EX-MAYOR MUST CONJURE IMAGES OF 9/11 TO DISTRACT GOP VOTERS
The polls say that Rudy Giuliani is the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination. With today’s climate on the right where the repudiation of President Bush’s six years is the highest Rudy just may be the man who takes on Sen. Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Of course, Sen. John McCain will have a lot to say about that, but the stern talking senator from Arizona may have peaked a month ago and his candidacy is too attached the war in Iraq to predict two years hence.
Giuliani has been out of public service for a few years, so his personal opinions about the war are less formed therefore easily malleable. When it comes to the war on terror Giuliani is most effective when he’s portrayed as the only man in America who actually combatted the terroristS.
Ironically, this should be scary to all Americans.
A Giuliani campaign for President would have to be a rehashing of George W. Bush’s constant drumbeat of terrorists, Osama bin Laden and more terrorists. Boo! Are you scared enough to vote for me?
As Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter wrote today, the polarizing figure of Rudy may be too much for the country to handle post-W.
Because Giuliani is so steeped in being a liberal conservative as New York City’s mayor--he’s pro-choice, dislikes guns and supports civil unions---he’ll be forced to conjure the ghosts of al-qaeda along with the images of 747s crashing into the World Trade Center.
After all, as Alter says, “If terrorists attacked again, he would know what to do.” he adds, “But how about the next month? And the month after that?”
The second question is not one that Republicans who crave strong daddy figures will ponder, but the rest of us will.
A Giuliani/Hillary battle for the White House is a matchup that Rudy has already ducked in 2000 when he dropped out the race for senate in New York because of prostate cancer.
Such a campaign will further a divide within the Republican party that was always there but neatly covered up by a Rovian White House that demanded cohesiveness. From a southern or western Republican point of view the desire for a third party candidate or a darkhorse candidate could swell infinitely. The problem is that there isn't one on the horizon.
The choice for president might come down to two city slickers from New York who hate guns, love gays and want you to have an abortion if you want.
Under this scenario and added to the fact that McCain might be more endearing to Democrats than Republicans there is a major opening for another candidate from the right. It’s not Sen. Sam Brownback or Milt Romney. It could be Sen. Chuck Hagel. Whomever it is they had better make themselves known before the country is subjected to the wrath of Rudy.