Rudy Giuliani Running for President in 2008

Rudy Giuliani’s decision not to run against Hillary Clinton for the Senate or to seek the governorship of New York means he’s running for president in ’08, according to Pulitizer Prize-winning columnist Michael Goodwin.

See Rudy. See Rudy run.

Rudy’s running for Prez.

It’s unofficial, of course, but there’s no other way to read Giuliani’s decision to skip the governor and senate races next year. Win or lose, running for either would have made it impossible to run for President in 2008.


In fact, Giuliani’s already the front-runner for the GOP nomination. A recent Marist poll put him the top choice among likely candidates, with Arizona Sen. John McCain second. The same poll put Sen. Hillary Clinton as the top Democrat, meaning she and Giuliani could finally finish that 2000 Senate race aborted by his prostate cancer. Only now the stakes would be as high as they could be.

Nobody gets an easy shot at the Oval Office, Giuliani included. Polls aside, he’s to his party’s left with support for gun control and gay rights. Having been married three times won’t help. But the biggest barrier will be his pro-choice stance. As former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman notes in her book “It’s My Party, Too,” the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion remains the party’s biggest fault line. Whitman writes that except for Gerald Ford in 1976, “every subsequent presidential and vice presidential nominee – Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, Bob Dole, Jack Kemp, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney – supported efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade at the time they were nominated.”

Perhaps Giuliani could break that string, but he denied that he had even decided to try. “No, no,” he told me by phone. “The only thing I’ve decided is not to rule it out.” He said the decision would depend on “how important it is, now necessary it is.”

Unless Hillary Clinton sews up the Democratic nomination so quickly that there is massive crossover voting in the primaries, it’s inconceivable to me that a pro-choice candidate could win the Republican nomination. It’s quite possible, though, that Giuliani could moderate his position enough to get by.

Would national security be a big issue again?

“Given what’s going on in the world, national security, foreign policy and the global economy will be big issues permanently. The old line from 1992, ‘it’s the economy, stupid,’ meaning domestic issues, was permanently changed by Sept. 11.”

I’m not sure that’s true. Indeed, absent another attack, I’m rather sure it isn’t. Still, Guiliuni elevated himself to iconic status after 9/11. That’s his chief advantage. He’ll certainly have no trouble raising money and garnering press attention.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Maggie says:

    Rudy has too much baggage….nasty divorce, Kerick fiasco.

    I don’t think he’d do well down south.

  2. Leo Shoemaker says:

    Conservatives would have no place to go if Rudy won the nomination and the resulting apathy would likely tip it to the Demos.

  3. Beck says:

    The scariest thing of all about this: that we’re already discussing the 2008 presidential elections.


  4. Jim Somers says:

    Speaking as someone who grew up in the south, I think Rudy might do much better than expected with conservatives in general and southerners in particular. My (conservative) Texas family loves Rudy – nevermind the social issues, he showed on 9/11 that he’s tough as steel nuggets. Southerners, particularly conservatives, like that.

  5. Maggie says:

    Jim, as a New Yorker who lived in Texas for a couple of years, I agree Texans might respect Rudy….

    Still don’t think he’d carry Mississippi, Louisiana, or Tennessee.

  6. Kate says:

    Put Zell Miller on the ticket as running mate, and i’ts a slam dunk.

  7. I’m a conservative. Catholic, not Protestant. I believe in supporting life (i.e., I’m anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, and anti-Brave New World growing humans to harvest stems cells and organs). I’m for small government and true federalism (as opposed to central federal control when the Feds agree with me). Rudy’s well to the left of me on social issues.

    Still, like 2004, I expect the only issue in 2008 at the presidential level will be the War on Terror and defending the homeland. Rudy’s credentials on this issue are unimpeachable. Only for Cheney (bum ticker, too old) and Condi (too unlikely to run at this point) are stronger on this critical issue. And Rudy has the decisive, all-important executive personality. Rudy G will be my choice. I can live with the heresy on social policy (and hope the Republican Congress keeps him close to the reservation on these issues).

    Rudy in 2008! (Unless Condi runs, of course.)

  8. Michael says:

    I agree completely with retrofuturistic. I live in the South. It’s christian. It’s conservative. But they do love Guiliani here.

    Even Dems love Guiliani here.

  9. Mark J says:

    Any coldness for Rudy in the South might be made up for by utter dislike of Hillary Rodham Carpetbagger.

  10. Ed Paul says:

    The Michigan Republican Party is as dominated by Pro-Life groups as any in the country and everytime I have seen Guiliani here he has recieved a tremndous reception. He is a stem winding speaker and all this was before 9-11.

  11. Mark says:

    Is the issue going to be terrorism? If, by 2008, there are no further attacks on America and Iraq is going well, the issues may well be domestic. The one thing the Republicans have going against them, unfortunately, is the spending and the complete lack of regard for smaller government that people like me prefer.

  12. I am a former New Yorker, worked in the New York City schools as an administrator and am a Republican.
    Giuliani is a tough S.O.B. As a boss who helped decide my salary, I hated his guts…worked a couple of extra years waiting for a contract. On the other hand, schools got a lot quieter and so did the streets.
    He’s a good tough administrator. As for a lot of the rest, I would suggest waiting. Second Amendement issues won’t be all that strong. And he can talk about the differences between hunters and the streets of New York…focus much more on the Saturday night specials, etc. Could even shrug off the need to do much more.
    As for gays, he can simply say that he doesn’t much like gay marriage but has no problem with gay friends and gays working for him. Several key Republicans are gay now and, so what, if they’re good? Anyhow, economics-wise, Republicans are better for gays than Dems.
    So it comes down to abortion. He can circle around issues on that, talk about working with the Republicans in Congress. My best guess is that he’ll focus much more on “limits on abortion”, like partial-birth, issues of viability, parental notification, etc.
    He would be an ideal candidate in many ways…keeping in mind that if the Dems lose in 2008 they will face a far greater challenge in 2012 with an incumbent President (maybe Condi as VP aiming for 2016!)and a census that is pretty certain to give another half dozen or so electoral votes to Red States.

  13. pittspilot says:

    Rudy is too pro gun control. That and his pro-choice stance will create many troubles for him.

  14. Maggie says:

    Now I’d vote for Zell as VP on ANY GOP TICKET.

  15. XSpyder says:

    Whenever pure conservatives complain about Rudy being to the left of the mainstream GOP, I think they overlook that there are hundreds, if not, thousands, of Republicans in the Senate, the House, governor’s mansions, state legislatures, etc., many of whom can effectively carry the mantle of conservatism and affect the direction of politics in this country. Remember, we have 100 Senators and 435 Reps…a President can only veto so many bills. And urbanites have just as much a right to lead as people from spartan rural upbringings.

    The office of President calls for a popular figure, a proven leader and executive, and someone who can bridge the ideological gaps among party members.

    Certainly Rudy’s peccadilloes are no worse than others who have attained the White House(let’s, and his broad appeal seems to transcend his faults. If he can reach out to the rest of the GOP tent, he will be more successful than a John McCain, who clings stubbornly to the idea of being a “maverick.”

    Plus, from my barely-outside-the-beltway perspective (I can hear it about 1,500 feet from my window), the President’s NUMBER ONE responsibility by far is national defense, and certainly there are very few stronger candidates on that issue. Perhaps we should take a hint from the affinity of some southerners and conservative Democrats for Mr. Giuliani.

  16. Just Me says:

    I grew up in the South and lived in several Southern states, Rudy may actually do pretty well in the South, I think he would do well, if the War on Terror is still the main focus.

    I do think he comes with lots of baggage, but so does Hillary, and in the end I think Rudy will have more Southern appeal than Hillary.

    But I think Rudy’s problem will be surviving the primary. Both parties are notorious for eating their moderates during the primary season, and I am not convinced Rudy can survive that, although he could maybe bolt right some in the primaries, sort of do a GOP version of what Bill Clinton did-and given his war on terror credentials, and his tough on crime past, he may have good appeal.

    It all depends on who is in the GOP primary running with him.

  17. Dave in Ohio says:

    As a midwest Christian Conservative, I agree with Leonard that Rudy has a lot of wiggle room on issues because he has proven his mettle when it was important. I think two questions will help determine his viability in primaries, should he run: 1) Can Rudy market himself as the tough, pragmatic, positive team-player that proved himself on 9/11 and at the Republican convention, or can opponents bait him into petty arguments that highlight some of his less positive personality traits and more liberal stances, and 2) Can he convince Christians that he is for smaller, less intrusive government and fiscal stewardship? I think many Christians are less gung-ho about conservative activism in government than you think, even wary about “compassionate conservatism” that is like steroids to Washington, and may be happy to back a candidate that is serious about security, a strong military, and limiting the reach of government. As long as he shows pragmatism and a desire to weigh their concerns on issues such as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, gay marriage, etc., I think he’ll get a lot of support. Christians don’t need to get 100% of their way on every issue, but want to be at the table during the debate; what will make them stay home is being ignored. That’s no better than what we get from the Democrats.

  18. D.J. says:

    The question, as has been pointed out here, isn’t whether Rudy will appeal to Southerners in a general election; it’s whether he’ll appeal to conservative Republicans–whether Southern or not–in the primary. For what it’s worth, I have two thoughts on this.

    First, just read rightwing spots like NRO’s Corner and you can see that there’s not just skepticism towards Rudy: they consider him a non-starter. The perception that Rudy is absolutely licentious on social issues will be tough for him to overcome. Not impossible, though. He can do a few things to mitigate this obstacle, but he’s got to do them quickly. He’s got to announce that he will make no effort to move the party away from its platform and that he’ll appoint conservative judges. And he’ll have to forge a partnership with an influential Christian conservative–Gary Bauer? Ralph Reed?–who’ll vouch for him. Indeed, if I were Rudy, I’d make a bargain NOW with the Christian right: you don’t oppose me, and I won’t stand in the way of your cultural conservative agenda.

    Second, remember that Rudy would not be running in a vaccuum. It’s likely that Christie Whitman and John McCain will run too, and if there’s anyone the cultural conservatives hate, it’s Whitman (oh, and they don’t much like McCain either). This is a dream come true for Rudy, who will get a lot of support from conservatives who will do anything to block these guys–and who won’t support a more conservative candidate because, frankly, there are few if any electable conservative Republicans who will run in ’08. (Indeed, assuming Jeb doesn’t run, who’s out there? Pawlenty? Owens? Frist? Brownback? Some other conservative governor or senator no one’s ever heard of? I’m sorry, but none of these guys have what it takes to beat a united and vastly well-funded Democratic party led by Hill and Bill in ’08.)

    If he starts making deals now and the ’08 field remains clear of electable conservative heavyweights, Rudy’s will win.

  19. Thought says:

    Rudy would be great. As a conservative Christian from Florida, I can tell you that conservatives love Rudy.

    It’s ridiculous to stereotype all conservative Christians as these unbending zealots who don’t know how to make pragmatic choices.

    Plus, Rudy would also attract some measure of support from people who otherwise would not vote for a more classic social conservative. His appeal would stretch more into the so-called middle.

    Also, social conservatives will absolutely hate Hillary, and be willing to do anything to keep her from being president. The Hillary factor actually would help smooth over any differences conservatives might have with Rudy.

    Rudy would be a formidable candidate to face Hillary.

  20. SamAm says:

    I was under the impression Rudy was working full time these days in building a financial and legal empire. If he’s reached out to Christian conservatives, I haven’t noticed. It seems from the discussion here that he hasn’t.

    I suspect that most of the people reading OtB are to the left of the average GOP Christian conservative. The past couple of weeks have revealed just how far to the right the activist base of the party is, what with the Schiavo mess and the rhetorical fire aimed at the judiciary. This is not to say that all the folks here are Randall Terry’s. But there is a hardcore fundamentalist wing of the GOP, and it has grown more, not less energized in the past couple of years.

    I do not believe that Rudy is willing to make the effort to say to the moral values crowd “I am one of you.” In 2008 9/11 will be 6-7 years in the past, and Rudy will have been out of politics for almost as long. As Wes Clark found out, you really can’t just make a presidential campaign materialize out of thin air. So the question is, what is Rudy doing these days in terms of getting grassroots support? I am serious when I say I have no idea. All I’ve heard is news from the business side.

    And that very unfortunate, to put it nicely, incident with pocketing tsunmai-chairity speaking fees in South Carolina. Not the world’s biggest scandal, but Rudy came under fire from a GOP state rep for his actions there, so they must have been fairly objectionable. And that is just the latest example, coming only a month or two after Kerik, of the former mayor’s keen ability to damage himself. Add whatever other issues from the mayoral tenure there are, the divorces, the dressing in drag, I just don’t believe he fits the mold the majority of the people who decide these things want their candidates to come from, especially after 8 years of an administration that has been, depending on who one listens to, all too willing to trample on libertarian values and not willing enough to fight and win the culture war. Rudy can be tagged with both those criticisms.

    When you combine the religious-conservative aspects with the “doesn’t seem to be working to position himself” aspect with the scandal aspect, the total is a candidate that may cause panic in Democrats and joy in the hearts of some Republicans at first blush, but quickly falls to pieces. Rudy is ultimately not a strong candidate, and because I think he realizes that fact too, I doubt that he runs. If he does, he will not be able to get the GOP nomination. And if he did, by some miracle or field clearing or whatever, he would be easily defeated by a Democrat willing to play to the style and values of the heartland who was schooled in politics outside those of a big city.

  21. TallDave says:

    It’d be much harder for a pro-life Democrat to win their nomination than a pro-choice Republican, because of NARAL and NOW. There are no Republican equivalents. Look at Giuliani and Schwaarzenegger, national Repub names that are pro-choice. They get some RINO brickbats from the far right, but the big-tent people own the party for the moment.

    But of course there are zealots on both sides of this issue. You’ve got people who think passage through the birth canal (or surgical opening) magically creates a person with all the rights and protections of a citizen where none existed 5 minutes before. On the other side you’ve got people who think a microscopic zygote deserves all the rights of personhood. I think the anti-idiotarian majority are going to demand someone who’s in between making all abortions illegal and allowing all abortions, probably something along the lines of restricting third-trimester abortions.

    It’ll be interesting to see if Hillary says she’s against partial-birth abortions and would support a ban. I have a feeling the lip service won’t go that far.

  22. Dan C. New York says:

    I’ve lived in NYC for 32 years and Rudy has been and still is the greatest Mayor we’ve had. Rudy gave the streets back to the people and took them away from the criminals. He cleaned up Times Square, a pornographer/pedophile haven. He took on the mob even before becoming mayor. He is a tireless workaholic and when it comes to getting things done, he is an extremely tough man. Aren’t these the qualities (qualities that are near extinction)that Conservatives look for?

  23. TallDave says:


    I’m curious why you think a “Democrat willing to play to the style and values of the heartland” is going to win. There seems to be this misperception that red-staters are just rubes who will vote for whoever has a Southern accent or says “Jesus” the most. A Democrat would have to really take some positions that appeal to heartland values, not pay them lip service with a wink and a nod to the Soros/MoveOn wing of the party.

    Of course, he can’t do that without alienating the special interest groups. That’s the Kerry trap. You end up with someone who says “I have 4 SUVs” in Detroit and “I have no SUVs” to environmental groups, can’t make up his mind whether he was for the war or against it, and votes against the Defense Of Marriage Act but claims he opposes gay marriage. Voters won’t fall for that. Kerry’s believability numbers were low even in his own party.

  24. Bachbone says:

    All depends on his opponent. St. Hillary makes him look like a choir boy to many voters.

  25. SamAm says:

    In the past 6 presidential elections the more Southern candidate won. In the past 7 elections the candidate who said Jesus the most won. Normally that’s not a match-up Democrats do favorably with, but Rudy is one of the few Republicans who lets us win outright.

    Does Rudy beat Clark, Bredesen, Warner, Bayh, Edwards, Schweitzer? I don’t know, but I’d very much like to find out. Hopefully they’ll learn from Kerry’s mistakes. Neither Iraq nor gay marriage will be issues of as much importance in 2008 as they were in 2004. I’m sure Rove will have some push button topic to ensnare whatever Democrat comes along, but I’d be surprised if it were as helpful to the GOP nominee as both those were to Bush. And if the issue is gay marriage (or marriage in general) or a Schiavo-like debacle at the nutty edge of the culture war, Rudy would have more problems than the Democrat.

    And just what’s are his positions on all these controversial issues again? Is he still trying to figure them out? I think there’s a term for that…

  26. TallDave says:


    Always risky to make causative associations on small sample sizes. Remember the Redskins curse? That worked for, what, 10 straight elections? If you’re cynically betting on voters to be dumb, you’re probably not going to win. Anyway, Perot was more Southern than Clinton, and Reagan beat Carter.

    Don’t be too sure about Iraq; controversial wars have political legs. Who would have thought Vietnam would have such an impact in 2004? Decades later, there’s still a lot people with strong feelings on both sides of the Nam issue.

    I sometimes wonder if the DLC is having nightmares about a Condi/Colin ticket. Take away half of the black vote, and it’s a GOP walk. But maybe I’m guilty of the same thing thing I criticized above in thinking blacks would necessarily vote for their own.

  27. rosignol says:

    Aren’t these the qualities (qualities that are near extinction)that Conservatives look for?

    Yes… but that toughness, energy, and commitment have to be applied to advance conservative causes to really be *admired* by conservatives.

    What social conservative is going to admire a tough, tireless, committed gun-grabber? Abortion activist? Communist?

    Such people exist, and are generally despised by conservatives.

    Personally, I think Rudy would make a great veep, and probably a decent President- but I doubt he would be nominated because of his positions on social issues. The problem is that what passes for a Republican in New England would be considered a Democrat in much of the rest of the country, and that’s a big thing to overcome.

  28. thibaud says:

    Foreign policy will indeed remain central, though the threats may not be defined in terms of islamist terror. Remember, the biggest threat, by far, to this country’s future is a potential economic crisis triggered by foreign central banks’ dumping of US treasuries and the resulting interest rate spike and housing market collapse.

    The next major threat is China, which is ramping up its capability to do mischief in our backyard. 100,000 Chinese advisers now in Cuba; overtures to Chavez; a massive increase in trade pacts with China across Latin America: China is clearly determined to use ties with Chavez, Fidel and the other repulsive regimes of the world to annoy and undermine us wherever possible– including, potentially, covert help to Al Qaeda operatives mingled in with the tens of thousands of illegals coming over our southern border each week. And guess who owns the lion’s share of US Treasuries?

    Buckle your seatbelts. Ain’t gonna be no holiday from history again. Been there, done that.

  29. SamAm says:

    Reagan did beat Carter, I was thinking back to 1976. And I’d argue that Clinton-Perot was a wash, which didn’t matter as much as the fact that Bush was a patrician Yankee compared to Clinton.

    Iraq has not had, and will not have the lasting effect on the culture Vietnam had. Foreign policy will no doubt remain the most important issue, and I’d certainly advise any Democrat who wanted to win to make that the centerpiece of her campaign. But Iraq, especially the question of if it was right to go in, will fade from the voters’ minds barring extraordinary developments there, for good or ill.

  30. rosignol says:

    Reagan did beat Carter, I was thinking back to 1976.

    I wouldn’t draw any major conclusions from the ’76 election. It was basically a case of ‘whoever was less associated with Nixon was gonna win’.

  31. McGehee says:

    The columnist says “he’s running.” Giuliani himself merely says, “I haven’t ruled it out.”

    Wake me again next April.

  32. Citizen Z says:

    Great discussion here. My 2 cents: If Condi runs, she beats Rudy for the nomination. If she doesn’t run, Rudy does have a decent shot, even in the Southern primaries, so long no strong Southerner (are there any right now?) is running against him. If Rudy does manage to win the GOP nomination, he’ll beat Hillary. Even if the GOP has a hard time turning out the far-right, Rudy is still going to beat Hillary in every Southern state, IMHO, and he’ll take a couple of blue states with him too. Put Condi in as Veep, and Rudy wins by a country mile.

  33. Marlowe says:

    Everyone talks about Rudy not capturing the Republican right wing. Probably some truth in that, but don’t forget he will capture a lot of the Democratic right wing. Capturing the middle of the electorate is a good way to win. Bill Clinton knew that, as does Hillary.

  34. doverspa says:

    I truly believe being pro-choice will end his Presidential run in the primaries. Just as Democrats refuse to nominate a pro-life Presidential nominee. To be honest, it is not without reason. Only the President can really change the abortion debate at this point through SC appointments. The Senate has some say, but much more limited. I think Republicans rightly see 55 Republican Senators and a pro-life President as a sign that anti-Roe judges should be appointed.

    If Roe is still around in 2008 (which I think it will be), Guiliani becomes a great VP choice. If Roe falls, Guiliani is the #1 pick for Republicans and has a chance to win a true landslide.

    His views on guns and gay marriage are easily solved by using a federalist argument that both should be up to the states to decide for themselves. Abortion can’t be done that way unless Roe falls.

  35. I just don’t know. The fact that he will not have won even a statewide race tends to make Me doubt his ability to win. He’d be OK if he got in, but you have to win first.

    If he had taken a cabinet position (Atty Genl, DHS), that might have mitigated it. As it is, I’d want him to take VP for 8 years, then, if he is up to it, try for the big one.

  36. Lady Copper says:

    My (very preliminary and tentative) opinion is that the best Republican ticket for 2008 would be Condi/Rudy. Condi is prolife enough to satisfy that requirement, she probably would get a lot of minority votes, and wouldn’t it be fun to be the party with the first woman AND black president? As VP, Rudy would be able to focus on the things he is best at, like streamlining government, decreasing it’s size, and cutting spending by huge amounts. Plus, he would attract more of the swing voters in the middle.

  37. D.J. says:

    I’ve heard doverspa’s “If Roe is overturned, abortion is off the table for the national GOP” meme before. But it’s nonsense. If Roe goes away, that just shifts the fight from the courts to the Congress and the White House. And the cultural conservatives will want to make sure that their guys are there to pass their legislation outlawing abortion-on-demand in this country. “But, D.J, everyone knows that Roe’s demise means that the abortion issue goes back to the states.” Really? If the Schiavo kerfuffle is any sign, the pro-life faction of the GOP isn’t interested in federalism when life is the issue.

  38. McGroarty says:

    If a gun control candidate gets nominated, the south stays home Nov ’08.

    Pro choice makes a questionable candidate for most conservatives, but it’s the status quo. Aligning with the status quo isn’t anywhere near as bad as a new negative alignment.

    A gay marriage advocate could cost points with some of the base, but the contrary position’s been costing points as well. Could be break-even here.

  39. McGroarty says:

    “Condi is prolife enough to satisfy that requirement, she probably would get a lot of minority votes, and wouldn’t it be fun to be the party with the first woman AND black president?”

    Amen to Lady Copper!

  40. Section9 says:

    What kills Rudy in the South isn’t abortion; it’s guns. I’m sorry, where Rice can move to the President’s position on abortion and basically cleave to him (which is what she has done, if the listener has paid attention), she has been resolute on 2nd Amendment rights. Rudy, otoh, is all for firearms regulation. That is anathema to the base.

    Especially down heah in Dixie! Them’s fightin’ words, y’all! From ma’h cold dead hahnds!^_^

  41. Dave in Ohio says:

    The “If Roe is overturned…” line makes for interesting conversation but seems academic, don’t you think? Also, there’s no way Rudy will accept second billing on the ticket – too much ego, and 8 years as second banana in the twilight of his political career? Who has the chutzpah to ask Rudy to be the junior partner? I like Condi, but without experience in elective office I think she’s a long shot at top billing. No sitting Senator has been elected President since 1960, and since all the current ones are pretty much tagged with the “Washington insider” label, I’m not sure any could get the nomination, let alone win the election.

    I’m afraid I agree with McGehee: loads of fun to speculate, but wake me next April.

  42. 1) Secretary Rice will not be the Republican nominee for President in 2008. The Presidency is NOT an entry-level elected office. She has never even been elected assistant dog catcher of Gooberville. She would potentially be an excellent VP, though, especially if the next POTUS used her in a deputy commander-in-chief role such as VP Cheney is used. That would give her the critical, all-issues broadening executive experience for 2016 or even 2012 (see below). Yes, she has the skills to “be” POTUS, hence why she would be a good VP candidate, but she is not yet primed to be “elected” POTUS.

    1a) Don’t discount Cheney, just yet, as a potential one-term POTUS in order to help groom Rice for the job as his VP. That is probably too long-term, strategically Machiavellian a scenario even for Karl Rove, but you never know. Four years is an eternity in Presidential politics and new faces always emerge, seemingly from nowhere (Clinton in 1992) and long-standing ones fade (Ted Kennedy after 1980).

    2) Guiliani has a lot of baggage to overcome. Historically, the Mayor of Gotham is a terminal elected political office. Not too hard to overcome that though and Guiliani would be the best guy to do it. Politically, his ENTIRE mayoral term of office (’93-’01) is less adored (and currently less scrutinized) than many care to remember in the wake of the glow of his actions from 9-11-01 to 12-31-01. Personally, his life is a bit of a mess and his divorces (yes plural) were not exactly amiable “we just grew apart due to the pressures of work” separations. Policy-wise, just his position on gun ownership, alone, will require a serious right-ward realignment to make sure the Republican South turns out for him both in the primaries (more important) and the general (less so).

    3) I would be very, very surprised if Guiliani accepted the the VP-slot. First, he has an enormous ego, much more so than the average politician with Presidential aspirations (which is a pretty substantial start point, already). Second, and more importantly, a smart pol NEVER selects someone more personally popular than himself as second banana, hence why Colin Powell or Senator McCain is not VP nor was Senator Clinton offered the VP slot on the Dem ticket in 2004. That Kerry seriously offered the VP slot to McCain shows just how politically simple-minded he is outside of Massachussets.

  43. Attila Girl says:

    Having Condi on the ticket would help enormously in terms of the gun-rights issue.

  44. M. Simon says:

    Sad news folks.

    If the Congress and the President insist on pushing their culture war this Bush/Obama voter is going for Hillary.

    Just to make the culture warriors scream.

    Evidently the Rs have not learned from the Alan Keyes fiasco in Illinois.

    So be it.

  45. M. Simon says:

    Tall Dave,

    This RINO does not think the RINOs own the party.

    The Republicans at this point seem to be in love with prohibitions and the resulting black markets. Evidently the black market in drugs is not good enough for them. They want a black market in abortion too.

    There was a time when Americans saw black markets as the result of socialist policies.

    It would seem that now that the Republicans are in power socialism and expanded government is fine with them.

  46. DRJ says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem like there may be a backlash against Republicans in 2008? I’m talking about voters (including possibly some commenters here) who supported Bush/Cheney in 2004 – probably because of the War on Terror – but who object to Republican positions on a variety of social issues. It’s as if they want to “cleanse themselves” by voting for a Democrat. I’m guessing that to vote for a Clinton would make the cleansing that much better.

  47. Dave says:

    I know, I know, Rudy’s pro-choice. Divorced. Pro-civil unions. Tough on guns, at least in NYC. But, dang it, I just can’t shake this nagging feeling that somehow, someway, he’s going to end up being the GOP nominee. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because most polls show McCain a close second for the nod and Hillary easily winning the Democrat nomination, and the only thing worse than a Hillary presidency to conservatives is a choice between Hillary and McCain on Election Day. Perhaps conservatives, who despite Hillary and distrust McCain, will see Rudy as the only man who can save the White House from one of those two. Don’t get me wrong, if conservatives can go with Allen or Frist in confidence that they’ll go the distance, they will. But does anyone right now really think that Frist will beat Hillary in a walk?

    Also, remember than Bush the Elder had always been pro-choice, but evolved on the issue. Everyone sort of knew he probably really was still pro-choice in 1988, but when it came down to Bush or Dole for the GOP nod, Bush had been more loyal to Reagan while Dole had spent the last 8 years criticizing his policies from the Senate, sort of the way McCain has done to Bush.

    Rudy could easily nuance most social issues by embracing social federalism. This would both provide cover for his social liberalism and jettison one of Bush’s biggest deficiencies: that he’s a big government conservative. Rudy could talk small government: states should decide marriage and gun laws, they know best how to run schools, cut spending to reduce the deficit, etc. He’d be automatically trusted on terror. The only problem is abortion. States’ rights on that means overturning Roe, which scares the suburbanites, and promising to uphold Roe angers the conservatives. I don’t know how he gets around it. But who knows, maybe there’s a way.

  48. rosignol says:

    Maybe it’s because most polls show McCain a close second for the nod and Hillary easily winning the Democrat nomination […]

    Um, you (and some other commenters here) taking this just a bit too seriously…. if the election was this november, sure, I can see that happening. But the election won’t be this november, or the next one. It’s 2005, folks. We’re not even to the beginning of the campaign season for the 2006 Congressional races yet, guys… speculating on the 2008 Presidential campaigns is strictly recreational and not at all to be taken seriously.

    Relax just a bit, guys. Please. You’re taking the fun out of it.

  49. pete e says:

    The issue around abortion is NOT pro-life vs pro-choice…not for presidential candidates, anyway. The issue is whether courts interperet the law or make the law.

    What is it, Rudi, rule of law or rule of judges?

  50. Elrod says:

    Rudy Giuliani will NOT win the South Carolina primary. Period. But if he did, that would mean the end of the conservative movement as we know it. The Republicans will have decided they’d rather have a celebrity than a conservative. The President has real authority to set the ideological tone of the party. You can’t assume that a social liberal in the White House can be held “in check” by a Republican Congress (if it’s still Republican then). Remember, the President appoints the judges and the AG. The President has the bully pulpit. If Giuliani wins the nomination and wins the general election, the Goldwater-to-W era of the Republican Party will be effectively over.

    Oh, and Hillary will NOT be the Democratic nominee. Mark my words. She polls high because of name recognition only. But few Democrats really like her. I wouldn’t start predicting Democratic nominees until after the ’06 race because that will be the first test of the Dean-run DNC. Depending on how the House and Senate races go, new figures will likely emerge. Look for Mark Warner, Brian Schweitzer and Evan Bayh to make hay as “red state” Democrats. Feingold would have been a top candidate too but he just had his second divorce (which makes him like Giuliani, in fact).

  51. mrmurph says:

    If Rudy takes on Hillary in 2006 and eliminates that danger to the nation, then OK. At least, he will have been a Senator for two years. If not, you don’t go from Mayor of NYC to the White House.

  52. Rene Casanova says:

    Rudy please run for the Senate! We need to rid ourselves of Hillary the leftist liar socialist commie.

  53. Maria Ignagni says:

    Before Rudy DOES Anything, he MUST run for Governor of Florida!!!!!

    This place is a TOTAL mess, with corruption and fraud. Let him to for this state, what he did for NYC…..

    Dear Mr. Bush:

    I really have no expectations in writing this letter, other than to vent my spiritual and emotional frustration. I am a 52 American/Italian, who just happened to become disabled at a young age. I have had 3 Major Back Surgery’s, the last one was at The Wonderful Cleveland Clinic in November, where my whole lower back was fused.

    I was raised as a very unprejusdice person, by a wonderful man, My Father, who loved and respected this country so very much. I am just glad that he is no longer here to see what has become to his beloved “New Home.”

    Having lost two people in The World Trade Center (I lived in NY at the time) My Landlord was one. My Friends up north, plus My Doctors and Therapists here, cannot believe how the system here fails those of us who worked and paid taxes all our lives to end up with the struggles and hardships I am enduring.

    While I know and respect your alliances to the Latina Culture, it is grossly unfair that The state of Florida has forsaken those who’s ancestor’s have help build this country, when it was nothing more than Potato Fields as Long Island was.

    Having never been convicted of a Felony, nor was/I a recovering Alcoholic, Drug Addict or HIV Positive, or having not worked and automatically receive SSI and the Max in Food Stamps Plus, get Section almost immediately. I have been on the list for nearly 2 years now, I am number 5 on the Non-Hollywood Residents….It seems they have stalled at number 84 on The Hollywood Residents List. I must endure begging for food and other necessities the last two weeks of every month.

    My Disability Check is for $800.00 monthly, My Rent is $650.00, I have phone for medical purposes, have to pay reception connection fee from Comcast…I can’t afford their package (even though, I am homebound 95% of the time) and without the Internet I would go completely out of my mind! And I ONLY receive $48.00 a month from food stamps, Tops Car Service is $2.00 each way, which is beyond my financial reach. Which, My Doctors think is totally ludicrous, because I suffer from High Blood Pressure/High Cholesterol and desperately need to lose weight because of the extra weight’s effect on my lower back. Let’s be realistic, shall we, food donations are heavily saturated in everything that is unhealthy for weight loss.

    Of Course, there is always the necessities of Hygiene Products and Laundry and Misc. Items from the Drug Store that are not covered by Medicaid. But, the most serious affliction is the total loniness, as I have been told that by my Mental Health Providers, that other than my Medications, These other Social Programs are not for me. Many have very serious forms of Mental Illness, and my heart goes out to them, but, My Depression is more or less related to my physical pain and problems that I have suffered from since I was 35, which I worked until I could not take the pain any more and opted for Surgery.

    There are no programs or organizations that provide any social and intellectual stimulation for the many like me. How sad is that?? Do I just wait to die, before I ever truly lived…I have taken care of people all my life, and it seems, my government won’t give me the chance to take care of myself with some dignity and pride. Remember who Jesus came for the poor and oppressed.

    A Great Man Died on Saturday, Pope John Paul II, and I fear we will never see the likes of him again…He was wise and insightful way beyond his then years when he visited Miami in 87,’ when he remarked how materialistic it was to the Latina Monsignor.

    While I did go to some of these programs in the beginning, I became more depressed and angry from over heard conversations and discussions among other patients who go Dr’s and get paid cash for providing their Medicare, so the Doctor can “Milk” for services NOT rendered. I am just an average person with no political connections or the salaries that they make. But, you have to be totally greedy and spiritually blind to allow this kind of injustice being done to the American People.

    Everyday I pray for that my Spirituality to survive, what reality in So. Florida has become. If our Leaders cannot stop the hypocrisy and injustice, then who can??…Why can’t we have A “John Paul II” among our Leaders.???

    All I ever wanted was “A Quality of Life.” I can’t even get a part time job, because of some of my physical limitations. My skills do not have many P/T positions that are available, plus, it’s who you know…I can’t even afford Broward County Tops…$2.00 each way trip is beyond my affordability.

    All I can do, is wait, pray and try to be worthy of Jesus and be ready and hopefully in A. State of Grace when he send for me.

    Please consider “Us” who fall through the cracks, because we are truly worthy and truly American…


    Maria C. Ignagni
    712 NE 7th Street
    Hallandale, FL 33009

    P.S.: Medicaid just switched their Transportation Provider to Logistic Car Service, which contracts out to other Car Services, So, far I have not been able to get to an appointment on time, because the Car Service Drivers don’t speak English for the most part and do not know Broward County.
    My heart goes out to the Elderly and Handicpped people because we are totally powerless against system that is truly in need of a more thorough investigation. The Only people who benifit from Medicare are the Fraudulent Doctor’s and Agent’s…If I have heard about them, then you are sure Our Government knows and is looking the other way.

  54. James Durbin says:

    He’s runnning. I saw him at a Bush/Cheney 2004 rally in St Louis. There are lots of ways to hold a rally and bump support for the president.

    Rudy was introducing himself to hardcore Republican primary voters and letting them know he was a team player. From the crowd’s reaction, Rudy has more than a fighting chance.

    My take back then on the link.

  55. Sean P says:

    DRJ: If history is any guide, there probably will be a backlash against the Republicans in 08. And yes, turning to a Clinton to alleviate Bush fatigue in 08, like the Republicans turned to Bush to alleviate Clinton fatigue in 00, has a certain poetic justice to it, at least for Bush haters.

    But just because there will probably be a backlash doesn’t mean the Republicans can’t win. (see eg: Election of 1988) Besides, all of Bush’s closes allies (Cheney, Frist, his brother Jeb) have explicitely promised to NOT run, meaning the most likely nominee will be a moderate (Guiliani) or a staunch conservative not affiliated with the party leadership (like Sam Brownback). Either way, the Republican candidate in 08 will probably be somebody who can put some distance between himself and Bush’s less favorable policies, so that any potential for backlash is minimized.