Rudy Giuliani in 2008
With weeks yet to go before President Bush’s second inaugural, Hugh Hewitt believes the race for the 2008 nomination is well underway, with former NYC mayor Rudolph Guiliani and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist the leading candidates. Based on some informal conversations with the National Federation of Republican Women, Hugh believes Guiliani has the inside track:
Giuliani is too “moderate” to win the GOP nod, right? Wrong, if these ladies are to be believed. Among the many praises that gushed forth: decisive, experienced, loyal to “W”–an interesting positive, that–funny and, crucially, tough enough to take on the Clintons. There were many praises for Senator Frist, and some for John McCain, but Giuliani has their hearts–already.
For Giuliani to consolidate his position with the center-right would only require some deft appearances during the coming struggles over Supreme Court nominees. If he wades into the fray to help confirm the president’s nominees, his personal views on abortion will matter far less than if he is absent from these fights. He would also find it useful to get on the side of allowing the people a vote on the defense of marriage amendment through the process of state ratification or denial of ratification to a proposed amendment.
Guiliani transformed himself into a national hero with his firm leadership after the 9/11 attacks and has won himself many points among Republican activists for his staunch support of President Bush. I’m still not sure that will be enough to win enough support among religious conservatives, though, given his views on abortion, homosexuality, and other hot button issues. If he can manage that hurdle, he would be an excellent general election candidate, perhaps even one that could carry a handful of blue states and end the recent trend of close, bitterly divisive elections.