Wash Post on Rudy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Wash Post on Rudy

The Washington Post has a front page story on Giuliani’s candidacy today. Not much new–i.e., the article says he’ll have difficulty in the primaries because of his liberal social views, that he hasn’t been hiring talent as agressively as Romney and McCain, and that some experts doubt he’ll end up running. I’ve already spent a lot of time on this blog arguing against that conventional wisdom, so I just wanted to focus on one point of the story:

His strategy will be to capitalize on his status as a tough and plain-talking hero of Sept. 11, 2001. He believes, say advisers, that his tough views on national security — he supports the USA Patriot Act — and on Iraq, where he opposes withdrawal of troops, will overshadow his liberal social views. He will frame some of those positions as libertarian — government has no business interfering in the bedroom.

This is indicative of something I’ve sensed for a long time. It doesn’t seem like Giuliani is going to flip-flop on social issues to win the nomination. He’ll try his best to explain his positions, probably promise judges in the Roberts/Alito mold, and emphasize aspects of his record that would be lauded by social conservatives (cutting crime, moving people from welfare to work, cleaning up the city, fighting to kick porn houses out of Times Square and make it safe for families, etc.). However, I don’t expect him to suddenly become pro-life or pro FMA. At this point he wouldn’t gain anything anyway. Social conservatives who wouldn’t otherwise vote for him wouldn’t be swayed by such a transparent flip-flop, and such a move would turn off voters who respect him for being a real person rather than a pandering politician. His best bet is to argue to conservatives that even if they don’t agree with him on every issue, at least they know where he stands, and that’s why they can trust him to lead the War on Terror with steely resolve.

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