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December 2010 Unemployment Report: A Big "Meh" | Main | Blame Bush: Nancy Pelosi Says Democrats Lost House Because of Bush's Policies
January 07, 2011

Giuliani Rounding Up Advisors For 2012 Run?

Seems a big longshot.

Sources say the tough-talking former mayor "thinks the Republican race will be populated with far-right candidates like Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, and there's opportunity for a moderate candidate with a background in national security."

I don't know if Rudy used the word "far-right" or if that's a source interpreting him. It's stuff like that that would absolutely preclude him from having a chance. The Republican Party is a right-side party, period, and this idea that a moderate "savior" is going to come in and win is silly. Rudy can only win if he runs as both right-wing and "moderate." (How? It's a straddle. It often works.) Running as just "the moderate" is running to lose, and branding people on the right of the Republican Party -- which is pretty much the party orthodoxy now -- as "far-right" signals I'm not one of you.

Of course he already made that play when he disastrously announced "I'm pro-choice," rather than saying something like "Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided opinion and should be overturned, and the issue returned to the states where it belongs." (Having that position and being pro-choice policy-wise aren't incompatible; that's pretty much me.)

Rudy's loss was especially notable because for so long he was the clear front-runner. But then he just completely fell apart. Still, is that itself disqualifying? He lost, same as Huckabee or Romney. If their losses aren't disqualifying, why his?

The logic of Rudy's campaign -- that he's a law-and-order get-it-done tough-on-terror ex-mayor of a large city -- isn't really aligned with the times. Unfortunately, Americans aren't taking terrorism seriously anymore, and barely remember 9/11, so Rudy's good performance as the Mayor of 9/11 is of limited cache.

On the other hand, he does have a reputation for taking on the left, and the unions, and so on, and maybe he can get traction if he emphasizes that.

But really, I think the pro-choice thing dooms him. He really should have known better last time. And now, having committed himself to that position, I don't see how he reverses that without a politically immolating flip-flop. His thinking is right that social issues will be less important in 2012 than in, say, 2008 or 2004 or 2000; but "less important" is not unimportant. The abortion thing will still be plenty potent enough to stop his run.

The problem is that even Rudy loyalists think it's a bad idea. "They think this is crazy," a source said. "They realize how long the odds are, but they are standing by."

Some insiders say it's a way for Giuliani to stay relevant. "He's not doing all these morning talk shows because he enjoys the conversation, it is because he wants to stay in the game," one said.

"He has previously said he would not run again, but he wants us to think he will," a different source said. "He's not being talked about among the Republican contenders, and his ego can't take that."

Further "insiders" demean him further by saying he's doing this just because his old business of delivering speeches at $100,000 a pop isn't doing as well these days and he needs a new jolt of relevancy to boost his honoraria. Those sound more like "enemies" than insiders, but I guess that's possible too. No one's a saint.

Many people figure primaries break down like this: There are actually two competing primaries early on, the "rightist" primary and the "moderate" primary. In the early going, one rightist candidate emerges as the favorite representative of that part of the party and one moderate emerges as the favorite from that part, and then, for the rest of the campaign, they duke it out.

That's how it was supposed to shake out in 2008 but it didn't. Somehow John McCain, a favorite of neither side, really, won, simply because the party decided he wasn't clearly disqualified from the Presidency. That is, the entire party seemed to decide that Romney, Huckabee, and Thompson were not acceptable for one reason or the other and McCain emerged, to virtually everyone's disappointment, as the last of the major candidates not so disqualified.

If it works that way in 2012, it's possible that Rudy could win that moderate primary. But I don't see how he wins the nomination, because the party is about 75% rightist and 75% pro-life.

Basically his 2008 bid was aborted and so will be his 2012 bid, unless he has some super-secret magic way to undo his current unnacceptability to the social right.

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:37 PM

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