Philip, you are absolutely correct to highlight the importance of 9/11, terrorism in general, and national security in the 2008 vote. We haven’t had a Republican presidential primary since 9/11, so this one is hard to call. But anyone who ignores that does so at his own peril.
That said, anyone who ignores social issues is similarly foolish. Hawkins’s case didn’t need anything new about Giuliani’s record. His record in public office ended more than four years ago. So there are not many new things to say there or point out. But a lack of new material does not negate the old stuff.
And boy, is there a lot of it. Kate O’Beirne’s recent comment, that the Mormon is the only candidate in the race who has only had one wife, comes to mind. I was surprised that Mr. Murdoch failed to mention Mr. Giuliani’s problems in this area, especially seeing as one of the headings in his article was “Family Affairs.” The whole business with a judge barring his girlfriend from the Gracie Mansion — where his wife and kids were living — won’t pass quietly.
This is the same Republican Party that was shocked at President Clinton’s habit of stepping out, and rightly so. Hopefully the desire for winning doesn’t fool the pundits into thinking social issues will not play heavily in this presidential race, as they usually do.
None of the candidates are perfect — far from it. Yet if I had to choose between Giuliani, who Hawkins points out has opposed partial birth abortion bans and presumably still does, and Romney, who is now on the right side of the issue, I would choose Romney.