We hosted Robert Novak at a Newsmaker Breakfast this morning, and I asked him about a column he wrote last December in which he argued that John McCain had established himself as the anointed candidate, in the tradition of Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000. Novak said his column was right that Washington insiders had picked McCain, but it turns out "they made the wrong pick," because McCain is disliked by too many in the Republican base. Novak said that typically Republicans like to chose a candidate far in advance, like a local Rotary Club that chooses its president ahead of time and doesn't hold contested elections. With McCain in trouble, he said, "Rudy Giuliani hasn't taken up their mantle" and as a result, "Republicans are frustrated, they don't know what to think, they don't know what to do." Novak joked that, "They wanted Fred Thompson, who had done such a good job as district attorney in Manhattan, to come out and suddenly be this anointed candidate, and he's not quite that." He continued to say that "Rudy Giuliani has got so many strange things about him" and also suggested that Mitt Romney would face problems from conservatives who don't view him as a Christian. "Republicans are really in a quandary," he said.