Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why not Giuliani?

Emotional reasons stemming from his laudable actions and leadership during and just after 9/11 notwithstanding, I've always been leery of Giuliani as a Republican Presidential candidate. Want to know why? John Hawkins at Right Wing News gives the reasons and why they matter, including such things as Giuliani's views on gay marriage (which I don't really care about, my libertarian streak showing), abortion issues (which issomewhat important to me) and on the 2nd Amendment and Illegal Immigration (which are of extreme importance to me). Really though, it's not the individual issues that matter, it's how those issues will affect a Giuliani political campaign, and Hawkins' analysis is exactly right when he says:
One of the biggest selling points for Rudy Giuliani is supposed to be that he's "electable" because a lot of independents and Democrats will vote for him. The problem with that sort of thinking is that if he becomes the Republican nominee, the very liberal mainstream media will spend nine months relentlessly savaging him in an effort to help the Democrats. Because of that, Giuliani's sky high polling numbers with non-Republicans are 100% guaranteed to drop significantly before election time rolls around in 2008.
[As] a candidate, he offers almost nothing to social conservatives, without whom a victory for George Bush in 2004 wouldn't have been possible. If the choice in 2008 comes down to a Democrat and a pro-abortion, soft on gay marriage, left-of-center candidate on social issues -- like Rudy -- you can be sure that millions of "moral values voters" will simply stay home and cost the GOP the election. [emphasis mine]
The other issue is in the South. George Bush swept every Southern state in 2000 and 2004, which is quite an impressive feat when you consider that the Democrats had Southerner Al Gore at the top of the ticket in 2000 and John Edwards as the veep in 2004. Unfortunately, a pro-abortion, soft on gay marriage, pro-gun control RINO from New York City just isn't going to be able to repeat that performance. [emphasis mine]
Also, the reason why George Bush's approval numbers have been mired in the high thirties/low forties of late is because he has lost a significant amount of Republican support, primarily because his domestic policies aren't considered conservative enough. Since that's the case, running a candidate who is several steps to Bush's left on domestic policy certainly doesn't seem like a great way to unite the base again. [emphasis mine]
In other words, Giuliani is too left for the GOP base and too right, or maybe not left enough, to please a sufficient amount of Democratic voters to make up for the voter shortfall on the Republican side. His brand of politics might be sufficient to get elected in a large metropolis in a very blue state, but it's very doubtful it will be of any help in convincing enough people to make him President. His politics certainly don't appeal to me, and only make me more worried when I wonder whom exactly the GOP will give the majority of their support. Is the GOP going to bank on moderate and fence-sitting voters in 2008, while alienating much of their conservative base? In my view, if they do so, it will be a rather large gamble, as their base is what got Bush elected in 2004. If the base stays home in 2008 because they don't see a candidate worth voting for at all, where will the GOP be then?

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