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. Reminding people of his dust-ups with the
He also had wonderful enemies throughout his mayoralty that could be useful to trot out. His social liberalism notwithstanding, they saw him as a Neanderthal. That he was able to implement so many conservative reforms in a city with left-wing DNA is an extraordinary achievement, and one more difficult than governing as a conservative governor in a conservative state.
You can’t have everything, especially in wartime. I’ve long been intrigued by the prospect of a blue state national security hawk as the Republican nominee in 2008. Would the conservative base stay home? Given the stakes of the battle we’re in, shame on them if they did so. The country is certainly hungering for leadership, and no one ever said Giuliani wasn’t a leader. I don’t see anyone out there of comparable depth, ability, or accomplishment.