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.
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.