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Making Rudy's Case to Conservatives

Ed Morrisey looks at Steve Malanga's piece on Rudy Giuliani's pragmatic conservatism and adds his own observations:

I've often thought that conservatives have been too quick to dismiss Giuliani. Among the front-runners for the GOP nomination, he has the most consistent public record of accomplishment. He fought the Mob and won, crippling their once-unlimited power in the Big Apple, at no small personal risk to himself and his family. Giuliani also took on the task of running NYC when it appeared hopelessly lost to decay and a generation of liberal policies that had allowed the streets to fall under the sway of gangsters petty and grand. He also proved that welfare-to-work policies could succeed before Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress bolstered his efforts at the federal level...

That isn't to say that his positions aren't problematic. He has been consistently pro-choice, and like many prosecutors, supports gun-control legislation. Those positions rightly make conservatives worry about what a President Giuliani would do once in office. However, he has also consistently spoken against judicial activism, and as a former federal prosecutor, knows first-hand the damage it does. Giuliani has promised to appoint judicial constructionists to the federal bench, the kind not likely to impose abortion or gun policy from their unchecked positions.

Read the rest of Ed's post and read Malanga's excellent piece on Giuliani's effectiveness in leading a revival of New York City.

Update: Just a note for those who are not familiar with Malanga's work, he wrote a brilliant book on the way the left is working behind the scenes to change public policy called The New New Left: How American Politics Works Today. I read the book when it was released a couple of years ago and highly recommend it.

For more on Giuliani...I have written a bit on the prospect of a Giuliani presidency here and here.

Update II: Rudy did pretty well on this list.


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» Outside The Beltway | OTB linked with How Rudy Giuliani Can Sell Himself to Conservatives

Comments (31)

Morrisey's feeble attempts ... (Below threshold)

Morrisey's feeble attempts to make Guiliani acceptable to the wingnuts amounts to nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig. There is no way a pro-choice Republican candidate can be selected as the party's candidate, much less win a presidential election.

Guiliani will only splinter the party further, and making the split closer to the center than it might be otherwise isn't going to help. It's amusing to see Republican attempts to find a centrist candidate that can win in '08, but keep trying -- Guiliani isn't it.

I think I need to go take m... (Below threshold)
Mighty Dwight:

I think I need to go take my meds. I just nodded my head in agreement with Lee.

The most lasting legacy of ... (Below threshold)

The most lasting legacy of a president is his Supreme and appellate court nominations and his general judicial philosophy, not his personal views on specific judicial issues which may never even come up in an urgent way during his administration. That being said, I nonetheless don't believe John McCain would ever nominate a judge who'd overturn McCain-Feingold or otherwise act in an even-tempered, non-vindictive manner (The same applies to Hillary, but she's not relevant to this thread).

It doesn't need repeating, but I'm doing it anyway: IF Rudy, who appeals to LOTS of DIFFERENT Americans, gets the nomination: HE WINS.

I'd vote for Giuliani befor... (Below threshold)

I'd vote for Giuliani before I'd vote for McCain. But that's not saying much.

I'd vote for jpm before I v... (Below threshold)

I'd vote for jpm before I voted for either of those 2.

I can't wait to hear how th... (Below threshold)

I can't wait to hear how the religious right is going to deal with Rudy. The guy is not even welcome in his own church.

I guess he does not have to worry about some wacky Bishop or Cardinal threatening to withhold communion (see Kerry) for his stand on abortion. He is already banned for getting a divorce (not to mention living in sin with his mistress).

Hugh,For the first... (Below threshold)


For the first time in two days of reading your leftist comments, you made me laugh.

Happy to have made you happ... (Below threshold)

Happy to have made you happy joe, you rightist you.

However, he has al... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:
However, he has also consistently spoken against judicial activism,...

The only way that he can work that finesse is if he comes out and explicitly says that he believes that the 2nd amendment secures an individuals right to bear arms, and that there is no right to abortion in the constitution. Only then would we have any reason to believe that the judges he nominates would make up for his lefty policy positions.

Lee:I wanted to ma... (Below threshold)


I wanted to make sure I spoke up now, because I don't think either one of us expected this to happen, nor do I think either one of us thinks this will happen again soon.

I agree with you.

Shocked? So am I. ;-)

Rudy has been my choice sin... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Rudy has been my choice since 9/11 ...
No bunkers for him when it struck...
But there is his private life...fair game
But there is his belief that our government
should not control our reproductive system..
There is his belief that homosexual issues are civil rights issues....

No way will he be a candidate I will be able to vote for...after all if Republicans wanted a candidate with courage...it would not have been Bush in 2004..

Eisenhower in 08 ...I like Ike

As for choice...so many men... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

As for choice...so many men have no problem with government interfering with a woman's reproductive system...just wondering...how about government forced vasectomy's...c'mon mandatory snipping ...
after all ...our bodies are not ours...but our governments..or is it just women?

The right wing can rally ar... (Below threshold)
John S:

The right wing can rally around Giuliani. Or they can through their actions (or lack of them) put the Clintons back in the White House.

There's one or two issues I... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

There's one or two issues I disagree with Giuliani on, but he has both the character and the leadership experience for the Presidency.

Most conservatives are not ... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

Most conservatives are not Bible-thumping, Edsel driving, stiff-necked people. The acceptability of a candidate is really one of balancing acts.

While Rudy is: pro-choice, somewhat pro-gay marriage, and somewhat uninspiring to Angelicans, he is more like Old School Democrat Ed Koch than he is Republican Michael Bloomberg.

Rudy is uncompromising in his stance on radical Islam. Some prince of some Muslim country sent a condolense gift of $10 Million to the benefit fund after 9/11, enclosed with a lecture of America's support of Israel, vis-a-vie their fight with Palestine. Guliani sent the check back with a reply that no diplomatic stance the US had justified flying planes into buildings.

He also runs a tight ship, unlike W. I love W., but he takes too many hits because his staff are on too long a leash. (i.e. Brown, the former Treasury Sect, and Rumsfeld). Rudy would have every person up to snuff.

He would also be tough on crime.

He would also be more fiscally prudent with the budget as opposed to Bush.

Bush is smy man. I like the fact he is tough minded and decisive. His first term earned a grade of -A from me. He was more presidential. His second term he has been more like the CEO of a fortune 500 corporation. Good if a corporation is involved; average if running the country is involved.

Rudy would be more like a president., and is the better of all of the Republican candidates.

The extremist attack dogs o... (Below threshold)

The extremist attack dogs on the right-wing of the Republican Party are going to descend on Guiliani like a pack of wolves and tear him limb from limb. Just wait until the "swiftboating" of Guiliani gets in high gear. It's going to be entertaining.

In the meantime, some enterprising reporter should ask America's Mayor if, in retrospect, he thinks locating New York City's disaster response center in the World Trade Center was a good idea (only a few years after it had been attacked the first time).

I actually like Guiliani's positioning on most issues but he's wrong on Iraq so he'll lose against the Democrat in 2008. McCain, for the same reason, is unelectable as well. Brownback is the only Republican candidate talking some sense on Iraq.

Giuliani was impressive aga... (Below threshold)

Giuliani was impressive against the mob, but gun control is a No Go and he'll never get my vote. Ron Paul or Tancredo, Possibly Hunter, maybe Vilsack. Or 3rd party protest vote.

Tom and Dwight -- There's f... (Below threshold)

Tom and Dwight -- There's first time for everything, eh?

Not to be too off-topic, bu... (Below threshold)

Not to be too off-topic, but is anybody else's virus protection going nuts with this site?

My NOD32 is detecting a ballicus.d virus here on the main page.

There is also his well know... (Below threshold)

There is also his well known hostitlity to the 2A, which is kinda a hot button issue in the south and central states.

This is a vanity run for some stupid reason. IF he can't get elected Senator of NY, why in hell can he think he can get elected Pres?

You are aware he didn't get... (Below threshold)

You are aware he didn't get elected due to dropping out to get his cancer treated, right?

The NRA will annihilate Gui... (Below threshold)

The NRA will annihilate Guiliani. It's that simple. The NRA crosses party lines, and will absolutely destroy him. There is no way in a general election that Guiliani can win the Republican nomination. Even Clinton gave the NRA credit for the turnover in '94 after Clinton's anti-gun rights tirade.

I won't go so far as to say he's radioactive, but he's pretty damn close with his anti-gun issue. I think that most traditionalists really don't care what the President has to say on abortion or homosexual marriage. Clinton passed DOMA, and the states have been very effective at passing amendments protecting marriage. What effect could the President really have? Not much. That doesn't matter to me so much.

I am a very strong NRA supporter and will vote against a Republican if that candidate is soft on gun-rights. I have a feeling there are lots of people who feel the same way, and would sit at home if Giuliani ends up on the ballot. If that happens, Clinton's a sure bet.

If Hillary is nominated, th... (Below threshold)

If Hillary is nominated, the Repubs should consider Condi, but more importantly, give Lieberman a real good look. Over Christmas, I had a long cocktail conversation with Repub Palm Beach County Chair who told me that Clay Shaw lost because his opponent was Jewish and Jewish Republicans will vote for a Jewish Democrat in the solitude of the voting booth. Another Repub elected pol at the same party opined that the reason the Florida electoral vote was so close in 2000 was the presence of Lieberman as VP on the ticket. Otherwise, Billy Jeff's swamp creature AG had bagged the Cuban vote for the Repubs with the Elian G fiasco and it would have been a cakewalk for the Repubs, as it was in 2004. These ward-heelers estimate a half-million S. Florida Jews, and at least 200,000 are Repubs, so do the math.

McCain or Giuliani and Lieberman, the Repubs can dance to the Homecoming Crown in '08, or Giuliani and Condi. [The Catholic vote for Giuliani will be less than thunderous, but the same principle that got Irish Catholic Dems to become Reagan Repubs applies for Giuliani a bit---Kerry was a total loss because of his chameleon camouflage.]

I've been asking the Giulia... (Below threshold)

I've been asking the Giuliani question down here in the redest part of Florida, and the bible thumping reds are warming up to him. I think they realize another Bush isn't going to win, and the abortion debate while still hot can sit on the back burner for a while. Personally as a more libertarian rep, I'm 100% percent behind him.

Oh, you mean the same twice... (Below threshold)

Oh, you mean the same twice divorced Rudy Guiliani who supports a woman's right to choose? The same Rudy Guiliani who supports gay rights? The same Rudy Guiliani who was a registered Democrat until he decided to run for mayor New York City? Sure sounds like a liberal to me.

So what's this repub "much needed cause for optimism" you're referring to? LOL

Sorry, but the repubs are becoming more pathetic by the day. Your best hope in '08 is an East Cost liberal?!?! Hahahahahaha.

And you libs gained Congres... (Below threshold)

And you libs gained Congress with Southern conservative Democrats carrying the load.

Your point is?

"Update II: Rudy did pre... (Below threshold)

"Update II: Rudy did pretty well on this list."

LMAO! Rudy came in second behind Newt Gingrich, who doesn't have a prayer for winning the nomination, much less the election.

What a joke!

Bill Clinton finished behin... (Below threshold)

Bill Clinton finished behind Tsongas in the first few primaries of 1992. You know, the guy with NO shot at winning the nomination. Just because you don't beat somebody who can't win every single time hardly makes one unable to win.

The GOP is seriously considering a pro-choice candidate. How many pro-lifers have the Dems considered?

daveinboca: Switchers are ... (Below threshold)

daveinboca: Switchers are never trusted by the party bosses. Best example would be John Connally, who was ruthlessly recruited until he switched, but then when he tried to move up to higher office and got totally stonewalled by the RNC. The same thing would happen to Lieberman whichever party he tried to run for.

blackcat, good point. ... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

blackcat, good point.

While Giuliani would lose s... (Below threshold)

While Giuliani would lose some purists, he most likely brings NY to add to Florida and Texas. Any lost fervor in the Pennsylvania T over gun control will be balanced out by his regaining the Philly suburbs (where Rendell, a pale imitation of Rudy, does very well). So add PA, too. And in the GOP base states, Hillary is anathema. She or any other Dem is not going to flank Rudy from the right. So Rudy wins as the lesser of two evils -- which is usually the choice for most voters.






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