Dave: Maybe it’s the New Yorker in me that puts me closer to Philip Klein’s take on Giuliani. While the obstacles are significant, I also believe that the historical moment offers him a serious opportunity to break through. It’s too early to say how large a role the social issues you mention will play; especially if the dreaded other shoe drops, and we experience another attack in the U.S., all bets are off. Meanwhile, Giuliani needs to make some headway reaching out to social conservatives justifiably skeptical about his stand on the social issues. He should talk about how many lives were saved in New York City by his crime policies, not to mention how many were turned around by his sweeping (and ahead of the curve) welfare reform.
The Spectacle Blog
The New York Times reporting on the uproar over its bank records story:
The executive editor of The Times, Bill Keller, said in an e-mail statement on Monday evening that the decision to publish had been "a hard call." But Mr. Keller noted that since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration has "embarked on a number of broad, secret programs aimed at combating terrorism, often without seeking new legal authority or submitting to the usual oversight."
He added, "I think it would be arrogant for us to pre-empt the work of Congress and the courts by deciding these programs are perfectly legal and abuse-proof, based entirely on the word of the government."
Or... it might be arrogant to pre-empt their work by undermining those actually responsible for overseeing such programs and protect secrets in the interest of national security. The American people chose leaders they trust to do these jobs, Mr. Keller. You are not one of them.
In spite of Philip Klein's excellent portrayal of Rudy Giuliani as presidential, it won't happen. Giuliani made a fine leader in a time of crisis, but Americans will not vote solely on terrorism. Abortion and gay marriage will still figure largely into ballot decisions. And those social issues will appear to social conservatives as part of the same cloth as Giuliani's sordid personal life (remember a judge barring Judith Nathan from the Gracie Mansion?). Giuliani has a lot going for him, but he is still a non-starter.
And another thing (10:30 a.m.): Readers are pointing out another problem for Giuliani: his Second Amendment record.
Got this on one of my email lists. A definitive description of Canadian health care:
Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement. The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.
The second sees his family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eight weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another month and finally has his surgery scheduled six months from then.
Why the different treatment for the two patients?
The first is a Golden Retriever.
The second is a human.
Hugh Hewitt has the letter Treasury Secretary John Snow has sent to NY Times editor Bill Keller. What is clear is that Keller was simply lying about the amount of contact the NY Times had with Treasury, White House, Congressional and intelligence sources.
Built on top the devastating letter is that one of the reporters on the story is also caught out in a lie.
That reporter is Eric Lichtblau, an individual, according to knowledgable Department of Justice sources, who in 2004 had his credentials from the Department pulled briefly due to his refusal to fairly report stories involving the Department. Only after senior Times officials stepped in did Lichtblau receive a reprieve.
In an interview with Editor and Publisher, Lichtblau says of the Bush Administration's efforts to have the Times hold the finance-tracking story were similar to objections to the terrorist call monitoring program that Lichtblau helped leak earlier this year:
To me it smells like an indication of Democrats' desperation. Steele is winning over African-Americans in Maryland, and if he wins over enough the Dems don't have a chance of beating him, national trend or no national trend.
It also seems rather stupid. Democrats should remember that the Horton ads worked (Bush I was elected) although not for the reasons they think-i.e., they were racist. They worked because Horton was a murderer and rapist, and he committed those crimes while out on a weekend furlough. Michael Dukakis, Bush I's opponent, defended the furlough program and even vetoed a bill intended to change it.
Finally, I like Steele's response:
"When I look across the aisle, I see a Democratic leader who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan," he said, referring to Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia, who has said his membership in the Klan as a young man was "a major mistake."
"That doesn't stop Democrats from taking his money," Steele said.