So in this post, I’m going to lay out my thoughts concerning Mayor Giuliani. I figure he’s a safer candidate to criticize than Ron Paul considering that Ron Paul’s supporters would take away my habeas corpus while at the same time voting for him to restore it to me. And yes, I’m being facetious.
Before 9/11, I always thought of Giuliani as a dimly lit Republican light in the barren liberal wasteland that is New York City (nothing against New Yorkers other than the fact that it’s a fairly liberal area on the whole). But my opinion of Mayor Giuliani changed after 9/11. I was glad that he was there for the people of New York in such a trying time. Despite some of the criticism he has received, I believe he did a fine job of handling such a tragedy.
So he’s got his handling of 9/11 going for him. The guy’s a proven leader. He was generally fiscally conservative from what I understand and he did a lot to lower the crime rate in NYC. And I have to give him props for his cameo in “Anger Management.”
Now for the mud-slinging and criticism. He’s on his third marriage partially due to some extramarital relations. So he’s pratically lower than Bill Clinton on the moral totem pole. But that’s his personal business, let’s not get nasty. His abortion views are a bit troubling to social conservatives. He’s pro-choice. And from what we saw in the first GOP debate, he’s somewhat “either or” on the appealing of Roe v. Wade. Fair enough, but I’d appreciate him taking a moral stance one way or another.
His pro-gay stance is a bit dismal for social conservatives, but whatever. The gun control thing is somewhat of a biggie though. Have we had a pro-gun control Republican presidential candidate in the past 27 years? I understand that George H.W. Bush failed to shine somewhat there, but I think Rudy’s a bit more liberal in that department. If you write off the NRA, you lose a very important sector of your conservative constituency.
So Rudy’s moderate-to-liberal socially. I think that’s honest and fair. He’s fiscally conservative, which is always a plus. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders regarding defense for the War on Terror. He definitely earned street cred in his verbal sparring with Ron Paul.
In Rudy’s defense, I urge you to look at his Twelve Commitments. They are shades of Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract with America.” It’s quite conservative, but I’m not sure his record backs them up all that well.
When I choose a candidate, all the stars have to align. They have to be socially conservative, whereas Rudy generally is not. Little things like stances on abortion and gay marriage are big for social conservatives like myself. They have to be fiscally conservative, which Rudy basically is. I want lower, fairer taxes and a well-run, non-bureaucratic smaller government. I need my candidate to be anti-gun control, at least within reason. I’m not sure Rudy can give me all those things.
But an important and often-overlooked aspect of a candidate is that gravitas. That “it factor” that really makes a candidate seem “presidential.” I think Rudy’s got that to a certain degree. He’s got personality. He’s a likable individual. So he does have that going for him.
Do you know why I believe that many Republicans, even conservative Republicans are in Rudy’s corner? Because they believe he’s the most winnable. He’s “America’s Mayor.” Republicans are willing to sacrifice certain portions of our platform if we can just make sure that Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is not in the White House. And I think that’s dangerous. I think it sends a mixed signal to America when our Presidential candidate, our best foot forward, is not in harmony with our own platform. I think it shows a lack of resolve and dedication to our principles.
But in conclusion, I like Rudy Giuliani. He’s a proven leader and I really believe he’d make a good President. However, I won’t vote for him in the primary. You see, I see primaries as a time when you can really focus on the specific issues and select the actual individual you want to represent your party. But if 2008 rolls around and Giuliani is the nominee, I’ll most likely end up voting for him…with a certain degree of reluctance.