August 29, 2006


The Conservative Case Against Rudy Giuliani In 2008 (John Hawkins, 8/29/06, Right Wing News)

Rudy Giuliani, a contender for the Presidency in 2008, is receiving an inordinate amount of positive attention. That's quite understandable since Rudy is charismatic, did a great job on the campaign trail for President Bush in 2004, and his phenomenal performance after 9/11 was much appreciated.

However, likeable or not, having Rudy as the GOP's candidate in 2008 would be a big mistake. Here's a short, but sweet primer on some of Rudy's many flaws. [...]

An Anti-Second Amendment Candidate

In the last couple of election cycles, 2nd Amendment issues have moved to the back burner mainly because even Democratic candidates have learned that being tagged with the "gun grabber" label is political poison.

Unfortunately, Rudy Giuliani is a proponent of gun control who supported the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapon Ban.

Do Republicans really want to abandon their strong 2nd Amendment stance by selecting a pro-gun control nominee?

Soft On Gay Marriage

Other than tax cuts, the biggest domestic issue of the 2004 election was President Bush's support of a Constitutional Amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman. Unfortunately, Rudy Giuliani has taken a "Kerryesque" position on gay marriage.

Although Rudy, like John Kerry, has said that marriage should remain between a man and a woman, he also supports civil unions, "marched in gay-pride parades ...dressed up in drag on national television for a skit on Saturday Night Live (and moved in with a) wealthy gay couple" after his divorce.

He can't run in IA, can't beat McCain in NH and then is a non-starter in SC. He won't run.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2006 10:23 AM

While some of those items definitely will work against Rudy in the primaries, I probably wouldn't go around complaining about him dressing up as a woman for a TV skit (or an earlier NYC correspondants dinner), unless you want to give the left amunition that conservatives are prudishly hung-up on social issue trivialities and don't deserve to retain the White House with any candidate (and if you don't think they'd focus on the "dresses in drag" theme over more substantial differences such as gay marraige or gun control, you haven't been paying attention).

Posted by: John at August 29, 2006 10:40 AM

Of course we want the Left to portray us as prudish--it's America.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 10:49 AM

McCain has a gun problem and a gay problem

Very John Kerryish.

Posted by: h-man at August 29, 2006 11:20 AM

C'mon OJ. If you found this article you were sure to find "The Conservative Case against John McCain in 2008" that Hawkins also has on his site which is more damning than this piece on Rudy.

Posted by: AWW at August 29, 2006 11:51 AM

Being on the side of morality is a winning issue. Getting stuck defending your opposition to the mayor dressing up as a woman for a performance skit is a needless distraction from the main points of difference with Giuliani's stance on social issues.

Any conservative running for president, or those who support a candidate, need to remember one of the reasons Bush won in 2000 was his focus on a few specific issues and avoidance of giving the media anything to use against him in their "mean-spiritied/intollerant Republican" template (not that it wasn't tried with the James Byrd dragging death ad, but the Democrats had to make that one up out of whole cloth). There's no point in setting youself up to defend a trvial side issue if you don't have to.

Posted by: John at August 29, 2006 11:51 AM

People get it when you tell them he lived with a gay couple and cross dresses.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 1:00 PM


The case against McCain was made in 2000, but he's more popular now than then. No one knows who Rudy is other than the false image they got on 9-11. That's why first time candidates have so much trouble winning.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 1:01 PM

You can beat the big media's normal liberal bent, as the current political alignment shows. But you have to play basically a rope-a-dope strategy and use alternate ways to get your message out, while not giving the media any soundbites they can use against you. That's why Bush, Hastert and Frist sumbit themselves far less to press quotes than past Democrats who held the same positions did, because they know their words aren't going to be treated the same way.

So mention Rudy's stance on gun control, or civil unions, or even the fact he lived with the gay couple for a while. But don't go too far with what you say or write, or you open yourself up to the same problems Jerry Falwell got into when he was stuck with that Teletubbies controversy that obscured his larger point about political indoctrination in children's programming.

Posted by: John at August 29, 2006 1:54 PM

McCain will be 72 in '08.

Posted by: ic at August 29, 2006 2:17 PM

And President in '09

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 2:21 PM

He's pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Your odds of getting the GOP nomination if you are even one of those two things is negligible. I meet plenty of social conservatives out here in the heartland, and Giuliani's candidacy will be torpedoed as soon as those voters discover his positions on these subjects.

OJ's right, he's a nonstarter.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 29, 2006 2:46 PM

Is it moral to imply something lurid when the truth is known to you. Giuliani stayed with a wealthy gay couple he'd known for years when his wife insisted on remaining in the Mayoral Residence Gracie Mansion after they separated. The two mother hens doted on him and gave him a place to live until he got the mess of his marriage straightened out.

As for dressing like a woman for a theatrical skit? Is that what cross dressing means?

I don't think Giuliani can be nominated, but I think he has a chance to be elected. McCain has been thoroughly reviewed and found wanting, however, if he's the candidate, we MUST NOT stay home in protest. We couldn't survive another Clinton/Carter presidency.

Posted by: erp at August 29, 2006 3:18 PM

It's Chinatown, Jake.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 3:21 PM

Um, do you guys really think that there's anyone in the Republican party who is ignorant of Rudy's social stands?

Posted by: Lisa at August 29, 2006 3:22 PM

Only the ones who'll be voting.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 3:27 PM

All Rudy has to do to overcome the McCampaignFinance's questioning of his moral bona fides is show the Republican primary electorate pictures of Times Sq before he was Mayor, and Times Sq after. Case closed.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at August 29, 2006 3:30 PM

OJ - read Hawkins anti-McCain article - most of the anti-McCain points are based on McCain actions after the 2000 election.

Posted by: AWW at August 29, 2006 3:37 PM


Doesn't matter. Folks have decided they know and like McCain and can live with his flaws--just like Nixon, Reagan, the elder Bush and Dole after they'd run. Karl Rove and Mark McKinnon will get to fill in Rudy's blanks.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 3:46 PM

He won't be able to mention NYC in most of the states he needs to win.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 3:47 PM

OJ -

If Rudy were a WASPy prig like Christopher Shays, then your points might stick. But he isn't, and they don't.

If he were trying to run while serving as Mayor, that might highlight some of the problems you are fixated on. But he's been out of office for 4+ years, and he is well-known and liked as a law-and-order guy. Remember, he was a D.A. first.

Rudy may be a New Yorker, but he doesn't make people think of Charlie Schumer or John Lindsay. He connects in a way that McCain cannot.

They both have something of a 'hero' status (granted, McCain's is much weightier).

They both have problems with 'conservatives'. Whoever can sweep those problems aside, or can finesse them best, or can turn them to his advantage, will win the nomination. Legacy alone is probably not enough to get McCain across the finish line.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 29, 2006 5:29 PM

He'd easily win the election for president of the First Responder club. He's unsellable for president in GOP primaries, where WASP prigs aren't voting for a baby-killing, queer-loving, gun-grabbing Catholic from Sin City.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 5:33 PM

McCain in 2000.." I'd love to see a point where it is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even-the long-term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." Kate Michelman couldn't say it better.

Posted by: h-man at August 29, 2006 6:19 PM

I can see Giulani still running strong in the Midwest, but I can't see him winning anything in the South for the reasons OJ mentioned. He's a good man though, and he would make a good cabinet official, probably Homeland Security.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at August 29, 2006 6:50 PM

That was W's answer too.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 6:55 PM


Outside of the blogosphere cocoon, there are plenty of Republican voters who don't know his positions on gay marriage or abortion. No matter -- they will when it counts.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 29, 2006 8:32 PM

If Rudy can only get the left to unleash the same sort of venom at him as they did between his first race against Dinkins in 1989 and the 9/11/01, that might actually help him with wary folks on the right, who would figure that anyone who The New York Times, the major TV networks, New York-based liberal pundits, Democratic Party activists and Hillary Clinton hate with a passion has to have something going for him, even with some of his social issue positions.

It's the opposite of the problem with McCain, who's distrusted by many on the right because the media seem so enamored with his (albeit, only because they saw him as a useful idiot in their hopes of derailing Bush and throwing the Republican Party into disarray).

Posted by: John at August 29, 2006 8:47 PM

Maverick's going down, via Instapundit:

THE FCC CRACKS DOWN ON CAMPAIGN SPEECH: Mark Tapscott thinks it's a serious blow to McCain's campaign.

I agree. Despite his efforts to court bloggers, this will remind 'em that he got us into this mess.

And the whole campaign finance "reform" thing was astroturfed, anyway.

ANY pubbie can distance himself from Maverick and W by excoriating this bill. People get it - you can't attack an incumbent? What makes them so special???

Posted by: Sandy P at August 29, 2006 10:44 PM

People follow leaders, McCain's a senator.

Rudy's a leader.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 29, 2006 10:47 PM

Rudy couldn't get elected statewide in NY, nevermind nationwide.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 10:56 PM

W signed CFR because we all want less campaign speech. It's a 70-30 issue.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2006 10:57 PM

Bush signed CFR because he lost the popular vote, and because he punted it to the Court.

In the big picture, the public doesn't really care. Tell them they can't do certain 1st Amendment things in October, and they will be quite upset. CFR is two things - incumbent protection and media protection. If it were a 70-30 issue for the 'public', Granny D would be in the Senate.

At least 1/4 to 1/3 of Southerners I know (and I live right in the heart of the GOP demographic bastion) would probably vote for Rudy today. His mission, if he really wants to run, is to get that number up to 1/2 to 5/9. Of course, McCain's numbers are similar - he has to move the vote, too.

Will McCain run ads showing fetuses in garbage cans? Will he run ads showing men holding hands or kissing? Short of that, I don't see the 'bastion' turning on Rudy the way you do. And if McCain gets nasty, I'm sure there are plenty of photos of him with Charles Keating that will be resurrected. Or photos of McCain with Teddy and then shots of the Rio Grande at night. And the like.

Rudy could even run ads showing McCain on all the cable TV talk shows, yukking it up with Chris Matthews et al. And then shots of editorials from the NYT, praising McCain for his maverickness. That's why McCain's best bet is to turn on the press before they turn on him.

Rudy has stature. Even among evangelicals. Remember the question - "In an emergency, would you rather have the best surgeon in the world, or a Christian surgeon?" If Rudy convinces 1/2 of the evangelicals that he is the best surgeon, he wins. McCain's bedside manner is a big negative at this point.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 29, 2006 11:59 PM

Nope, he campaigned saying he'd sign it when it turned out to be popular. Americans like the idea of shutting politicians up.

Winning a quarter of the vote loses the primary.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 12:11 AM

Shutting politicians up - yes? Shutting me up - no. Put in those terms, and CFR withers away. Given the FEC ruling today, how would you appreciate a visit from the FBI on Sept. 7?

McCain doesn't have even 30% of the primary vote sewn up yet, so you are right - if he doesn't improve that, he loses.

McCain is a strong candidate. He might be a good President. But by playing the maverick (and the ego), he has forced people in the GOP to think about whether or not they will vote for him. To accept him, as it were. That's a tough sell.

Imagine this - it's a couple of years into a war (not a big war, but a war). The war started with zeal and some measure of unity, but it changed when the enemy 'metastasized'. Who is going to lead? A respected figure from a previous engagement steps forward, and without rancor towards his rivals, says he will lead. He sweeps to political victory. Sound familiar? Remember what happened to Bob Taft.

McCain is the front-runner. He is a national figure. He should win. But his strengths are mirrored by Rudy (in some ways). Both can probably win 40 states (including CA).

But 'front-runners' (especially those pumped by the press) do not always win - think of Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney, Ed Muskie, George Bush, Sr. And they can be zinged by 'mavericks' themselves - as Mondale was hurt by Gary Hart.

Rudy can win if he connects - if he runs on being the nation's "mayor". A local guy, representing all 50 states. Hizzonah. It might just work.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 30, 2006 1:42 AM

Nope. If you're talking poliics the voters want you shut up too. CFR is extremely popular and more restrictions would be more popular.

Taft was beat by party bosses. Those bosses want McCain this time.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 8:51 AM

CFR is popular only with nittering nabobs who don't like political ads (for biased reasons). Most Americans like hard-hitting, creative advertising (whether for beer, tacos, cars, or politics). That's why Granny D got what, 8% of the vote?

Who are the GOP party 'bosses'? Denny Hastert? John Boehner? George Pataki? Richard Mellon Scaife? Jerry Lewis? Bill Young? Ted Stevens? George Bush?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 30, 2006 5:04 PM

W, Rove, McKinnon, Gregg, Falwell...

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 5:08 PM

CFR was trumped up, join Maverick to Soros and some of his backround works and there'll be more questions about Maverick.

Plus his stance on free speech v. good government.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 30, 2006 6:32 PM

that government is best which we hear least about.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 6:39 PM

I am sorry but the only thing that could get me to vote for or even consider McCain in 2008 would be the candidacy of HIllary, Kerry or Howard Dean. Anyone else and I would really consider casting my very first ever democratic vote for president and I am 66 and have been voting since JFK (the first one).

Posted by: dick at August 30, 2006 6:52 PM

Yes, given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat Republicans will vote Republican.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2006 7:59 PM

Given a choice between Biden and McCain I would seriously consider voting for the plagiarist - and I hate Biden and have voted for one democrat in my life and that was Bill Bradley in one of his senatorial campaigns. Given McCain and Birch Baye and I would be voting for the Hoosier in a heartbeat.

I really don't understand your support of McCain. The Campaign Finance Reform Act should have been enough. The man is slime!!

Posted by: dick at August 31, 2006 10:17 AM


Don't vote for Biden. The man must think he is Marc Antony (or Hamlet). Watching him on Hardball (back in 2003 and 2004) was like watching a striptease artist. I think even Chris Matthews was amused and just kept giving Biden more rope. When Biden appeared on the Hardball college circuit, I honestly thought he was going to roll out a chalkboard and start lecturing the students.

Evan Bayh is a poor imitation of his father. He is a poor imitation of Dan Quayle.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 31, 2006 10:38 AM


No, you wouldn't (not that Biden could win a Democratic nomination)--that's just ranting

Posted by: oj at August 31, 2006 11:39 AM

oj. I'm afraid Republicans will stay home and let the Democrat have it by default.

Posted by: erp at August 31, 2006 3:52 PM

They hate Hillary more than they do McCain and are shallow enough to turn out just to vote against her.

Posted by: oj at August 31, 2006 4:15 PM

It may be ranting to you but to me it is just pure I do not like anything about McCain. I don't like his shiftiness and I do not like his attitude and I do not like his huge ego with nothing to back it up. His legislative record is surely nothing to brag about. I would put him in the same class with Hillary and since I live in New York that is as low as you can go - equal to Kerry and Kennedy, also as low as you can go.

Posted by: dick at August 31, 2006 7:12 PM

And you'll vote for him over Hillary in '08, which is why it's just ranting.

Posted by: oj at August 31, 2006 7:31 PM

If the republicans have any brains they will throw him out the window before he gets nominated so I would not have to vote for him over Hillary. She is so despicable I would even consider voting for her husband over her or even Teddy Kennedy.

I still say McCain is totally despicable as well. I see no redeeming reasons for anyone to support him at all.

Posted by: dick at August 31, 2006 11:42 PM

We aren't the brains party, so we'll nominate him to win in a landslide and bring in big majorities in both houses. Ah, the wages of stupidity.

Posted by: oj at August 31, 2006 11:57 PM