Hans' News and Politics Blog

A Blog of Conservative News, Politics, and Foreign Affairs

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Election '08 - Can Giuliani win the nomination?

As unlike as it sounds, a New York City pro-choice candidate is leading the early GOP polls for the nomination. Giuliani is not only leading amongst Republicans in general, but also amongst movement conservatives in the blogosphere. How is that possible? People see in Giuliani a strong leader, the type that can lead the country through any difficulty. It is no surprise that Giuliani's poll numbers jumped 5 points after Katrina. His strong leadership skills trump ideology. For now.

As we get closer to the primaries ideology will start moving more to the forefront, then Giuliani could lose the advantage he currently enjoys. On taxes, law enforcement, and national security he can take strong positions, and he has his record as Mayor to back that up. He could also stake out a conservative position on immigration, by tying it to national security, without being accused of being racist (except, of course, the New York Times, which has in the past been quite silly with its denouncement of Giuliani. But then being bashed by the NYT is more like a badge of honor). Even though stalwart religious conservatives like Pat Robinson have already came out in support of a Giuliani campaign, social conservatives will likely attack some of Giuliani's more liberal activity as Mayor of NYC, as well as his pro-abortion stance.

To defend against attacks on liberal policies enacted in NYC and his pro-choice position Giuliani should defend it on federalist grounds. He should make clear that policies he enacted for NYC, were the correct ones for that city, and it doesn't mean he would do the same nationally. NYC is a unique city with an unique character that requires an unique approach to governing. He should turn any attack on his social policies into an attack on the very city of NY, defending it from undue criticism. While conservatives would be uneasy about the social positions of NYC, they can understand somebody patriotically defending his hometown. As long as Giuliani makes it clear that he doesn't intend to push a liberal social agenda he can hope to appease social conservatives.

A similar approach can be taken on abortion, where he should also turn it into an issue of federalism. He should continue to support his position on abortion, since a last-minute conversion would only erode his credibility and put him permanently on the defensive on this issue, but oppose the judicial imposition of abortion through the courts. He needs to take an against Roe vs. Wade, but pro-choice position, it is the only way he can maintain his electability within the GOP, and it wouldn't hurt him in the general election either.

Indeed, he could effectively attack the ludicrous position on abortion by the Democrats as anti-democratic and fanatical, while presenting himself as reasonable.

GOP social conservatives are particularly concerned about the type of judges that are appointed to the bench, as was made clear through the kerfuffle that broke out about the nomination of Harriet Miers this week. By arguing for federalism on social issues he can gain the support of social conservatives, or at least their acquiescence. They don't expect the courts to impose a conservative social agenda, for the most part they simply want the USSC to stop imposing a liberal social agenda against the will of the electorate.


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