Phil makes a fair point — Giuliani does posess leadership qualities that make him attractive to conservatives in a way that Arlen Specter and Pete Wilson were not. I’m personally not convinced that those qualities necessarily make Giuliani uniquely qualified to meet our current challenges, but I can understand how someone could look at his undeniably strong record of accomplishment in New York City and conclude he is the most effective leader in the field.
My argument was that the Republican Party’s pro-life stance is at risk in a way that its positions on taxes and terrorism are not. The frontrunner disagrees with the party on abortion. You have to go all the way down to the bottom tier to find Republicans who dissent from the standard GOP approach to the war on terror; the candidates who have deviated on taxes are now signing taxpayer protecting pledges or promising to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. Nominating Giuliani endangers social conservatives’ interests but nominating his nearest rivals would not similarly endanger national-security conservatives.
In fact, John McCain has arguably spelled out his national-security views in greater detail beyond tough talk than Giuliani. Even if Republicans must nominate a hawk, they don’t have to pick a pro-choicer to do so. Conservatives who think Giuliani’s executive experience would make him a better choice on this front will have to evaluate their own priorities and decide whether the rewards outweigh the risks.
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