Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hillary vs. Rudy?

That's Dick Morris's prediction. Morris is hardly a flawless prognosticator, but it's always fun to see what he thinks.

Morris also notes that Mitt Romney is fading in the polls, while Newt Gingrich is climbing, an interesting development. I've never taken Romney seriously, and it will be interesting to see how he fares over the long term. Newt has a great deal of personal baggage and the left loves to demonize him, but this may be the year of the "baggage" candidate...there isn't one major candidate who doesn't have personal "issues" to varying degrees, including Obama's past drug use and McCain's legendary temper. Philosophically, Newt is probably the man who most clearly articulates conservative political principles.

I don't believe John McCain can make it through the primaries. He's got too many negatives, as summarized here by Paul Mirengoff. McCain burned his bridges with conservatives a long time ago.

This week I'm feeling rather like Morris...and John Podhoretz, for that matter. I have an increasing feeling that Giuliani may be the only candidate with a real chance to beat the combined army of the Hillary machine and the mainstream media, who probably aren't any more likely to insist she answer tough questions than they were in her two campaigns for Senate. I believe when voters measure Giuliani's calm and thoughtful -- Presidential? -- demeanor versus Hillary's bug-eyed, vindictive screeches ("I want to take those profits...") the difference will be stark.

Giuliani is not going to win over everyone -- Ann Coulter, for instance, stated on Tuesday's HANNITY AND COLMES that she could not vote for Rudy -- but as others have pointed out this week, many Republicans want to like Rudy and are open to giving him a chance. We know he's a leader capable of handling a crisis, we know he's solid on the War on Terror; and he has a history as a tax-cutter who believes in school choice.

The big question for me is judges. As I wrote in November, if the law and order side of Rudy dominates his social liberal side, his judicial picks might be acceptable. He pledged this week to nominate strict constructionists, and surely he knows that if he fails to do that in a first term, he won't be elected to a second term.

As I recall, one of the things President Bush did his first week in office was withdraw federal funding for international abortion programs. Giuliani pledging not to restore that kind of funding would be a significant way to build bridges with pro-life conservatives.

After our experience with Governor Schwarzenegger here in California, I'm definitely wary of being burned by another pseudo-Republican. But I do want Rudy to give me reasons to believe, as conservatives may be faced with a California-style conundrum in 2008: socialist wannabe Hillary (with Bill: The Sequel hovering in the background), or gambling on Rudy? Not a difficult decision for this voter. If that ends up being the choice, conservatives will hopefully be happier with Giuliani as President than we are with Schwarzenegger as governor.

It will certainly be interesting to see where we're at one year hence. Wouldn't it be fascinating if these "hot" candidates fade and we find ourselves discussing completely different choices in February 2008?


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older