the same thing except he said he was pro life)

2) Giuliani should say he will appoint judges on the same order as ScAlito and Roberts and Thomas.

I think this would satisfy social conservatives. Also, many pro-choice republicans may be pro choice but would still rather have Scalito THomas etc... THey would prefer to let the states decide abortion.

Unknown said...


"The mind of the Republican primary voter is one of nature's own mysteries." Good one.

I might add that this Svengali-like primary voter has successfully nominated the eventual President of the Unites States of America in seven of the last ten elections.

Numbers like that would put a slugger in the hall of fame, let alone an election handicapper.

Simon said...

I'm more-or-less aboard the Giulliani Express at this point. And for someone who'd rather be electing Newt Gingrich, that ain't nothing. In an ideal world, would Rudy my first choice? No. Is he who I expected to be backing? No way. Am I worried about just how liberal he is? You bet your ass. But there's a bottom line in 2008, and it's this: 270. And I don't know any electoral math that gets 270 votes for Newt. No candidate who can't explain how they're going to carry or obviate Ohio need apply in 2008, and Rudy can do both - he can win Ohio, and he can win New York.

In essence, there are only three Republicans in the game for the Presidency right now - Rudy, Mitt and John McCain. And I think that people underestimate just how willing the right is to commit Hari Kari before they see McCain in the White House.

In any event, regarding Paul Begala's advice, let's first remind ourselves that Paul Begala is devoutly pro-life social liberal, which means that he isn't an entirely disinterested observer in suggesting which social issues Rudy "surrender" to the "far right" on, and it is no surprise that he picks the one issue on which Begala would happily surrender to the far right. I don't say this to disagree with Begala, but to grab some cover for myself (viz., if Begala can do it, so can I) in suggesting that Rudy put forward the view that I'd like a candidate to take, which is, as explained most recently in comments here, that he regards abortion as a matter for the states, and will appoint judges who take the same view.

Zeb Quinn said...


Saying "Democrat" avoids the implicit equivocation with "democratic" or "democracy," both of which concepts excludes the Democrats bigtime.

And I always know that I'm dealing with a major league Kool-Aid drinker when they get themselves hung up over me calling them Democrats instead of Democratics.

Simon said...

Internet Ronin said...
"BTW, John McCain will be 72 in 2008."

So will Antonin Scalia. So what? Of all the arguments advanced against McCain, his age is about the most useless.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Cedarford, and I also think Giuliani potentially could be a great President.

As others have noted, the deal killer is that he has enough skeletons in various closets that all any enterprising opponent has to do is yank on a nearby door. He's not exactly a spring chicken, either, has had health problems, and is visibly aging. My fear is that Giuliani will simply not be a factor when the '08 primaries roll around. And despite being adored by the media, John McCain is just too old and too devious for much Republican love to ever come his way. And Gingrich? Spare me.

No, I'm afraid that the Republicans will nominate a blow-dried nonentity such as Mitt Romney, perhaps as a "compromise" or "fresh face" candidate. Now Romney is nice in public, a good businessman, a solid family man, has a square jaw and more teeth than Bert Parks (anyone old enough to get that reference?) The problem is that he is too closely identified with the Republican social conservatives. He's a Mormon, which is, IMHO, more deadly for a general election than being a Catholic ever was. As a Massachusetts resident, I know more about him than I want, and, believe me, he's no Ahh-nold. He's been a tolerable Governor, but that's about it. He's the most recent Republican Governor trailing in the long shadow of Bill Weld, and it looks like he will be the last for quite a while.

Realistically, who else other than Sen. Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee? It would be a great Presidential campaign, with two good choices for once, if it indeed were Clinton vs. Giuliani. Being the eternal pessimist, I'm afraid that it will be Sen. Clinton vs. some dork who appeals only to the Republican base. The hopeful thing is that Sen. Clinton will have to be a better President than her husband.

The partisan moderate said...

Gerry, I once again find it amusing that you describe me as a Democrat. "I love how Democrats seem to think they know how conservatives think and how the GOP works".

Please read my blog before commenting on my political affiliation.

Furthermore, the problem isn't that Giuliani won't get a large percentage of the African-American vote (which he wouldn't in a general election) but that suburban swing voters will be turned off. Furthermore, the media will focus on his poor race relations at the expense of his political platform.

The gun control issue he can chalk up to states' rights as NYC isn't going to have the same gun policy as Nebraska or at least so the logic goes. He is pro civil union and not gay marriage and while the issue will hurt him in the primary it wouldn't destroy him. More Republicans are coming around to this position and as a previous blogger noted it is judges that matter the most, which he will likely emphasize on abortion as well. Furthermore, Giuliani personally is religious and almost became a priest, which will mitigate some of his more liberal stated positions.

That said, he has too much personal backage to win and he is not going to run for President but he will allow for months of speculation which will help upgrade his political capital and help his business interests.

Gerry said...

Doyle, saying that the mind of a GOP primary voter is a mystery when your Democrats' primary voters thought it would be a swimmingly good idea to nominate John Kerry is quite humorous.

As for your predictions of him being doomed if nominated, I again point to John Forbes Kerry.

MD said...

Is Guiliani really that unpopular with social conservatives? I mean, so unpopular that any 'breaks' he might get from the other hyphenated-conservatives can't overcome that? Honestly, sometimes I feel like the rank and file Republican establishment (some of the punditocracy included -NRO types, excluding Podhoretz, I am speaking to you!)) is scared to death of a successful Rudy run. Hmmm, I can see myself voting for Romney over McCain though. McCain just really turns me off as a presidential candidate and I can't really put my finger on it. What is it about him that is such a turn off?

As for who can beat Hillary, wasn't that the mental jujitsu the democratic primary voters played with Kerry? In the end, didn't you feel like it was a campaign of gritted teeth for the democrats: at least he's not Bush, at least he's not Bush, at least he's not Bush. I'd hate to have my choices be Hillary (although a woman president would be cool, just not her) and a gritted teeth maybe-vote for McCain. Ugh.

Brian Doyle said...

That's funny, I always know I'm dealing with a major league semiliterate when they don't know an adjective from a noun.

Old Dad: So you think Giuliani's the frontrunner, too?

Simon said...

Doyle's right. They're the Democratic Party. And, unfortunately, as we saw last week (Lott, Blunt), we're still the Stupid Party.

Gerry said...

I stand corrected. Suburban swing voters are notoriously swayed by the ruminations of Al Sharpton.

The partisan moderate said...

Your sarcasm aside, suburbanites don't like to be considered racist or be associated with candidates who have bad race relations amongst other things. Quite a number of people didn't vote for Bush based on his lobbying against gay marriage who normally would have.

Giuliani's perception in the African-American community (not just Sharpton) could and would hurt him with the exact voters that currently like him. To what extent I don't know, but it would hurt him.

Simon said...

"Realistically, who else other than Sen. Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee?"

Obama or Bayh jump to mind as the most likely other contenders. Don't give up on Romney, BTW. He's not my first choice, but he's a serious contender, particularly if the Dems nominate Hillary.

MD said...
"Is Guiliani really that unpopular with social conservatives?"

Well, with the real hard core, yes, he is - but McCain is even less popular, so I suspect they'll swallow hard and support Rudy, because they want to keep the White House, they want to beat McCain, and they know Rudy can do both.

Zeb Quinn said...

They ARE NOT the "Democratic Party." They are the "Democrat Party." A Republican is a member of the Republican Party. Period. One doesn't refer to them as "Republicanism Party," does one?

Hence, Democrats are members of the Democrat party. Period.

Don't buy into their little word game scam of trying to make it sound like they are somehow connected to democracy through the magic of invoking that word in their name. Oh, yeah, that's what they want to sell, for sure, but that's nothing but the logical fallacy of equivocation. By design.

Democrats are members of the Democrat Party and Republicans are members of the Republican Party. Get it?

John Kindley said...

I thought Mary Matalin's advice was the soundest -- keep the focus on constitutionalist judges. He would then not have to back off or reverse his current stance on abortion. It is an entirely principled position to hold that as a matter of public policy or as a legislator you would not vote to criminalize abortion, yet at the same time to recognize that the role of a judge is to interpret faithfully the law (especially the Constition) and not to set public policy, and to nominate such judges. This would more than satisfy social conservatives -- it's basically Scalia's position (though I think it's safe to say that if Scalia was a legislator he would vote to criminalize abortion). It would also be very difficult for rabid social liberals to attack in the general election a candidate espousing this principled position who has a long record of supporting abortion "rights." I don't know if Giuliani has a record of statements on his view of the role of the judiciary and whether a right to abortion is found in the Constitution. It would seem that the political offices he has held thus far would not have called for him to express those views.

If he can do this, it would seem he would be extremely electable.

Simon said...

What is the basis for saying that their formal name is "The Democrat Party" rather than the "The Democratic Party"? What documentation has the authority to resolve that question, as a formal matter? I mean, it's called the "Democratic National Committee" - can we look at their Tax Return? Who has the authority to say?

Besides - playing desultory word games is pointless. What matters is who they are, not how you refer to them. They could call themselves the "really good care-bear love party," but as long as they have the same platform and the same people, their problems would remain.

Randy said...

Ok Zeb, they are the Democrat party and the other is Republic party. Works for me, in a way.

Anonymous said...

Simon, I agree that Obama and perhaps Bayh have a chance, but a slim one as seen through my admittedly cloudy crystal ball. The fact that Romney is "serious contender" against Clinton is exactly the problem. Romney is that dork I mentioned who appeals only to the Republican base.

Having seen Romney in action, my fear is that Sen. Clinton will eat him for lunch. He's not fast on his feet. He gets tied to rigid ideological positions and has a tendency to rationalize and get deeper in whatever hole he has dug for himself.

Speaking of holes, and on the plus side, he did go after the head of the Mass Turnpike Authority Board, but it took a ceiling collapse in a Big Dig tunnel to give him the leverage he needed. I'm afraid this may be of too much local interest to effectively use on a national stage, although he could spin it as an example of anti-waste, fraud, and abuse actions he has taken as Governor. The trouble is, like so many things in Massachusetts politics, it's too complex, tangled, and ambiguous to be a clear example of Good Governor Mitt.

Mortimer Brezny said...

The African-American community in New York disliked him, including many if not most of its prominent leaders.

This is not accurate. Many African-Americans disliked him for very specific reasons:

1. He ousted the city's first black mayor in a very close election (51%-49%) by appealing to Long and Staten Islanders (i.e., the richest areas in NYC);
2. He took credit for some of the previous mayor's crime and punishment efforts;
3. He had a combative style and would always side with cops, even before the evidence was out on police brutality cases. Add to that he badmouthed community policing efforts (hire cops from community in which they serve -- it reduces crime and the instances of cops shooting residents) and civilian review boards (which oversee police brutality complaints).

Reasons 1 and 2 more or less evaporated the longer Rudy was in offce (as he really did improve the quality of life in the city, and Dinkins truly was a mediocre mayor). Certainly after 9/11. I did not hear any black people in NYC badmouthing Guiliani's immediate and heroic response to the crisis.

Reason 3 evaporated before 9/11 when Guiliani softened his image and his approach. This was even before he decided to run for Senator and then dropped out due to prostate cancer. Instead of irking people over police brutality, he began to irk people over freedom of expression by trying to dictate what art pieces museums could exhibit.

As for the "prominent black leaders" part, "prominent black leaders" do not lead anyone or represent anyone. They are media-creations who use their media clout to extort money from the government. And most black people view them that way.

Simon said...

John Kindley said...
"It is an entirely principled position to hold that as a matter of public policy or as a legislator you would not vote to criminalize abortion, yet at the same time to recognize that the role of a judge is to interpret faithfully the law (especially the Constition) and not to set public policy, and to nominate such judges."

That's precisely right. The "big lie" (and I'm sorry to say that my side contributes to it almost as much as does the other) is that one's position on abortion should have anything to do with one's position on what the Constitution says.

"This would more than satisfy social conservatives -- it's basically Scalia's position (though I think it's safe to say that if Scalia was a legislator he would vote to criminalize abortion)."

If he were a state legislator, yes, I'm sure he would do so without hesitation. His position is that the Constitution says nothing about abortion, which means the matter is almost entirely within the domain of the states. Scalia's view on abortion and the Courts:
"[M]y difficulty with Roe v. Wade is a legal rather than a moral one. I do not believe – and no one believed for 200 years – that the Constitution contains a right to abortion. And if a state were to permit abortion on demand, I would and could in good conscience vote against an attempt to invalidate that law, for the same reason that I vote against invalidation of laws that contradict Roe v. Wade; namely, simply because the Constitution gives the federal government and, hence, me no power over the matter."

(That's one of those cold, legal, arguments that Ann so prefers to the emotional arguments over abortion, right?). Moreover:

"do not think that the anti-abortion people are not willing to use The Constitution the same way. I mean, I've spoken to people who say that The Constitution not only does not require the States to permit abortion, it requires the States to prohibit abortion.

And I read my Constitution, my Bill of Rights, I can't find anything in there about it. It says nothing about it[,] ... [b]ut the anti-abortions say, well nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. And the fetus is a person and therefore it's covered. The only thing is the very next sentence; you see, I'm a lawyer so I do read the next sentence. I mean, talking about a text here. The next sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment says representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers counting the whole number of persons in each State. You think they were counting fetuses? I don't think so.

A President's view on abortion shouldn't make any difference. That's why I can live with a Rudy candidacy: as long as he shares Scalia's view (and mine) of who gets to decide, and will act accordingly in appointments to the bench, I'll suck it up and support him enthusiastically.

Simon said...

Re Bayh, if the Democrats aren't looking seriously at him, they're being idiots. He was a (not entirely unsuccessfull) governor in my state, which is hardly the most liberal place on Earth, he's got plenty of foreign policy experience in the Senate. He could carry Indiana, and if he can carry Ohio as well, that's the election for the Dems.

The partisan moderate said...

Mortimer Brezny,

(1 "This is not accurate. Many African-Americans disliked him for very specific reasons." It was accurate and you misinterpreted what I did say and didn't say. I stated that many African-Americans didn't like him. I never stated why. So your statement is inaccurate.

(2) You state, "he ousted the city's first black mayor in a very close election (51%-49%) by appealing to Long and Staten Islanders (i.e., the richest areas in NYC);" Obviously, you are not very familiar with New York. Staten Island is a blue-collar area for the most part that Giuliani did very well in but it is not one the richest areas in NYC. He didn't do particularly well the first time he ran in wealthy areas like the Upper West and Park Slope. While some of the wealthy and upper-middle class supported Giuliani initially, it actually took awhile for them to warm up to him, in part because of previous role as US Attorney. His main base of support initially was cops and firemen.

(3) Prominent black leaders hold some sway (how much is a matter of dispute) but as you yourself note the media picks up on it and that is the problem. As we saw with Senator Allen, media perception can matter quite a bit.

garage mahal said...

Advice for Giuliani.

Flip flop like McCain, and then call yourself a Maverick. The media will lap it all up. I'm sure they'll be talking about an international incident with Kerry's teeth, or hairdo anyways.

Gerry said...

"suburbanites don't like to be considered racist "

No one does.

That said, suburbanites tend to be repelled by Al Sharpton, not attracted to the arguments he makes. Even when he is calling every Republican under the sun a bigot, which he does pretty much all the time. Ditto Jesse Jackson.

I'll bet you a lot of money that the GOP uses Sharpton to help drive turnout their way in the very suburban areas you think he could poison for Giuliani.

Unknown said...


As for front runners in '08, that won't be even remotely predictable for a long while, but recent history suggests that he'll have an R after his name.

I'll not challenge your authority on semiliteracy, but given your obvious familiarity with the distinction between nouns and adjectives, you might try to explain the following to a semiliterate. There is a Republic of France but no Democratic of anywhere. Republicans are often elected President, and there are many Republican Senators, but Democratics are never elected to anything. Thomas Jefferson was a Democratic Republican.

English is quirky.

Cedarford said...

Giuliani has some real "no-gos" in his way, even though he has been a standout fundraiser.

1. The skeletons! The skeletons! The skeletons! Rudy has so many it is called the Giuliani ossuary.
2. Guy is pretty brittle and has a nasty temper like McCain.
3. Is an ardent gun-banner.

4. The guy's old with medical issues. McCain is also old - 72. The Republicans need more than a one-term President - recognizing Reagan is the exception, not the rule...and signs were pretty obvious his age was catching up to him in 1984, beyond obvious by 1986. Better a younger candidate like Romney.

5. The 9/11 cache` is wearing off with time. It's been 5 years. The cache` Bush had as a post 9/11 leader has completely worn off. It will be 7 years in the past if Giuliani runs.

Simon - Internet Ronin said...
"BTW, John McCain will be 72 in 2008."

So will Antonin Scalia. So what? Of all the arguments advanced against McCain, his age is about the most useless

The difference is Scalia was appointed 20 years ago. If he was a 72-year old possible nominee, he would not have even been considered by either Party.

I do agree with you on Bayh, who would be a great candidate to run on the off-chance voters come to really dislike Hillary and reject her as possible Presidential choice, but if she gets the nomination, Bayh from running and showing his stuff in some of HIllary's weak areas (being human, foreign policy, agriculture and land use issues in Red States) would make a superb VP choice by Hillary.
Another candidate tossed around is Rice. Some conservatives believe she is just the most awesome answer. She will get the black vote, is smart, and proved herself creating Bush's foreign policy decisions...oooops, that was true back in 2003. Now we are learning that many of the blunders of Bush originated with her, or that Rumsfeld regularly beat her in arguments. Speaking of skeletons, she is almost in Rudi territory.
I count us lucky that Arnold is not native-born. I like him and think he is great - but the fucking guy's ego, brains, and talent might not just make him run for Prez, but somehow win..then he would be off to become Global Leader.

Simon said...

"Republicans need more than a one-term President - recognizing Reagan is the exception, not the rule ... Better a younger candidate like Romney."

That's fair, but Romney has plenty of problems of his own. That's the real challenge for Republicans in 2008: every single possible contender has an asterisk after their name, a "but..." argument. Pence? "But he's too young, too conservative." Romney? "But he's a mormon." Rudy? "But he's too liberal to get the nomination." McCain? "But conservatives hate him and he's wobbly on key issues." Santorum, Allen, Frist? "But they're total losers." Newt? "But no-one's forgotten the 1990s." Pawlenty / Huckabee / [insert governor of choice]? "But not enough foreign policy experience." So their aren't any perfect candidates on our side. Every candidate in the game has flaws. The question is which has the least flaws, and who can count to 270. A one-term President is better than a no term President.

"The difference is Scalia was appointed 20 years ago. If he was a 72-year old possible nominee, he would not have even been considered by either Party."

I just don't buy that. I just don't think that, in this day and age, 72 is too old for a Presidential contender.

"Bayh from running and showing his stuff in some of HIllary's weak areas (being human, foreign policy, agriculture and land use issues in Red States) would make a superb VP choice by Hillary."

Right - my bet is that whoever's at the top of the ticket for the Dems, it's going to be Bayh or Warner for Veep.

Anonymous said...

Cedarford: Great comments! If I were politely complimentary I'd say LOL, but the truth is that put me more in LMAO territory.

Simon said...

BTW, I also agree with your point about Rice - any nominee closely associated with the Bush Administration is likely to get mauled in 2008, including Rice. At an absolute minimum, candidates will have to repeat the mantra that they supported the war, but they believe that the implementation was seriously messed up. The conventional wisdom is that this helps McCain, who has been arguing for more troops for some time.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad about Rice, but it's true. She's done for in politics. A nice academic bower awaits her.

As I said about Romney, not only is he a Mormon, but the real problem is that Hillary Clinton will eat him for lunch. If he's the nominee, it's going to be painful. I plan to avert my eyes.

Unknown said...

Advice for Giulani: do not listen to the advice of all these pros who are telling you how to lie to and trick the electorate. That's how the GOP lost this time.

Randy said...

Pat: Good advice!

Here are a couple of Republican governors who have prior experience in Washington, D.C.:

Bob Riley of Alabama. Served as vice-chairman of the U.S. House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Readiness. A rather handy thing to have on his resume.

Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Served on the House Government Reform Committee, the International Relations Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee. (Also refused to accept PAC money while in the House.)

Stranger things have happened!

Simon said...

Mark Sanford is also Class of '94, and bailed out of the House before the DeLay-era rot really set it. I'm not hostile to him getting into the race, but you know my mantra - show me 270. ;)

dick said...

Mortimer Brezney,

Why bring Long Island into the issue of who voted for Giuliani. Long island is not even a part of NYC and they can't vote for the mayor. As the other guy stated, Staten Island is almost completely a blue collar borough and has almost always been republican. The wealthy parts of NYC are the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Forest Hills and Forest Hills Gardens in Queens, a couple of other Queens neighborhoods, Riverdale in The Bronx along with Pelham Park. These areas are almost always democratic in their voting.

What Giuliani did was run a campaign against a mayor who coined the word incompetent and then prove that he could do exactly what he said he would. The city is still basking what Giuliani accomplished. At the time almost all the media called him Hitler, fascist, demagogue, etc, but he went ahead and did what he felt was best for the city to fix the problems. He was right and after 9/11 they finally admitted it. Of course Sharpton and company are still trying to damage him as are the supporters of Hillary but what he did to clean up the city and make it work will trump that. I can still remember working in midtown Manhattan before Giuliani and you had to scurry through the people selling drugs on 42nd Street and the teenage hookers and addicts all around Times Square. After the theatres emptied, Times Square was deserted in those days. Now you go there at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning and it is still crowded with people enjoying themselves and it is all because of Rudy and his policies. That is what people here remember and that is why Bloomberg won re-election.

Randy said...

Somehow, I doubt that any of the possible candidates mentioned here are capable of delivering (or would be allowed by their "handlers" to deliver) a message similar to that delivered 143 years ago today:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

knox said...

I do like Giuliani just for being a hardass in his cleanup of NYC despite all the people who called him "Fascist" and the like for doing so. (My aunt&uncle live in NYC and they *hated* Giuliani, as did all their friends.)

The Drill SGT said...


These 2 this week are pretty good

Sloanasaurus said...

Someone here mentioned that Obama could be the dem nominee.

Is it me or am I wrong in thinking that a person with the name "Barack Hussein Obama, jr" will never be elected president.

Imagine Thomas Dewey Tojo Hipler... lets get real here.

Unknown said...

Sloan, you're too funny!

ignacio said...

McCain's age in numbers may not be an issue per se -- but he has been looking and sounding very tired and old.

Guiliani's ability to speak well, whether extemporaneously or not, is what separates him from the others.

My guess is that Americans are weary of being spoken to by politicians making use of the cadences and vocabulary of professional politicians. Anyone who can sound like a human being may have a big advantage in this case.

Randy said...

Thanks Drill SGT. Yes, they are good. I'd already read one but not the other. Believe it or not, it never occurred to me to go to his website for either, though!

Randy said...

My guess is that Americans are weary of being spoken to by politicians making use of the cadences and vocabulary of professional politicians. Anyone who can sound like a human being may have a big advantage in this case.

I hope so, Ignacio. I really hope so.

The Drill SGT said...


The GOPAC speach is likely the one you hadn't read. There is a laundry list of topics that goes on a bit too long. Each area is ok as it is, but there are just too many to be crisp, but having said that, the last 7 paragraphs make it worth it.

I don't think there is anyone on either side of the aisle does a better job today in talking about what we face in Iraq.

clear and crisp.

Randy said...

Yes. Two lines in particular struck me. I emailed them, along with a link to the speech, to my brother:

The situation in Iraq is dire. But I believe victory is still attainable. And I am certain that our defeat there would be a catastrophe, and not only for the United States. But we will not succeed if we no longer have the will to win.

[That is the real question, isn't it: Do we have the will?]

What I cannot do is ask him to return to Iraq, to risk life and limb, so that we might delay our defeat for a few months or a year. That is more to ask than patriotism requires. It would not be in the interest of the country, and it surely would be an intolerable sacrifice for so poor an accomplishment. It would be immoral, and I could not do it.

[He's right, of course: it would be immoral. Which brings us back to the real question, doesn't it.]

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Drill SGT said...

Unfortunately, I don't think we have the will to win.

we're going to pull out

the bad guys are going to be emboldened.

We're going to fight the GWOT in court rooms, until

we have a WMD attack in the US and then it will get ugly.

I just hope it's on a weekend when my wife is out of central DC. We're not downwind of any likely target.

That does make me think of a humorous anecdote to break up the melancholy

In the early 90's the top General of the Soviet Army was visiting his counterpart, General Powell for the first time at the Pentagon. This is after the wall came down but before the USSR broke up.

Powell was leading the Soviet delegation across the open space in the center of the Pentagon to a meeting on the other side. In case you didn't know, there is a snack bar in the center of the green open space and its nickname is "Ground Zero"

Powell turned the the Soviet General and says, "General, we call this place Ground Zero".
The interpreter translates, and the General smiles and says, "yes, we do also".

Randy said...

Yep. I think you are right, right down the line. Great story, thanks.

MDIJim said...

Dick is right about Rudi's impact on NYC. I was a frequent visitor during the 1980s and 1990s, as well as a subscriber to the NYT. Giuliani was totally outside the box and savagely vilified by the media; but he transformed the city. Before Rudi was elected the CW was that NYC's decline is inevitable and the issue was how to manage that decline without too much bloodshed. He understood that public safety was the first requirement of good government. Is that not why we are failing in Iraq? Rudi agreed with liberals about tackling the "root causes" of crime and ordered cops to be agressive against "yoots' who commit even misdemeanors. The results were extraordinary and all pre-9/11. Small business blossomed all over the city, despite crushing taxes and regulations. Immigrants flocked in for a chance to raise their families in peace. Maybe if Rudi could find a way to encapsulate this transformation into a 30-second spot he might have a chance. Our problem now is that the world, including much of the US and even much of Manhattan, feels secure enough to think that 9/11 and the London and Madrid and Bali bombings were one-offs. Before Giluliani that is how New Yorkers though about crime: give the mugger a few dollars and he'll go away; avoid that neighborhood; better yet, avoid the streets and schools altogether. Too bad though about the poor schmucks who have to live there.

hdhouse said...

of course you are forgetting that 6 billion dollar deficit that rudy pushed off to mayor bloomberg...did you forget that?

did you forget that aside from 9-11, rudy's popularity in the city after these great years of success was in the 40s?

did you forget his mistress and flaunting his affair to the detriment of his child?

do you remember that his social programs morphed into the 3 visit you fools know what that is???'s foodstamp administration made it a rule for the prospective food stamp recipient to have to show up 3 straight times to appointments...very nice for a mother of 2 living on the edge..3 trips that would take hours each and if you missed an appointment, you started over...he then bragged that he got so many people off food stamps but he didn't tell you that he did it by making it costly and nearly impossible to get them.

he will loose ny in a ny heartbeat and rightly so. and i'm not even up to Kerick as his business partner.

Anonymous said...

I second what cocaygne says. I, too used to go down to New York from Boston a fair bit during the same time, and had the same experience. I remember two friends who both lived in Soho separately enthusing about how much Mayor Giuliani had improved things. I was completely surprised, as they both were of fairly conventional leftish Manhattan political views. This demonstrated that Mayor Giuliani could appeal across the political spectrum, and I was hopeful he would run for higher office. Unfortunately, his own demons and some bad luck helped create those skeletons Cedarford and others mentioned above.

I must say that what was done in New York compares favorably with the decline of public order in San Francisco during the same time. I go to the Bay Area once or twice a year for family visits, and the contrast between the changes in the two cities was quite noticeable. I'm not sure how things are in San Francisco now, as I just don't go there any more, not wanting to subject my kids to the filthy, aggressive and sometimes dangerous street people.

And BTW, I completely agree with what Internet Ronin says above about Drill Sgt's comment above.

Kirk Parker said...


ROFL! "He was a (not entirely unsuccessfull) governor in my state." With a recommendation like that, why look any further? I can hear the campaign spots now...

Simon said...

Kirk Parker said...
"ROFL! 'He was a (not entirely unsuccessful) governor in my state.' With a recommendation like that, why look any further? I can hear the campaign spots now..."

Well, he's a Democrat, you know. I'm not going to give him too much praise, now, am I? A lot of whether you think a Governor is successful or not depends on whether you agree with what they're trying to do. ;)

John Stodder said...

What if Rudy declared that his position on abortion is irrelevant?

To refuse to elect someone who is otherwise a true conservative, one might argue, is a disqualification with no practical effect. Think of the most conservative possible candidate for president winning. That candidate will have no greater effect on abortion law than Rudy would.

Likewise, gay marriage. Yes, the movement is winning a few victories in the state courts, but voters are generally shooting them down. The proposition is going nowhere federally. The vote for Defense of Marriage was overwhelming and included most liberals. Liberals who have to face voters do not have the courage of their convictions on this matter.

Rudy should therefore say: Abortion and gay marriage are off the table. I will certainly do nothing as president to make abortion or gay marriage easier. None of my opponents can credibly claim they will be able to make abortion or gay marriage more difficult. On judges--I don't believe in litmus tests, but the kinds of judges I would appoint are the same kinds of judges George W. Bush has appointed -- conservatives.

That's the key for social conservatives. None of my judges would find "rights" to gay marriage where none exist in the constitution.

Revenant said...

I think Rudy can convincingly punt on the issues of gay marriage and abortion by saying they should be left to the states. That would allow him to be anti-Roe and pro-choice at the same time.

Simon said...

I don't think it's "punt[ing]" to be "anti-Roe and pro-choice at the same time." That seems to be a perfectly reasonable and logical position. Indeed, it would seem to be the default position for anyone who understands that the real question represented by Roe has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion.