Little by little, the conventional wisdom that Rudy Giuliani is unelectable is starting to fade. In just the past few days, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Barone, and Tom Bevan have written about how Rudy could win the nomination. Today, the Washington Times reports:
But Rudy will never win in South Carolina, say you? The story continues:
“John McCain and Mitt Romney have been working hard in South Carolina over the past year,” Mr. Malyerck said. “Even though Rudy Giuliani has not formally gotten his campaign up and going, he has been treated like a rock star across the state at rallies and fundraisers alike.”
Meanwhile, Richard Viguerie, who not surprisingly is bearish on a Rudy candidacy, calls Giuliani a “blank slate” on taxes and the size of government. Say what you will about Giuliani’s record on social issues, but on the tax and size of government issue, he’s no blank slate–he cut or eliminated 43 taxes in the liberal New York City, slashed government payrolls and reduced welfare rolls to 1966 levels. The fact that Viguerie would make such a comment reinforces a belief I’ve had for awhile. The conventional wisdom is that once conservatives learn more about Rudy’s record, he’ll lose support. However, I think the exact opposite is true. Because of a lot of Republicans who are liberal on social issues tend to be more moderate to liberal on economic issues, conservatives who hear Rudy is pro-choice and pro-gay rights just assume he’s also for big government and for raising taxes. Once conservatives are more familiar with Rudy’s record in its entirety, they’ll be much more able to accept disagreements on social issues, especially if he commits to appointing strict constructionalist judges.
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