Saturday, November 18, 2006

Giuliani: "Hard a-starboard, helmsman!"

Folk like Greg Sargent are saying things about Giuliani:

Translation: Giuliani is laying the groundwork to make the case to social conservatives that he isn't the social liberal he's been made out to be. Maybe he'll blame the liberal media for painting him as a liberal, or something.

Seriously, Rudy's impending effort to pull off a convincing ideological self-transformation is going to form one of the more interesting storylines to watch as we move into the Presidential race. As someone who's seen him up close undergoing previous political mutations over the years, I can tell you that he's way better at distancing himself from the reality of his own past -- and sounding awfully sincere in the process -- than many people might think.
...that sound a lot like what I was saying in this post:
As the 2008 Republican nominating process shapes up, I'm going to have fun watching Giuliani tacking desperately to the right. All those Republican primary voters are going to have such wonderful reactions to his pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-gun control views. And the best thing is there's going to be a Republican running to the right of him who is going to be pointing all this stuff out.
I love it when people more famous than me say things that I've been saying. Mr. Sargent is more sanguine about Giuliani's chances than I am. I don't doubt Mr. Giuliani's ability to appear conservative, but when the Republicans have a genuine wingnut conservative to compare him to, I wonder how well Rudy's right-wing "drag" will hold up.

Of course, perhaps we should consider the possibility that Rudy has been a right-winger all along, and has only adopted his lefty stances on social issues to get himself elected in New York City. (Maybe that's preposterous; I don't know much about his history.)


Blogger grishnash said...

My instinct is that his positions running for mayor of New York City are probably less of a put-on or compromise than any drift to hard right that he may make during the upcoming presidential campaign. I don't think Giuliani is as much of a dream candidate as some Republicans think he is. If he drifts far to the right in the primaries he'll alienate the exact same Democratic voters that supposedly would vote for him in the first place. And he'd produce some wonderful flip-flop quotes along the way.

Giuliani's one electoral strength is of course 9/11, and being less incompetant in relation to it than the Bush administration, and if he could sound that one note horn over and over, he'd pick up some voters. But I don't think that's going to make too much of an impression at the Republican National Convention for the reasons above. For these reasons, I wouldn't be surprised to see him go from presidential to vice-presidential candidate rather quickly.

8:58 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Miguel said...

During some rough spots of his disasterous marriages he lived with gay friends. For his pro-gay marriage position, at least, it's because he doesn't think there's anything wrong with it.

I think abortion is a bigger issue, as a lot of Republican support comes from people who vote in the expectation that it will be outlawed. He'll have to convince that constituency or else appeal to a lot of Democrats to switch parties, which I expect will be difficult since he'll likely be running in the context of ongoing calamity in Iraq.

9:37 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Zachary Drake said...

Thanks for your input. We'll keep watching.

3:51 AM, November 21, 2006  

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