Rudy Guiliani - Presidential candidate
Rudy Giuliani announced the start of his campaign for the 2008 Republican nomination for president this week. Unlike most of the other declared Republican candidates, Giuliani has considerable executive experience. He served in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration and is more well known for his eight years as mayor of New York City. There are several articles this weekend regarding his candidacy.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's article titled "Rudy the uniter" is generally favorable and attempts to ameliorate Giuliani's more liberal positions.
Les Payne of News Day pens a very negative editorial, America should shun the authoritarian Giuliani, which is closer to what Giuliani should expect to see more of if he garners the nomination.
Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune writes of "Rudy Giuliani: Running against Hamlet." This article gives us a glimpse of what we will see a lot of in the next couple years - namely a rehashing of his past in a way where every success is accompanied by a "yeah, but." Here is one example:
His sterling performance after the attack overshadowed mistakes by his administration that complicated efforts to cope with it. The mayor had insisted, against much expert advice, on putting his emergency command center in the World Trade Center--the city's most obvious terrorist target. On Sept. 11, 2001, when it was most needed, the command center became a useless pile of rubble.Here is another poking at his earlier accomplishments as U.S. Attorney:
As U.S. attorney in the 1980s, he had two Wall Street brokers arrested and handcuffed at their offices, for maximum public humiliation. But he later had to drop the charges against one of them, and the other pleaded guilty to only a single minor count. Several of the other convictions he got in his Wall Street campaign were thrown out on appeal.
Some conservatives are rushing to jump on the Rudy bandwagon out of a mistaken sense that he is only the candidate capable of beating Sen. Clinton in the general election in November 2008. I strongly disagree. These early assaults on his reputation and character will seem tame if he gets the nomination. I admire Giuliani post 9/11 performance and I have been to New York city enough to understand the how big an accomplishment he achieved in cleaning up that city in his eight years as mayor, but none of that will matter in the long run. He has several major hurdles to overcome. First, his well known liberal positions will lose him some votes of conservatives who won't bother voting at all if the Republican seems to have the same position as the Democrat candidate. Secondly, as mayor he stepped some toes to get things done and in doing so made he enemies with long memories. Most importantly, it is likely he will square of against the junior senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, who would be the first female to be nominated by a major political party. Sen. Clinton can count on the votes of some a percentage of women who voted for George Bush (and some who didn't vote at all in 2004) just because of the novelty factor. Giuliani's very public history of adultery and his ugly divorce will only add to the likely larger than normal gender gap.
No offense intended to the mayor and his supporters, but we have to be able to do better.
Labels: Politics - 2008 election