November 17, 2004

Rudy in ‘08

Okay, so a poll four years in advance isn’t worth a whole lot. But it isn’t worth nothing, so let’s look at it. Turns out Rudy Giuliani is the GOP favorite for president in 2008.

So much for the Republicans being the party of fundamentalist whackjobs. Giuliani is a blue-stater. He was a member of New York's Republican Party and New York's Liberal Party, but not a member of New York's Conservative Party. When he campaigned for mayor of New York City he campaigned in drag, saying he was a Republican pretending to be a Democrat pretending to be a Republican. (Rent Victor Victoria if you don't get the gag.)


(Above: Mayor Rudy Giuliani in drag.)

I'd vote for him with pleasure, without hesitation, without apology, without feeling conflicted, and without holding my nose. He’d win, too, in a landslide. He’s a Republican (of the RINO variety) who was elected and re-elected in one of the staunchest bastions of left-wing politics in the country. Talk about your cross-over appeal. Joe Lieberman is only a bat boy in Rudy’s league.

James Dobson, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Fallwell would finally, at long last, get the political nightmare they've deserved for a long time - a cosmopolitan socially liberal Republican president. I’d love to see them form their own party where they can talk to themselves about how godless, decadent, and depraved everyone else is.

Giuliani is neither red nor blue. He’s purple, like most of America. I can’t think of anyone (except perhaps for Barack Obama or John McCain) who would be better able to rally the country. Unlike George W. Bush he really is a uniter.

If he runs I will register as a Republican for the first time ever - I am still a registered Democrat - so I can vote for him in the primary. Then I’ll vote for him as president if he wins. What better way to relegate both reactionary leftists and religious right fundamentalists to the political oblivion they deserve.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 17, 2004 07:56 PM

You might want to examine your thoughts concerning Tom Ridge.

Posted by: Rick Ballard at November 17, 2004 08:52 PM

Mr. Totten,

Giuliani has a lot going against a potential campaign - his reaction to police brutality under his governorship, his squelching of legal protests, his repressive way of handling criticism (and art he disliked), the fact that his wife found out about his extra-marital affair at a news conference. Not to mention the fact that, on national television, he very clearly blamed the al Qaqa debacle on the troops. I really don't know how well he would do in a presidential run.

There are, unfortunately for the Democrats, many moderate Republicans that could easily win enough votes in the center to counter-balance the loss of the religious right. Fortunately for the Democrats, they have a few of their own - such as Obama, but also others - that could do the same for their side.

But then, the most beautiful thing ever would be for social liberals, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, and rationalist (not necessarily "realist", but at least reasonable) hawks to form their own party clearly on the center. The fringe on the right and left don't need to be publically repudiated by each party - they just need to be utterly ignored by a new political reality. Unfortunately, I don't think that's very likely - even if Giuliani runs.

Posted by: Blogtheist at November 17, 2004 08:56 PM

If I thought that Rudy as a Presidential candidate would be the same Rudy I supported as Mayor, I would likely vote for him too.

But it's naive to think that he will be.

I think we saw during this presidential campaign that Rudy is prepared to stoop pretty low in order to endear himself to the national GOP, and I find it difficult to believe that he won't renounce his previous positions on a number of social issues (which, by the way he had to hold in order to be a viable candidate in New York).

He will either change his positions on issues like abortion and homosexuality, or his primary opponents will have him on toast.

As for Giuliani being a "uniter", well, as you ought to know, were it not for the three months between 9/11 and the end of his term as Mayor, anyone applying that label to Giuliani would have been taken straight to a lunatic asylum.

So which is the real Rudy - the competent but abrasive and abusive one who we saw for 30-years of public service, or the one we saw for three months when he thought his political career was over?

Posted by: Mork at November 17, 2004 08:58 PM

And, BTW, I'd join Blogtheist's party in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Mork at November 17, 2004 08:59 PM

Harold Ford...

Not withstanding his campaigning for the Kerry ticket, I still think he's the (Democrats) candidate of the future. Huummm Ford vs. Guiliani - Dino vs Rino - tough choice... not for idealogous and party partisans, but for the rest of us purple-state voters.

Posted by: bains at November 17, 2004 09:05 PM


Rudy may have been somewhat divisive as mayor, but he did win in a Democratic stronghold. So he must have cross-over appeal (much more than either Bush or Kerry) or he wouldn't have been electable there in the first place. Unless, that is, his opponents were truly deranged. I don't know who he ran against (I live very far from New York) so you'll have to tell me how he got elected if he can't (at least to an extent) unite left and right.

Oh, and he may shift rhetorically to the right nationally. But does anyone believe he would implement James Dobson's social policy?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 17, 2004 09:10 PM


I (heart) Harold Ford, too. He should have been the Democrats' leader in the House. He's more grown-up than Nancy Pelosi, and he's half her age.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 17, 2004 09:12 PM

Michael - "cross-over appeal" isn't really the point. For many years, NYC politics have basically not been partisan at all, at least in an ideological sense ... if they were, then the GOP simply wouldn't exist there. The only partisan politics are essentially machine politics - to do with the organization and distribution of power, not promoting an ideology. Hence mayoral elections tend to be focused pretty much exclusively on competence. In that sense, the party affiliation of the candidates is pretty much an irrelevance to most voters.

But that's not going to translate on to the national stage. After 8 years of Bush, the GOP is simply not going to hand the reins over to a "north-eastern liberal". So if he wants the nomination, he's going to have to convince GOP partisans, state-by-state, that he's not.

How is he going to do that?

Posted by: Mork at November 17, 2004 09:33 PM

Condoleeza Rice in 2008. Bet on it. Rudy can be her running mate.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 17, 2004 10:23 PM

Keep on writing, Michael.

Posted by: Michael Hall at November 17, 2004 10:35 PM

Maybe you could be a little more specific about exactly why you find Giuliani so appealing. So what if he dresses in drag, that only tells me where he might stand on the homosexuality issue, but it doesn't tell me a whole lot more about his other views and policies. Does he know anything about foreign policy, has he thought about it deeply? As for me, anyone who has pandered like he has to this admin, lacks integrity.

Posted by: miriam at November 17, 2004 10:49 PM

If you want him to be the nominee in 2008, start pushing for open primaries in every state, and especially the early states, right now. Seriously.

The number that really jumps out for me is 74% for Giuliani + McCain. Charisma and personal appeal matter, people. I knew it, but I am shocked that 47% of the GOP is willing to support a pro-choice candidate. (Unless they don't know, which is a possibility that cannot be lightly dismissed.)

Posted by: Katherine at November 17, 2004 11:05 PM

"Rudy may have been somewhat divisive as mayor, but he did win in a Democratic stronghold. So he must have cross-over appeal (much more than either Bush or Kerry) or he wouldn't have been electable there in the first place. Unless, that is, his opponents were truly deranged. I don't know who he ran against (I live very far from New York) so you'll have to tell me how he got elected if he can't (at least to an extent) unite left and right. "

Nah, not deranged, just really fricking incompetent and lacking in charisma. He ran on crime, and crime dropped dramatically on his watch, but it's not clear how much his policies had to do with it. Something, I would guess--getting cops on the streets certainly helped a whole lot--but Boston had similar drops without the draconian measures and the incidents like Diallo and Dorismond. He was pretty popular during his first term, then he kinda wigged out and started getting really unpopular, then he was wonderful in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and we wondered how we could ever have disliked him, then he started sucking up to Bush and every GOP Congressional candidate in the country and generally acted like a hack (this peaked with the Al Qaqaa story) and we said "oh right, that's why."

He was actually pretty irresponsible with the city budget but I assume he has nothing on Bush. He's no respecter of individual rights, and I'm not sure he knows a damn thing about foreign policy, but he did respond well in a crisis. He's socially liberal, but I'm not sure he'd stay that way. He'd probably have an okay environmental record.

I'd rather McCain. I'd rather most of the potential Democratic nominees than either of them. But I'd certainly prefer Giuliani to this crew, Frist, Jeb, Santorum, Pataki, Romney etc. (I loathe Pataki, and Romney's not much better--don't let the telegenic moderate facade obscure the darkness within!)

Posted by: Katherine at November 17, 2004 11:15 PM

It would well behoove the Democrats to nominate a hawkish social moderate, such as Evan Bayh, if they want to win a general election, but, seeing what befell Joe Lieberman in the last Democratic primary season, I doubt if he could get to one.

Posted by: Salamantis at November 18, 2004 12:12 AM


I moved to NYC in 1985. It was an absolute pit. David Dinkins was an unmitigated disaster as Mayor. Giuliani came in, and within a short time, things were noticeably better and safer. He was directly responsible for that. His, and his police chiefs, focus on small crimes led to an understanding that the same folks who committ most of the big crimes also committ lots of little ones (subway fare jumping etc). So when Rudy began locking up criminals for petty crime, the violent crime rate plummeted as well. It was astounding to be a part of and watch NYC change under his watch. Other cities learned from NYC and implemented the same policies. He also began standing up to unions, cut taxes and ticked off Al Sharpton. How's that for a hat trick? His performance following 9/11 was breathtaking.

Rudy has lots of issues though when it comes to a national campaign.

1. An automatic mouth. Bet on it, he will lose his cool repeatedly with the press.
2. Twice divorced.
3. Visibly arrogant.
4. Tends to be too willing to use the law as a sledgehammer (see Michael Milken).
5. Pro gay rights (tough in primaries)

All in all, if we remain at war in 2008 (a virtual certainty in my view) I'd vote for Rudy as well. I'm not sure he will make it through the primaries though.

On another topic, let's not crown Barrack Obama just yet ok? Remember Henry Cisneros?

Posted by: spc67 at November 18, 2004 12:22 AM

The best hope for a moderate Rep is prolly after Roe is overturned -- and abortion laws are made at the state level.

The pro-life folk today are FAR more one-issue choosers than the pro-choice, pro-gov't, pro-environment, pro-human rights, pro-education, pro-retired, pro-black, pro-gay, pro-Hispanic, pro-labor, pro-poor, pro-middle class ... Dems.

And the Dems have pushed most pro-lifers (only 52% of Catholics, so far -- this is changing, fast) into the Reps. So pro-life is becoming a litmus test for grassroots Rep activists. As Sully said, gay-marriage is an issue being used to "purify" the Reps.

I'm truly sorry this has been happening. But the pro-abortion Roe "amendment", slipped in by 5 SC votes, is poisoning moderation on other issues.

Of course, the desire to enjoy arrogance by actually winning more power is always a strong counter to this polarization -- so winning pro-choice Reps will not be driven out. But the fight over Specter, for instance, shows the pro-lifers pushing for more actual use of their voting power. And, like women but unlike blacks in the Dems, the pro-life block is very often a local majority in choosing the Rep candidate. So pro-life Reps are mostly winning Rep primaries.

(It's likely Arnold would have won a Rep primary, based on his star power and being in CA. Not sure nationally, and lesser pro-choice Reps are even more questionable.)

Getting better Congressional districts, thru more technocratic districting, is an important pro-democracy issue for folks in almost all states. And would lead to more moderation.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 18, 2004 12:25 AM


Part of Lieberman's problem is that he's a sanctimonious blowhard. I should be one of his fans, but I'm not. I'd take him over either Bush or Kerry, but I can't say I like the guy.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2004 12:26 AM

Bains, MT-

HFjr is my favorite dem. He's ballsy, young, articulate, and he's the only dem who tried to intervene and rescue his party from the wealthy california housewives (and whatever hillary is). However, I think his career is over for at least the next decade or two, he'll not be forgiven for his uppityness.

As for Obama, the emerging fetish for this guy is amazing. America can handle a Harold, but not a Barack, period.

Posted by: Raymond at November 18, 2004 12:38 AM

Part of Lieberman's problem is that he's a sanctimonious blowhard.

I'm glad you noticed!

Also, I think I should stop commenting here. Katherine says everything I want to say, only better.

(Except that, you should really read this article, Michael: )

Posted by: Mork at November 18, 2004 03:09 AM

Mr. Totten,

"Unlike George W. Bush he really is a uniter."

Anyone can be portrayed as a divider, if the other side decides to be obstinate and then claim it is that the other did not unite.

Be that as it may, regarding Rudy....

When I grew up in NY, Koch was mayor, then the deplorable Dinkins. While Kock was a loved mayor, the city really was dirty, and not particularly safe. Under Dinkins, it got exponentially worse.

Rudy took over, and the whole city changed. And it changed fast. I cannot begin to describe just how dramatic the changes were.

I am, possibly, the most conservative person who comments on your blog (from time to time, at least). But Rudy would have my vote in a heartbeat-- and would have long before 9/11. He was that competent.

Which gets me to a lot of the problems I have with liberal politics. Often, they sound good but then simply don't work, entrenching new bureaucrats, wasting money, etc. Rudy, to my dismay, holds many of these views, and governed using them... but made them work. They are still bad policies due to the fact that 99.95% of the government officials around cannot run these programs without the waste and without the graft, failing the people they are supposed to be helping. But since we have so many of these on the books right now, Rudy's integrity and competence would likely cause most of them to improve markedly.

Yeah, I'll back Rudy.

As for Obama, let me go back to what I was saying about Bush at the start of this reply. Bush has governed as a center-right politician (pretty moderate, not exactly in the middle but not far-right). Bush has spoken like a moderate in his speeches. And the Democrats have demonized him as a wingnut. Obama has spoken like a real moderate, and the Republicans have not (yet?) demonized him (and I don't think they will). But when a year's votes are under his belt, I'm betting he will come out to the left of Sen. Edwards and Sen. Kerry. He is no moderate. He talks like one though. That will probably be enough for him to be glorified as a crossover candidate, while it did nothing for Bush other than to make sure that he will look good in texts fifty years from now.

Posted by: Gerry at November 18, 2004 03:13 AM

"While Kock "

Unfortunate typo apologies. Koch.

Posted by: Gerry at November 18, 2004 03:14 AM

Two more thoughts after reading the comments.

Harold Ford is what the media is trying to make Obama out to be. I have a lot of respect for Ford, and think the Democrats would be a much stronger party with more like him in it.

Also, characterizing Rudy as a social liberal is too cut and dried. He may be on abortion and on gay marriage, but on drugs and on guns and on most other issues he is on the side opposite of personal liberty. (Hmm, I guess in the case of guns, social liberals are on the side opposite of liberty too.) He is not anyone's libertarian.

Posted by: Gerry at November 18, 2004 03:19 AM

"But when a year's votes are under his belt, I'm betting he will come out to the left of Sen. Edwards and Sen. Kerry. He is no moderate. He talks like one though."

I doubt this very much. The Republicans pull the strings of power in Washington. Obama will probably try to be a moderate. It's the only way to get anything accomplished. He will be marginalized if he plays the fool.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 18, 2004 04:09 AM

Before you jump on the Rudy bandwagon, does anyone know what Giulliani's economic policies are? I realize national security is important, but so is economic security. Millions of Americans (including this one) can't afford another Republican, whether he be conservative, moderate, or liberal.

Many Democrats (and Republicans) vote their pocketbooks–or at least their perceptions of their pocketbooks–first and foremost because they must, not because they've decided to be "out of touch."

Posted by: Mike Feldgarden at November 18, 2004 05:11 AM

Worst case scenario for the Democrats: Colin Powell defeats Senator Clinton for the NY Senate seat in 2006; in 2008, a Giuliani/Jeb ticket prevails, accomplishing what the Democrats cannot do, which is put a NE liberal in the White House, and another Bush to boot.

Posted by: Zacek at November 18, 2004 05:51 AM

Miek> I remember Harold Ford, Jr. when I went to College in Memphis. I campaigned for his opponent, but can admit now that Ford, Jr. is a lot better than his dad (Harold Ford, Sr.) a 26 year Congressman who did very little, and his uncle John Ford ( a state Senator known for shooting at pickup trucks and beating up news cameamen..bad behavior but tempting). I'd say Harodl Ford, Jr. is pretty good. He's a Blue Dog Democrat, wich is their most conservative group. He also is part of a political dynasty that controls a large part of Mmephis politics with uncles in the State legislature, city council, and county commission, plus he's yoru age so he can have plenty of time to build a career including the Governor's seat in Nashville.

Another fellow is Sanford Bishop a Georgia Demcorat only slightly to the left of Zell Miller.

Now I don't know much about Barrack Obama,a nd he is a good speaker, but I want to see him as Illinois Governor, first, and I want to see how he is ideologically, before I form a judgment. He did defeat Alan Keyes by bigger margins than Keyes was defeated in Maryland, which sasy littel for Keyes, who used to be a respectful conservative orator, and has now just gone off the deep end.

My own thoughts for 2008. Democrats may want to look at Phil Bredeson of Tennessee, who the Instapundit said should be studied by other Demcoratic Governors. Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana may be a godo choice though her social conservtivism will hurt her in the primaries, and the fact that Louisiana has a worse reputation than Arkansas.

If Mayor Nagin of New Orleans can turn the city around, he'd be a great choice plus he has bipartisan appeal and his opponents called him Ray Reagan (implying him a coset Republican) and it helped Nagin among the small but influential minority of New Orleans Republicans.

Posted by: Green Baron at November 18, 2004 05:54 AM

How is he a RINO? He is just a centrist Republican, we have a bunch of those.

"Unlike George W. Bush he really is a uniter."

Except the Liberal Establishment in NYC hated him and continues to HATE him. How do you explain that?

But whatever makes you feel good. We would welcome you into the GOP.

Posted by: Winger at November 18, 2004 05:55 AM

am i the only one that thinks barack obama has to actually do something before he's canonized? he may be the savior the dems are looking for, but he hasn't proved it yet...

Posted by: tim at November 18, 2004 06:04 AM

I'd agree with Tim. Obama may be articulate and attractive but his success is not preordained by wishful thinking. He defeated Alan Keyes: BFD. In effect, he ran unopposed. Liberals invest extravagant, starry-eyed hopes in any candidate of color but it remains to be seen if the promise is fulfilled.

Posted by: Zacek at November 18, 2004 06:13 AM

Before anybody starts printing up Guiliani stickers, 4 years is a long time.

There are other possibilities. Check out Representative Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, for instance.

Posted by: Eric Blair at November 18, 2004 06:16 AM

Addressing SPC's points...

I don't think all of his points against Rudy are major issues, though I don't see him as presidential material....

1. An automatic mouth. Bet on it, he will lose his cool repeatedly with the press.

Given the real and perceived media bias and how Republicans see themselves as getting the short end of the stick, that could be a plus. I don't think Bush lost standing with "the one fingered victory salute."

2. Twice divorced.

So was Rush (even more so). That could be a problem but it doesn't have to be. Given the circumstances of one of the divorces, it may be a larger problem though. Reagan was also divorced.

3. Visibly arrogant.

"They say I have a swager. In Texas, we call it walking." In New York, they call it Moxie.

4. Tends to be too willing to use the law as a sledgehammer (see Michael Milken).

Finally someone with the same beef with Rudy as I have! But honestly I don't think that would be a problem either. Sledging the law is a bipartisan thing.

5. Pro gay rights (tough in primaries)

Could be a problem. But "everyone likes Ed Koch."

You are also forgetting item "6". He's a cancer survivor. His health is a matter of concern. Given that, I can see him going to be governor or a cabinet position, but not Prez or Veep.

Posted by: Bill at November 18, 2004 06:37 AM

Rudy ran against two very weak opponents: the incompetent Dinkins and Ruth Messinger.

Benjamin Bratton, the Police Commissioner deserved most of the credit for the reduction in crime when Rudy took office. It was his ideas that Rudy implemented, but Rudy's ego was not willing to share credit and Bratton was forced out.

Two things I can't forgive Rudy for:

1.) When he was US Associate Attorney General he visited Haiti, met with Baby Doc Duvalier and after listening to Duvalier's assurances that there was no political repression in Haiti, accepted that on its face and used it as an excuse to deny asylum to Haitian applicants, despite overwhelming evidence from independent human rights experts that there was repression in Haiti and many paid for it with their lives.

In other words, Rudy sat down with a dictator, accepted the word of the dictator and denied freedom and safety to people fearing for their lives.

2.) The way he tried to trash Patrick Dorismond by releasing his sealed juvenile record - in violation of the law - after the police killed him.

Rudy is mean and vindictive. I don't think the nation needs that.

Posted by: Randy Paul at November 18, 2004 06:43 AM

(Above: Mayor Rudy Giuliani in drag.)


I hope he never does that again. Uhg-lee.

Posted by: SoCalJustice at November 18, 2004 07:03 AM

A few thoughts (all biased because I'm a huge Rudy fan. He's the only person in politics today who actually stirs me emotionally at all):

1. Evan I admit that Rudy's record is not the cartoonishly great caricature that MJT paints, but neither is it the cartoonish ogre that the lefties on here are trying to paint. (I admit I didn't live in NYC and its environs for the entire relevant period, just for most of the second term.)

2. Rudy functions best when there is a crisis to take care of, which is why his second term (pre-9/11) was markedly worse than his first. The crime rate had already gone down etc. and his crusades became pettier. (against street vendors etc.) Assuming that we're still in a global war on terror, however, he would have fires to put out all day as pres, so this problem would be solved a bit.

3. He knows a lot about foreign policy. He's the only mayor ever to speak before the UN. Most of his speeches over the last couple of years have been about foreign policy and terrorism, and have expressed theories on these matters (which I happen to agree with, so I'm biased) that are far more cogent and sensible than anything John Kerry or George Bush have said.

4. Ultimately I'm afraid that this discussion, while fun, is kind of pointless as it's a bunch of liberals and leftists speculating on something that depends upon internecine, intraconservative warfare, the intensity of which you're all underestimating. The fact that he has been pro-choice, pro gay rights, and pro gun control means that he could not possibly survive the Republican Party nominating process. He's a savvy guy so he'll try all sorts of "re-positioning" etc. and maybe it'll work, but it'll be tough. Here I think it's time to remember the words of the sage Ann Coulter who said that he will probably wake up one day and simply decide that he is pro-life, just as all the Democratic presidential contenders (Al Gore, etc.) wake up one day and find that they are pro-choice and pretend that they were all along.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at November 18, 2004 07:12 AM

So, one of the things that has really surprised me about the election process here in the US (now that I have participated in my first Persidential election), is that most people don't seem to really like the party that they're in.

When I'm in the art district here in Columbus, those Liberals are Liberals. But most liberals I know are left-leaning libretarians. From the right-wing side, there are some hardcore republicans, but again, most republicans seem to be right-leaning libretarians.

After examining the Delcaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papaers, (as well as a number of letters, journal entries etc from the key movers and shakers of the 18th century political scene,) I believe that a libretarian stance is far more in line with the original intent of many of the founders of this country.

This year they put up for election against a businessman and a 20 Year Senator, a Constitutional Lawyer. That should be a no-brainer. A Constitutional Lawyer that is pro business, anti-taxes, pro-states choice (and therefore anti-Roe), pro personal liberty, pro small government. The only down side I saw to his platform was the immediate withdraw of troops from Iraq (which of course was a big downside this time).

I did some research and found that it appears that this is the sort of cannidate that the parties usually put up for election. Liberal Senators against Conservative Senators or Conservative Businessmen against Liberal Congressmen... and we all groan, hold our noses and vote. Meanwhile, the Libretarians seem to be putting in cannidates that actually have qualifications one would expect for a President to have.

Bush may have been brave to fly a jet 20 years ago, Kerry may have been brave in Vietnam. But Badnarik jumps out of fucking airplanes, just for the hell of it. That sounds like someone who could deal with the stress of command decisions. Bush may have business sense, Kerry may have political sense (though thats doubtful) but this is the guy who led development of the software that takes care of part of our nuclear weapons systems and the Stealth Bomber. That requires an understanding of logic, technology, complex systems and holds a huge responsibility... one bug in your code could destroy a life, lives or a small nation.

Yet, we spent all of our time here, arguing over a conservative who can't figure out if he's compassionate or christ, and a Democrat who can't figure out if he's comming or going.

There are obviously some people on here who really believe in government programs eating our taxes and spitting out half baked services. There are some people on here who really want to see us return to a Christian nation (not that we ever truly were). But, it seems that most people on this board want something in the middle... for those of you who hold your nose to vote either way... What keeps you from the Libretarian party?

I'm really curious, since I'm still somewhat new to the world of Political parties.


Posted by: Ratatosk at November 18, 2004 07:43 AM

Responding to various statements here attempting to denigrate Rudy's mayoral record in NYC:

1. Crime-Rudy appointed Bratton as Police Chief, he didn't inherit him. Giuliani deserves full credit for doing his job properly and well. Crime plummeted.

2.NYC added over 400,000 new jobs from 1994 to 2001-Rudy deserves full credit for the tax cuts that helped this happen

3. NYC livable-It was the conventional wisdom among my age group prior to the Giuliani Administration that except for the super-rich, the best course was to leave the city and commute when kids came along. Raising kids in the cesspool that Dinkins was governing was an idea few defended. In five short years that thought process completely changed. Why? Lower crime rates, lower taxes, cleaner city.

As far as Rudy's issues go-His divorces will plague him. Reagan was divorced once years prior to becoming a politician. Rudy did it while in office. Arrogance. He makes McCain look humble. It comes across frequently. He'll personally turn some people off (From personal experience, he can be really unpleasant in group settings). His NY "moxie" is also going to rub primary voters the wrong way (how's "moxie" gonna play in Iowa and New hampshire?).

Anyway, while I don't like the guy personally, he is an extraordinary talent. I'll be rooting for him, but my guess is he bows out pretty early in the primaries.

Posted by: spc67 at November 18, 2004 07:53 AM


Voted libertarian in 2000. Never again. Why? Because I lived in NYC, my vote didn't really matter, or so I thought. I had sort of thought we had all agreed that the Electoral College was what mattered. When I saw how the left used the popular vote against W, I was aghast and learned something.

Voting for the Libertarian Party is the same as voting for the Democrats. Unless a mechanism exists in which majorities are no longer essential to lawmaking, the 51% requirement, and winner take all nature of our Constitution, leads inexorably to a two party system. Helping out a third party is the same as helping your most despised opponent. Never again. Time is better spent trying to make the two existing parties more libertarian.

Posted by: spc67 at November 18, 2004 08:01 AM

I also question Giuliani's judgment in having the unqualified son of a political ally serves as City Housing Commissioner and turn the city finances into his personal piggybank.

No comment from Rudy about this.

Posted by: Randy Paul at November 18, 2004 08:01 AM

When Rudy was elected, I thought NYC was doomed. I really did believe that the problems of crime and urban decay could be solved by ‘understanding’ the criminals. Zero-tolerance policies would just provoke them.

Even when it was obvious that zero-tolerance was cleaning up the city and making the whole place more livable, I still thought Rudy was an arrogant jerk – although he was funny when he was on Saturday Night Live.

I only started to like him when I saw his response to 9/11. When he spread the message that:

1. there is a difference between right and wrong and
2. freedom doesn’t win because it’s right, freedom wins because it works harder

From his speech to the UN:

"On one side is democracy, the rule of law and respect for human life. On the other, it's tyranny, arbitrary executions and mass murder. We're right and they're wrong. It's as simple as that. And by that I mean that America and its allies are right about democracy, about religious, political and economic freedom. And the terrorists are wrong and, in fact, evil in their mass destruction of human life in the name of addressing alleged injustices."

"Let those who say that we must understand the reasons for terrorism, come with me to the thousands of funerals we're having in New York City--thousands--and explain those insane maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all. Instead, I ask each of you to allow me to say at those funerals that your nation stands with America in making a solemn promise and pledge that we will achieve unconditional victory over terrorism and terrorists."

Some call that message clichéd and arrogant and some call it Churchillian, and I guess both are right. Churchill and Giuliani were arrogant, they both had peculiar private lives and they were wrong about a lot of things, but they were the right men for the job that needed (needs) to be done.

If Rudy ran for president, I’d work round the clock to get him elected.

Posted by: mary at November 18, 2004 08:09 AM

"Obama will probably try to be a moderate."

I am betting he will just about as much as dignitaries such as Nancy Pelosi, John Edwards, John Kerry, and Ted Kennedy.

Obama is not a moderate, despite his soft (and welcome) rhetoric.

But time will tell, sure enough. I will be very happy to be wrong about this. The country would be much better off with the opposition party being moderate rather than left-wing.

Posted by: Gerry at November 18, 2004 08:16 AM

Economic security means that 1 million taxpayers are forced to pay far more than their fair share of tax so that the Socialist do not have too.

I live in NYC and am tax poor. One would think the Socialists would be grateful for people like me who pay the tax Socialist have managed to get themselves out of paying.

While the NEA doles out hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of it from MY own tax contributions, to fund NYC theatre's off-off bway plays produced for the purposes of shitting upon the goodwill of the American soul, actors like myself who wish to produce plays outside the Collective Hate of the Left are too poor to do so.

Try getting a grant from the NEA to produce a play which praises the goodwill of the American soul.

The Mob Mentality on the Left will deem Guiliani a Nazi like they deem everything else that does not fit into their Collective UnConsciousness.

What the hell does "Pro-Choice" mean anyway?

Posted by: syn at November 18, 2004 08:20 AM

New Yorkers certainly do NOT call it moxie. Only sportswriters use that term.

things to keep in mind:
1) booming economy nationwide
2) dropping crime nationwide
3) dramatically dropping crime all over the NE
4) NYC's economy is linked verry closely to the stock market, for good and ill. No better time than the 1990s. The tax cuts had very little to do with it. They didn't hurt, but come on.

If we're talking about economic policy, the Democratic party circa 2004 is about the furthest right of the more leftish party in a Western democracy, that I can think of since the New Deal. No exaggeration. One of my professors, visiting from Ireland, thought it would've been hilarious if it were not so disturbing how Howard Dean was made out to be so far left for opposing preventive war in milder terms than Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy, and for being a deficit hawk.

For everyone to talk about what socialists we are confirms my view that moving to the right doesn't help a thing when you're dealing with a bunch of bullies.

Posted by: Katherine at November 18, 2004 08:34 AM

"pro-choice" means, exclusively, the legal power of any woman of any age who desires at any time to end the life of any human fetus inside her.

If the ammendment to allow a foreign born person to become President would pass, AND if Arnold decides to run as a Responsible Libertarian, he would have a really good shot in his second try.

Right now there's no political place for a pro-War, pro-Cuts (really), anti-God (neutral) candidate.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 18, 2004 08:46 AM

Boy, no wonder you guys aren't paid political consultants. No way that Obama is a factor in 2008. Get real. He just got elected to, guess what? -- the Senate, graveyard of presidential aspirations. That's why Rudy will never run for the Senate. Jindal? Too soon. He's paid no dues, even by 2008. And McCain? People like their mavericks where they are. They don't elevate them to the presidency. Ford? You've got to be kidding. Where's the beef? Rice? Cabinet members just don't make it without an interving elective office. Ditto Powell. Most likely the next president is someone you haven't even mentioned who is a governor of a state you never think of.

Posted by: rivlax at November 18, 2004 09:00 AM

Rudy - bah, humbug - you're missing out on the latest and greatest conspiracy story.

We all know about Cheney's latest health snafu, and we all know about his long time health problems. The scenario goes that Powell is taking a vacation from politics. Cheney resigns the V.P. due to 'health considerations' - Powell comes back to serve his country 'in a time of need' as the new V.P. which sets him up as the republican candidate in 2008 against Hillary.

Scenario two, has the same situation with Cheney - but polling has shown that Hillary is pulling too many women votes. We move Condi over from the Secretary of State job to that of V.P. - setting her up as the potential candidate against Hillary.

If we really want to add punch to those scenarios we add Powell or Condi as the VP candidate when the other one is running for president (depending on which scenario plays out).

The last tidbit to this conspiracy theme - guess who is putting all these pieces in place? Carl Rove.

Lord I love a conspiracy theory.

Posted by: mike from oregon at November 18, 2004 09:21 AM


Your commenters who point out Rudy's overreaching in the Millken case are onto something important, I fear. Have a read of Dan Fischel's book on the subject called "Payback". Fischel overstates his case, I am sure. But Giuliani's conduct in this case nearly made me support Hillary over him for senate.

Posted by: gerry g at November 18, 2004 10:18 AM

Giuliani's abortive 2000 Senate campaign was terrible. His marital situation was a joke. A Guiliani Presidential campaign would be likely to implode.

Posted by: Steve at November 18, 2004 10:20 AM

"James Dobson, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Fallwell would finally, at long last, get the political nightmare they've deserved for a long time - a cosmopolitan socially liberal Republican president. I’d love to see them form their own party where they can talk to themselves about how godless, decadent, and depraved everyone else is."

Well this Red Stateer would pass on voting for him, more so if folks with your approach would vote for him. Get a cule Mike the MAJORITY in this country has a Conservative bent. See the last election results for your very own personal clue. The monolithic red states aren't controled by the evvillllllll folks you mentioned but most of us are voting for principles and integrity, along with knowing the guy in the WH isn't schlepping the interns. And trying to turn us into Sweden in the bargain.
Here's annother clue, watch Shillary talk and act just like a Conservative from now till 08.

Posted by: mike at November 18, 2004 10:39 AM


I used to live in a red state. I know what they're like and don't need to be lectured on the subject. So chill out. And vote for some nut if you want to. There are more conservatives than liberals, but conservatives are still a minority. You are outnumbered by moderates, and outnumbered 2 to 1 if you add moderates and liberals together. (Liberals are similarly outnumbered if you add moderates and conservatives together.)

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2004 10:49 AM

Plus don't forget that Rudy "hates" the homeless.

The guy would be creamed. Running him would be as stupid as running HillBill in 2008.

Posted by: Winger at November 18, 2004 10:49 AM

I tend, oddly enough, to agree with Winger. Many Democrats, myself included, hope the Republicans nominate him for 2008. All the Democrats would need to do is their own version of the Swift Boat Veterans - except this time, based on actual fact: replay Giuliani blaming al Qaqa on the troops, over and over and over again.

Then, of course, is the nightmare scenario: Hillary for the Democrats. She is hated by far, far too many people, for good reason or bad, to win even the core Democratic states.

So what happens if both parties nominate bad candidates, again? For, what the third election in a row? Wasn't there a time when people called their leaders "Great"? Whatever happened to that?

Posted by: Blogtheist at November 18, 2004 11:49 AM

I tend, oddly enough, to agree with Winger. Many Democrats, myself included, hope the Republicans nominate him for 2008. All the Democrats would need to do is their own version of the Swift Boat Veterans - except this time, based on actual fact: replay Giuliani blaming al Qaqa on the troops, over and over and over again.

Then, of course, is the nightmare scenario: Hillary for the Democrats. She is hated by far, far too many people, for good reason or bad, to win even the core Democratic states.

So what happens if both parties nominate bad candidates, again? For, what the third election in a row? Wasn't there a time when people called their leaders "Great"? Whatever happened to that?

Posted by: Blogtheist at November 18, 2004 11:49 AM

If Giuliani were nominated, I wonder if the Democrats would use that unfortunate picture of G-man in drag to try and sexualize this election or portray him as a nut.

I would disagree with it in principle, but the Republicans are committed to hardball and Democrats can't keep bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Posted by: Epitome at November 18, 2004 11:58 AM


Hardball has been played in American Politics for about as long a spolitics have existed in America. Lincoln was smeared terribly by his opposition, he won, some theorizie, because he simply refused to even comment on the sleaze that was being rolled. I wonder how things would have fared for many of our recent cannidates if they had simply told the press that "Tawdry Issue X" was below them to even comment on.

Sure, at first I think people would say "Ohhh, he won't deny it" But, I think after a few months of campaigning the issues would fade and melt away. My dad always said that one must have fuel to make a fire. If you deprive the opposition of fuel, maybe the American people would appreciate it... or not.

I may just be dreaming.


Posted by: Ratatosk at November 18, 2004 12:40 PM

I'm with Michael. I think Rudy is a perfect example of what should be the future of the Republican Party. I don't buy the "gay marriage amendment won Bush the election" argument - the internals of the exit polls (referring to "moral values") were just too ambiguous.

It's time for the fringe of both parties to be cut off, and I think that most Republicans know that. Hell, after the vicious (and well-deserved) smackdown they received on Nov. 2nd, the Democrats may know it, too.

Either way, Rudy is an example of the future of American politics. He's hawkish, socially liberal, and open-minded (I mean c'mon - name one other politician willing to be photographed in drag).

He's also massively appealing across a wide base (something that will be taken into account in the primaries, whether the James Dobsons of the world like it or not).

He's "America's Mayor." There's no reason why he can's be America's President.

Posted by: Sean Rife at November 18, 2004 02:42 PM

Sure, at first I think people would say "Ohhh, he won't deny it" But, I think after a few months of campaigning the issues would fade and melt away. My dad always said that one must have fuel to make a fire. If you deprive the opposition of fuel, maybe the American people would appreciate it... or not.

Tosk, I wish you were right. But I think the swift boat thing proves that you are not. I think there is a legitimate argument that Kerry's failure to respond to the smear campaign for two weeks cost him the election.

Posted by: Mork at November 18, 2004 03:19 PM

"I would disagree with it in principle, but the Republicans are committed to hardball and Democrats can't keep bringing a knife to a gun fight."--Epitome

I could not care less about 2008.We JUST finished the most important election in the last few decades and there are many more important events than who might run in 4 years.
That said,in which particular universe are the Dems bringing a knife to a gun fight?This comment is just ludicrous on it's face.The Dems and their various and sundry allies ran a completely vicious and unprincipled campaign,the major feature of which was the allegation that GWB deliberately and knowingly LIED to start an unjustified war of aggression,to ensure his re-election!!!
Did you manage to so soon forget---


I was rather hoping that the self-serving,and self-defeating revisionism would not start for a while yet,but once again I seem doomed to disappointment.


Posted by: dougf at November 18, 2004 03:36 PM

What does the broad have to do with Giuliani? Anyway, she sure is nice! What I wouldn't give!

Posted by: Jim at November 18, 2004 03:53 PM

Polls that show Giuliani in front do little more than reflect name recognition. As we saw this last time, the GOP doesn't have to win over moderate voters (after all, Kerry won moderates and independents) to win nationally; they just have to get their base out, and get a respectable total with everyone else. The people who find Giuliani appealing simply will not be a swing group in the next election, so there's no reason for Dobson, Robertson, Falwell, et al. to turn their party over to him in 2004. And if voters who pay lip service to supporting gay rights and choice could still vote for Bush, it's hard to imagine what sort of candidate would offend them.

Posted by: Steve Smith at November 18, 2004 04:41 PM

Steve Smith: And if voters who pay lip service to supporting gay rights and choice could still vote for Bush

Oh, please. Gay marriage isn't on the absolute top of my list. Why on earth should it be? We have far more important things on our plate right now. If you can't understand that, no wonder your party can't win elections post-911. Figure out what time it is and what the country's priorities are if you want to be in charge instead of moaning on the sidelines.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2004 06:03 PM

Oh, please. Gay marriage isn't on the absolute top of my list. Why on earth should it be? We have far more important things on our plate right now.

Michael, I don't think you have rebutted Steve's point. I think you have illustrated it.

As long as the Administration and its surrogates keep the fear factor high enough, throw out enough chest-beating rhetoric, and smears its opponents -whoever they are - as "weak on security", then people like you will keep drinking the kool-aid, no matter how odious you say you would have found any given aspect of its policies in normal times.

I think the thread the other day illustrated that you don't actually know very much at all about any policy or analysis work on national security other than that produced by the neo-cons and the administration. I think that illustrates that it suits your self-image at the moment to discount any criticism of the Administration's policy and to accept any smear against their opponents. While that remains the case, Steve is exactly right.

Posted by: Mork at November 18, 2004 06:55 PM

"Also, I think I should stop commenting here. Katherine says everything I want to say, only better"--Mork


Posted by: dougf at November 18, 2004 08:52 PM

Mork and Steve (cc: Katherine),

If gay marriage isn't my number one political priority, then my support for it is only "lip service"? Be serious. I can't understand why anyone would find political agreement with others and then pretend that agreement doesn't exist or isn't genuine. That's no way to behave if you want allies or help.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at November 18, 2004 09:01 PM


Well, it would be hard for anyone to say it worse (or more condescendingly or nastily) wouldn't it?

Posted by: Eric Deamer at November 18, 2004 09:02 PM


Yes, but for these people (I think they may call themsevles "liberals", leftists is probably more accurate, but it's really a deeply reactionary mindset that has nothing to do with any meanginful political philosophy and I don't know how exactly to label it) it's not about "allies" or recruiting "help" for whatever political cause of the moment they pretend to believe in. It's all about asserting their moral and intellectual superiority over those who disagree with them, who are all assumed to be cretinous morons. It's about asserting the beliefs that they believe are correct for someone of their class and subculture as a means of self definition and assurance of their status as being in the cool/smart/morally superior group. The content of those beliefs is meaningless and arbitrary and in fact changes all the time. At any rate I doubt that any of them have ever done a lick of work promoting those beliefs and policies that they claim are so meaningful to them now. It's much easier to trade flaccid insults on the internet.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at November 18, 2004 09:13 PM

Michael, I live in New York City and voted for Guliani twice. I am a Democrat as many people are aware and I voted for Bush. I would not want Guliani to be president. He was a great mayor. Anyone who argues otherwise is being sophisic. When he took office New York was like AMerica in 1980. It appeared ungovernable and on a permanent downward trajectory. We had 2000 murders in 1990. By the time Guliani left office we had less than a thousand per year for the first time since the sixties. This had everything to do with his policies and the policies of his first Police Commissioner William Bratton who simply would not tolerate failure in the police department. The entire entrenched bureacracy was shaken up, the economy and business climate improved dramatically, welfare roles shrunk astronomically. And all this in the face of constant opposition from the racial hustlers, the New York Times and the Civil Rights and Welfare establishment.

That said, I always said I liked Rudy as mayor but would not want him to be president. COntrary to your view of him from out west as a great civil libertarian, he has a well known authoritarian streak. Indeed, I would say he has fascistic tendencies. He does not like dissent and has from time to time tried to suppress it. New York needed someone like this. You wouldn't believe what things were like under his predecessor David Dinkins. I would like to see Rudy shaking up a department like homeland security or even the CIA. I would love to see him as governor of New York attacking the legislature and the interest groups. But president? No thanks. Liberal views on social issues do not a qualified president make. And I am Rudy's biggest fan and greatest supporter. WHat he did on 9/11 was brave and tremendous. But he is not to be president.

Posted by: Doug at November 18, 2004 09:14 PM

That's no way to behave if you want allies or help.

Michael, maybe you ask for too much. It's easier to pad one's "argument" with psychological insults about how you've drunk kool-aid, how you're a useful idiot to extremist right wingers, how you take positions insincerely, or how you choose your political views based merely upon your self-image, than to persist in actually marshaling arguments to the fore.

On the other hand, maybe your magnanimity and leadership have the gradual effect of drawing some of your slanderers inexorably toward the respectable use of the forum. I always admire the person who can with equanimity and dignity suffer fools just long enough to indicate to them the better direction to go.

Posted by: Jim at November 18, 2004 09:25 PM

Eric - you persist in referring to me as a "liberal" or a "leftist", even though, despite repeated challenges, you still can't name a single thing that I've written here that is left wing in nature.

The only accurate thing about your post is that you correctly surmise that I regard you as a cretinous moron, but that goes to your intelligence and honesty, not your politics.

Posted by: Mork at November 18, 2004 09:26 PM

Um, dude "repeated challenges". I don't remember any of this. Were gloves thrown down or anything? YOu make it all sound so dramatic. You're right though. You have actually surmised the point of my remarks inadvertantly. You and your ilk are not "liberal" in any meaningful sense of the term as nearly as I can discern, nor even "leftist" or political in any way, just condescending pricks. I can scarcely remember the content of any idea you've ever advanced nor discern where it ranks on the political spectrum. All I remember is that it was all very vituperative, overwrought, and nasty.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at November 18, 2004 09:42 PM

All I remember is that it was all very vituperative, overwrought, and nasty.

As opposed to the lyrical delicacies that emanate from your keyboard, Mr. Pot.

Posted by: Mork at November 18, 2004 09:45 PM

McCain or Giuliani would Goldwater the Dems in 2008. The real question is whether they can get past the Republican base during the primaries.

When the discussion of social issues comes up, I hope folks keep the flip-flop references available.

We do know that things will get really, really ugly in places like South Carolina. They had to make up stuff about McCain's "black baby." Imagine what they'll do with someone who wears a dress in public and stayed with a gay couple after his divorce.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. at November 18, 2004 11:27 PM

Did I mention how lame it is that you equate at Buchanan with the buffoons Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell?

We all can disagree with Pitchfork Pat's conclusions. But to not take his arguments seriously is the actions of a fool. He is a smart guy and has better understanding of the world's problems than most.

Posted by: Winger at November 19, 2004 06:01 AM


"It's much easier to trade flaccid insults on the internet."

So true, and so ironic comming from any regular poster on the blogsphere. It's not just leftist blowhards, there are plenty of Rightist and Centrists and other -ists who are just as flaccid. Thats how communication on the Internet has always worked. It reminds me of a saying that used to be popular on Usenet.

"Arguing on the Internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. Win or Lose, you're still retarded."

Terribly un-PC, but more correct than most want to admit. ;-)

Ratatosk, Squirrel of Discord


Oh nevermind.

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 19, 2004 07:03 AM

'We all can disagree with Pitchfork Pat's conclusions. But to not take his arguments seriously is the actions of a fool. He is a smart guy and has better understanding of the world's problems than most.'

He's fiercely protectionist, isolationist, has made some questionable remarks about women and some frankly unforgivable remarks about jews. There's a reason he's become so marginalized in the public eye in recent years. He is a fairly decent Scarborough replacement though.

Posted by: Epitome at November 19, 2004 09:05 AM

Hey I am not a fan of the guy's politics either.

But he isn't a blowhard buffoon like Robertson or Falwell.

And constantly marginalizing him says more about Totten than ole Pitchfork Pat (I bet Totten has never read a column or book by Pat in his life.)

Posted by: Winger at November 19, 2004 10:36 AM


Just to be clear, my comment about people paying lip service to the issue of choice and civil unions wasn't meant as a slam on you, since I have no idea what your views on those issues are; it's not as if you devote much time to either issue. My point was that Giuliani is often used to exemplify the sort of Republican political figure who doesn't have neanderthal views on social issues, so claiming that he is somehow going to appeal to those who voted for Bush this time is rather silly. If issues relating to human rights took a back seat to the twilight struggle against Islamofascism this time around, it's obvious that some other issue (if not terrorism) will trump those issues in 2008, as well.

Posted by: Steve Smith at November 19, 2004 02:52 PM

Neanderthal views on social issues?

No, what might make Rudy appealing is that he isn't a prententious smug a-hole who smears other views as "neanderthal" instead of making a reasonable argument.

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I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933)

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I hope that John McCain dosn't even run in the primaries because he is not a real republican in my opinion.
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