Monday, November 20, 2006

Giuliani in 08

Former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani recently filed papers to form an exploratory committee to "test waters" for a potential run for president. He is the third politician to file papers since the recent election and is considered as a leading contender. Polls show him neck and neck with McCain for the Republican nomination and winning in a head to head matchup against Clinton.

Giuliani is a very popular individual, who graced many political rallies and fundraiser over the past election cycle, introducing himself to republican voters and forming a network of contacts that could be used in a presidential run. His popularity comes - it would seem - from his exceptional performance in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Where he earned his "America's Mayor" moniker. He is also considered to be an effective administrator and crime fighter (years of experience cleaning up New York).

However, one wonders if he is the ideal candidate that many consider him to be and whether he is likely to make it through the Republican primaries. Mr. Giuliani is a strong proponent of fiscal conservatism and this works well with one segment of the republican base, but he is also, pro-choice (pro-abortion to the base), pro gun control (anti second amendment), favors civil unions (part of gay agenda), and has had a very checkered personal life (including adultery and public divorce). Overcoming these issues in the primary shall be very difficult and the republican base is unlikely to vote for him, once they get to know him further.

Moreover, Mr. Giuliani is an unknown quantity in foreign/ Security policy. He does have some cache on the issues that flows from his post 9/11 performance, and he has been a strong proponent of the "War on Terror", but he is not that well known on other pertinent issues: China, North Korea, Trade etc.... He shall have an opportunity to define himself, but if he faces policy heavy weights like Newt Gingrich or McCain, he is going to have a whale of a time convincing the republican base of his credentials.

Giuliani has a great media persona, but once the rough and tumble of electoral campaigning begins he is unlikely to survive. His social views are likely to play a big role, and may overshadow his "media rockstar" persona and expose his scant foreign policy experience.


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