Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is it Giuliani y'all?

Via Instapundit, Ryan Sager followed around Rudy Giuliani in SC and may have found a Yank warrior who is willing to lay it on the line south of the Mason-Dixon. While many doubt Giuliani's ability to overcome a liberal social outlook among the GOP's rock-ribbed conservatives (for all I know these doubts may well turn to facts), I think he has a great opportunity to win the Repub South. It's national security and foreign policy that fuels my enthusiasm. According to Sager's article, it doesn't look like Rudy's an elephant who'll worry if peanut butter is bad for his heart when it comes to promoting the GOP vision of the war we currently fight:

"I think it's going to happen … we can't keep this country 100% safe," Mr. Giuliani said about the prospect of another terrorist attack on American soil, adding that he's "surprised" we haven't been hit again thus far. What's more, he said, Republicans shouldn't shy away from "politicizing" the War on Terror in fighting the Democrats. "You don't have to politicize a war," he said. "Wars are political … It's our right as Republicans to argue our case … There's a big difference between our party and theirs."

Concerning Giuliani's ability to sweep Southerners off their feet, the Palmetto State is usually a good bellwether. Any Republican who runs strong there is likely to have a better than average shot at winning the nomination. While Fred Butler is just one man, it will take a lot of convincing to make me believe he lurks on the fringe of Sandlapper Repubs:

The crowd responded warmly. As Mr. Giuliani finished taking questions from the audience, Fred Butler, 87 years old, of Greenville, piped up and said he hoped greatly that the former mayor would get into the 2008 GOP contest. "How much do I owe you?" Mr. Giuliani cracked as he wrapped things up.

Mr. Butler, speaking to me after the fundraiser, said that Mr. Giuliani is currently his top choice for the 2008 primary. "I know he did a good job in New York City, and I think he's just a good man," Mr. Butler said. He added, "I think he would garner a lot more votes than anyone I could think of right now."

A retired plant manager, Mr. Butler told me he was prepared to support Senator McCain after his win in New Hampshire in 2000, "but after he made his pitch down here, I voted for Bush." As for Mr. McCain's chances this time around, Mr. Butler doesn't seem particularly ready to give the senator another chance: "He's not as popular as a lot of people think, not as popular now as he was then … I don't think he'll get the nomination."

It would be foolish to pencil in Rudy for residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave as it would to do so for any potential candidate at this point. However, unless a wide, gaping fault opens up somewhere along the Turkish-Syrian border eastward to the Pakistani-Indian border and swallows up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Khameini, Hasan Nasralah, whoever is heading Hamas, Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Zarqawi (oops, forgot to mark him off the list), Mooqi and the Mahdi, Mullah Omar (almost forgot about him) you can see, it's going to have to be a right deep hole, national security will be the issue of the '08 campaign. On second thought, a gargantuan tectonic shift won't be enough. It'll have to be combined with some sort of alien-karmic shifting ray aimed from some planet that was unseen by the Hubbel at Europe that'll make the Old Country reconnect with its long-lost sense of humor to stuff national security in the trunk.

Nonetheless, as you may now know, I believe national security will deprive other issues of much needed oxygen in '08. Right now I'm with Fred Butler. I don't see a candidate in either party who approaches the strengths of Giuliani on national security and ability to gain votes. My Rudy vibe may well be ill-conceived. He's facing two years of hard work if he hopes to succeed and a lot changes over two years, but I'm willing to take the bet to Vegas. You've got to have some fun with politics.

Read a reallly swell article.

Update: Guarino has post on the Sager article too. He's not ready to join Fred and me on the Strip.


Blogger Joe Guarino said...

Glenn, for sure -- if he were nominated, I would be cheering as loudly as anyone. And I agree with your analysis that, if he decides to run, he has a very good shot at the nomination. The other area in which he has strength-- leadership-- will create positive perceptions among a significant slice of the public.

Blogger Glenn said...

I think leadership is the key. It's missing right now in both parties. I'm not trying to bash Bush. I agree with his decisions, but he just doesn't seem to quite trust his fighting insticnts. Right now, I believe Giuliani will trust his. We'll see what happens.

Blogger bubba said...

I see Rudy gathering momentum, and I'm not sure he really is as socially liberal as some think.

I think his positive attributes far outway his negative ones for those of us on the conservative side.

Most important, I think he can win a presidential race against any candidate the Democrats might put up.

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