Our problems remain epistemological.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Is Giuliani the Hillary Slayer?

What is it that makes Rudy Giuliani so attractive to so many conservatives despite his less than conservative stands on social issues? Last week gives us a perfect example of why. While the Democrats and their left-wing allies were slandering a four star general, Republicans and conservatives, including those on the campaign trail for president, were strongly voicing their condemnation, many in writing and on the air. But only one person took action and actually did something about it. That would be Rudy.

Philip Klein in the American Spectator has a wonderful article that nicely captures why so many conservatives love the guy, and why he just might be the only one that can take down the Clinton machine. Not only did Giuliani challenge the New York Times to give him the same ad space for the same price, he also created a Web ad slamming Clinton for her flip-flops on the war (you can find links to these in the article). Klein believes that because of his background and who he is that he has a much better chance of defeating Hillary than do the other candidates in the race.

As demoralized conservatives begin to fear that another Clinton presidency is inevitable, this episode demonstrates that Giuliani may represent the Republicans' best shot at defeating Hillary in next year's election.

Throughout his career, Giuliani has excelled at relentlessly pursuing opponents, whether in the courtroom or political arena. . . .

Giuliani's background as a prosecutor and gift for speaking plainly and with clarity makes him ideally suited to cut through the type of word parsing for which the Clintons are legendary.

While it is popular for conservatives to lament the existence of the liberal media, Giuliani understands that it is a reality. Rather than belly-ache about it, or, as the Bush administration often has done, ignore attacks by assuming people aren't paying attention and they will go away, Giuliani understands that conservatives need to simply be better at using the media to their advantage, as he did when he fought entrenched liberal interest groups as mayor.

"If I run against Hillary Clinton, I'm perfectly prepared to carry this battle, not expecting that the New York Times or the major networks…are going to give us anywhere the same kind of favorable coverage they will give her," Giuliani told Hugh Hewitt last week. "I'm a realist, I'm not saying that in any way where I have a chip on my shoulder. I've lived with this all during the time I was mayor of New York City. The reality is we just have to be better at communicating."

He also points out that he has more of the kind of experience that gets presidents elected than anybody else in the race, including Clinton and Obama, who have very weak resumes. The same goes for the two Senators in the primaries who are his closest rivals and another who was governor, Mr. Romney.

As much as I’m conflicted about Giuliani I have to say Klein is very persuasive. I have until the Illinois primary to make up my mind, but the only other candidate I would vote for is Thompson, although I could live with Romney. He’s made the right changes, be they for the wrong reasons or not. But I must say that hearing about these episodes last week and reading this piece got me all pumped up. The Clinton machine is a powerful and deceptive force, and it’s going to take a real fighter to bring it down.

While there are certainly many factors that conservatives will have to consider when choosing the Republican nominee, all they have to do is look at the reincarnated HillaryCare plan that is being unveiled today to recognize that the ability of a Republican candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton should be a major consideration.

It’s hard to argue with Giuliani’s track record in combat with elitist leftist culture, and that he relishes the battle. That is certainly something to consider.


Pascal said...

Two things.

First. Guiliani failed to defeat her in her inaugural run for senator. Yes he suffered from prostate cancer, but he suffered from many things before that. And we suffered from many things, not the least of which was from his decision ever to get into that race when he probably had some warnings about his health that he chose to ignore. His ambition trumps his judgment is a hard thing for this guy to deny.

And what about his health this time out? How come it isn't mentioned by mainstream media and all who carry his banner? How would conservatives feel if he suffered a relapse and she skated in again because only a Rick Lazio will be available to be drafted in the short time remaining? IT NEEDS OPEN DISCUSSION, not shunted aside because friendly commentators know that voters have a short memory. Where has it been mentioned? Reagan had to fight that all the time, and he didn't have a history of cancer! Why the soft-pedal? This needs answers now because it will come up in the general election.

And two. The NY Times and every other Leftist institution will gladly accept a "Progressive" Republican (need anybody list all the ways he leans Left?) if they can't get a fully Leftist Democrat and everybody knows it.

Pascal said...

Scratch that "will accept" and chance it to "will settle for."

And then no sooner he's in office, the drumbeats will start to force him to move even further Left. Since it'll be on many issues that he won't even disown today, you know his "reluctant" acceptance of their demands won't be pretty.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Hillary Clinton's acceptance of them will be prettier and more comprehensive, which I believe is MDV's point.

Pascal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pascal said...

I got his point Tom. It is near enough in appearance to our electing The Schwarzenkennedy instead of McClintock because the former's backers waved the Bustamante Bogeyman at us. It was clear to more than a few on the Right (not me, unwisely) that leaving Gray Davis in office would have been the better bet in many ways however paradoxical.

Anti-Leftism is much stronger in the country than the Establishment GOP and Leftist media want anyone to realize. But one wouldn't know it from this entry.

So let us argue over MDV's unstated point: Because we doubt our own principles are strong enough to carry the day, we must elect a compromise from the start because we fear the unflinching determination of the Left.

Say it Tom. Don't evade it. At least acknowledge that the statists on our side of the aisle are counting on us folding.

Mike D'Virgilio said...

“So let us argue over MDV's unstated point: Because we doubt our own principles are strong enough to carry the day, we must elect a compromise from the start because we fear the unflinching determination of the Left.”

The reason this point is unstated is because it doesn't exist, at least in my mind. Our principles are indeed strong enough to carry the day, but the issue is do we have a candidate who can forcefully and successfully make the case to the American people. I simply do not believe that Rudy is what we describe many RINOs to be as a “moderate.” He is a solid conservative in many and I would argue most ways.

To compare Rudy to Schwarzenkennedy is simply inaccurate. His views on a couple social issues are unfortunate, but they are more an aberration than an indication of some deeper liberal malady.

First of all, we have a primary where we have some alternatives. The only two viable alternatives are Thompson and McCain. I could live with either over Clinton, obviously. But Thompson would be my first choice. Yet it is still to be determined if he has what it takes to go to war against he Clinton machine. We have primaries to work this all out. If Rudy comes out on top, then every conservative better get on board or we will suffer through another eight years of Clinton.

Pascal said...

I didn't mean to compare Rudy to Arnold, only to indicate how Arnold came to pass. Most voters were convinced to fear the possibility of Bustamonte by a full court press by moneyed influence who had damned good reason to fear McClintock for his promise to challenge the billions in energy contracts signed by Davis.

I'm not arguing against Rudy if that becomes the choice, only that some of your arguments fall flat.

Like he could get concessions out the NY Times? Hell the Times knows he'll not buck some of their most outrageous social agenda issues. Big deal that he's not their first choice. They don't fear him like they do Thompson at this point. So why not give Rudy a boost? Jeesh -- this is not graduate polysci.

Yes Rudy won't bend on the war, but he's apt to federally fund embryonic research and not veto gay marriage or the next challenge to abortion.

The Leftist destruction of America is built upon gradual tearing down of ramparts anyway. Two steps forward, one step back is the old fashioned "progressive" dance after all.

And we can't like it that Hillary was not beaten in her first run for office in large part because of Rudy's pull out. Had she lost then she'd not have become the bogeyman she is being played up even by you.

Shouldn't we have a real fear of a repeat of Rudy's health going south? But still no mention of it MDV except by me. It needs to be aired before the primaries end, and we haven't heard him yet questioned let alone pressed on it in any of his carefully chosen interviews and "debates."

Tom Van Dyke said...

I didn't mean to compare Rudy to Arnold, only to indicate how Arnold came to pass.

Oh, don't give up so easily, Brother Pascal. Let me get your back here on your original contention. And "Schwarzenkennedy" is an elegant and hilarious term of art. Is it yours?

I'm a fellow Californian, and Tom McClintock, the true Republican in the recall against Democrat governor Gray Davis, pulled about 13% of the vote. Conservative fiscally and socially, and only marginally creepy for a Republican.

The Democrat Bustamante got 31%, our soggy Governator, 48%.

If there is a center remaining in this this fractured and fractious country, Rudy is it. Mrs. Clinton is playing at it---and well---fools no one, except her detractors on the left.

I don't think the swing states of Florida and Ohio will go conservative again, and they hold the next election in their hands. Florida's demographics are teetering, and Ohio has been so betrayed by its state GOP officeholders that only a fresh face is going to get them to re-up one more time with the Republicans. And Rudy has a puncher's chance in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, electoral vote bonanzas all.

(And I think Rudy would have beat her had he made it to the post in 2000, saving the republic a whole lot of potential trouble...)

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Pascal, let's say Rudy gets the nod. I would guess given the skepticism of social conservatives he would most likely pick a social conservative running mate. Let's further say he wins the election and his cancer comes back and he's forced out of office or dies. That's a win/win I'd say.

I doubt seriously that the Clinton machine will be able to make his health an issue in the campaign unless the cancer comes back before the election. If you are concerned about that scenario then you or someone needs to find out the odds of a recurrence of his type of cancer. Then you can make a decision if you like the odds or not. This is an issue for Thompson as well, and it has been brought up.

And one more thing. Many social conservatives, of which I am one, think that the liberal Rudy will stick it to them once he gets in office. I don't buy it. Remember what happened to the current president when he decided to push his conservative base a little too far. He will most certainly not be able to govern effectively if he completely alienates the conservative base. Remember part of that base are conservative senators and congressmen who he needs to either pass or block Democrat legislation.