For Rudy Giuliani only one thing is certain right now: If John McCain wins South Carolina, Rudy’s campaign is over.
Rudy Giuliani is at the center of what’s wrong with the Republican party, and it’s not really his fault. When Dick Cheney was re-elected as the Vice President of the United States in 2004 everyone knew he would never be President. There were no allusions of grandeur on his part, he didn’t even want the job. While that sentiment is great for proving that he had no personal agenda for his service to the United States, it left the Republican party with a problem: Who would emerge as the next Republican presidential candidate? In 2000, John McCain was the runner-up to George W. Bush for the nomination and it was thought he would be too old to compete for the nomination in 2008… unfortunately, we were all wrong. At the time, the other suggested up-and-comers were Jeb Bush, governor of Florida and brother of President George W. Bush, and Senator Bill Frist, Senate majority leader from Tennessee.
Since then, Jeb Bush decided not to run for president after his 2nd term in Florida ended, probably due in part to family trouble and the vitriol with which his brother is hated (I believe). Bill Frist continued to gain notoriety until 2006 when he did not run for re-election after his 2nd term in the Senate and turned down a presidential run to return to his primary field, medicine. Without these 2 prominent Republican figures in the race, the Republican party had to come up with a antidote to what would most certainly be a very difficult and scary Hillary Clinton campaign. When you are facing what is most undoubtedly the most potentially destructive candidate in US history with a political machine behind it, you are bound to gravitate toward whoever is the most formidable opponent in the hope of self preservation. It was the vacuum of personalities and ideas that begat the candidacy of Rudy Giuliani.
Rudy Giuliani became nationally prominent following the attacks of September 11th and he will never let you forget it. His opponents chide him for his common stump speech, “Blah Blah Blah, 9/11”. His foreign policy experience and stance of the war on terrorism has garnered him high regard among Democrats and Republicans alike and he and John McCain are commonly viewed as the most rigorous enforcers of the war on terror the Republican party has to offer (other than George W. Bush, of course). While his performance on 9/11 was exemplary as was his turn around of New York City, he is the candidate who became popular because of the void of other qualified conservative candidates.
Let’s face it, if Fred Thompson had entered the race earlier, made nice with the mainstream media, and had TV friendly one liners, Rudy wouldn’t stand a chance. On every single issue, Rudy Giuliani is to the left of everyone but John McCain. On the 2nd Amendment, Rudy is to the left of everyone because he imposed gun controls during his tenure in NYC (no matter what he says during the debates). On abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research, Giuliani is to the left of the Republican party and every other Republican candidate. His stance on immigration, while commendable for its affect on crime rates in NYC, has been attacked for having a “sanctuary city” in which illegal immigrants feared no consequences when reporting crimes. On taxes, Giuliani has a pretty good record of cutting taxes and the plan he recently released calls for dramatic tax cuts, especially for corporations, but is well underwhelming in bringing about real change.
Rudy has 1 overwhelmingly good characteristic in the eyes of the Republican party: his understanding of the War of Islamic Jihadism. If not for the fear of the public in regard to the radical Islamic jihad, Rudy Giuliani would not even have a chance. Giuliani’s campaign is the result of a conservative vacuum in the wake of the re-election of George W. Bush. His campaign has been rather underwhelming as well. If not for Fred Thompson, Rudy’s campaign might be considered the most dysfunctional campaign this election.
Rudy Giuliani, on just about every issue, is a Democrat in Republican’s clothing. He talks about being conservative, but he is only conservative to the point where it is politically expedient for him to be. While I would most certainly rather have Mayor Giuliani as president over Hillary Clinton, I cannot vote for Rudy for the Republican nomination.
Next Up: Why I Can’t Vote for Mitt Romney