March 5, 2006


Awaiting the Almighty: Rudy Giuliani may or may not run for president. But he's having a heavenly time thinking about it. (Howard Fineman, March 13, 2006, Newsweek)

The GOP's '08 cycle has barely begun, but it's already produced a cliche: that this is "the most wide-open race since 1952." It's true that, in a party inclined to royal successions, there is no heir apparent—literally, in this case, since Florida Gov. Jeb Bush isn't running to succeed his brother. But it's also true that outlines of a hierarchy are visible, with Sen. John McCain at the top. Ironically, the erstwhile "maverick" is pursuing an insider strategy, hiring George W. Bush's consultants, lining up local party loyalists and shaking the same establishment money tree that, in the 2000 campaign, he complained had given Bush a pampered, rich kid's advantage. [...]

The effect of a Rudy run? There are those who think the presence of a pro-choice, pro-gay-rights New Yorker would help McCain by making him seem to be a comparative godsend to evangelicals. But the two men, who are personally close, occupy the same macho shelf space, and the clear hope—and expectation—among McCainanites is that Rudy will ultimately stand down. Some other Republican insiders join them in thinking (hoping) that Giuliani would rather continue raking in piles of cash building his business empire ($100,000-a-gig speeches, security consulting, investment banking and regulatory law). They note that he hasn't made any of the usual groundwork-laying moves, such as lining up a media firm or a coordinator in New Hampshire.

But those who say he'll fold may not know the man, his history—or what he is really up to.

There is, of course, nothing ironic about John McCain running as the favorite now that he is. It's a hierarchical party at the presidential level and it's his turn at the top of the totem pole. As for Mr. Giuliani, he can best serve the party by kncking off Hillary in this year's Senate race or the country by preventing the election of Elliot Spitzer as Governor of NY. If he does neither it's hard to see why the party faithful would feel they owe him much.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2006 9:48 AM

While more people would like to see Rudy run for Senate, his personality probably would fit best making a run for governor. Aside from the plus of sending Elliott Spitzer packing, the job is more of a hands-on affair; in the Senate, he'd not only be a back-bencher, but one behind John McCain with very limited visibility, unless he plans to use the McCain/Biden/Schumer tactic of running like a maniac to be in front of the nearest camera with a lit red light.

Posted by: John at March 5, 2006 12:24 PM

Giuliani would be wasted in the senate. Governor would be good.

Posted by: erp at March 5, 2006 6:58 PM

Your headline should be, "You've got to slay A beast..."

One of the things going for him in 2000 was Bush had already slain the Ann Richards beast. Considering NY has two beasts to choose from, and should Giuliani take on neither, he might as well make a Gen. Sherman statement while he's at it.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 6, 2006 11:40 AM