Stacy, I found Tim Mak’s argument a little odd: by endorsing Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist, Rudy Giuliani is somehow signaling the end of his active political career. Mak simplistically contrasts Giuliani’s “socially-tolerant, fiscally-conservative, and governance-minded vision for the Republican Party” with Rubio’s position as “a socially conservative, Club for Growth ideologue who backed Huckabee in 2008.”
For starters, Giuliani is closer to the Club for Growth on fiscal/economic policy than Huckabee. He is also closer to Rubio on those issues than he is to Crist. Crist is to Giuliani’s left on economics and, while a fairly weak social conservative, still to his right on social issues. So Mak seems to be dealing in cariactures here. Secondly, Giuliani has generally used his endorsements to help Republican candidates who would benefit from his celebrity and post-9/11 popularity with swing voters. While that often makes him a crowd-pleaser in blue states, that’s not quite the same thing as systematically endorsing to the benefit of moderate Republicans.
Finally, I think there is a much stronger argument for the end of candidate Giuliani than his Rubio endorsement: The spectacular collapse of Giuliani’s presidential campaign and his refusal, dating back to 2000, to run for any statewide office in New York that he might conceivably win. (Yes, I realize health concerns played a large role in his withdrawal from the 2000 Senate race.)
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