Rudy Giuliani Visits North Carolina
Mayor Giuliani made his first Southern political pit stop of the year in Charlotte, N.C., taking in 100 G's for the state GOP and doing a health care event with Sen. Richard Burr.
It's always amusing watching the press hunt down phantom Christian conservative opposition to Rudy, but local conservatives were nothing if not gracious and welcoming:
The New York Sun plays up a potential vulnerability: a certain standoffishness when it comes to retail politics. Will Rudy '08 be about grand public gestures, and not so much about pressing the flesh?
"He's liberal on some issues, but he's solid on the main things," said former Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr.
Raleigh consultant Marc Rotterman said "the issue in '08 is going to be about competency and results. Clearly as mayor of New York he has demonstrated both those traits."
Ann Sullivan, a party activist from Wayne County, said Giuliani would be preferable to at least one possible candidate.
"If we're going to have a president from New York," she said, "it would be nice for it to be Giuliani and not (Democratic Sen. Hillary) Clinton."
It's an interesting criticism -- and one Rudy and his people will have to pay heed to, especially in the early states where retail politics is make or break.
Her friend, Rosemon Tipton, nodded her head in agreement - but did register a complaint that could become common: "We didn't get to see much of him. I was hoping he would come around, I think it would've helped."
Mr. Giuliani, who arrived in a black SUV, mingled with the crowds only briefly as the events wound down. Mr. Burr broke up the discussion by suggesting Mr. Giuliani needed to get going, with the words, "I see some panic on your staff." ...
The trick now is to pay personal attention to voters, which means speaking with them when he's done speaking to them. Mr. Giuliani didn'audiences yesterday. And he was fidgeting even before his speech at the fund-raiser, whilet seem particularly interested in chatting with his others in the room stood still with their heads bowed. Perhaps his restlessness was just a New York thing - I only noticed him looking side-to-side because I was restless as well.
Davidson Goldin also mixes in this bit of analysis:
Analysts have speculated that Mr. Giuliani's positions on social issues could be the determining factor in his electability. My sense is that Mr. Giuliani's patience - his willingness to mix and mingle - will play just as big a role. Even here on the edge of the Bible Belt, Ms. Tipton said that "people don't care about abortion anymore."What do you suppose is more poisonous with conservatives: being the lead sponsor of what is widely viewed as illegal alien amnesty, or being pro-choice? The Gang of 500 won't like the answer, but the answer is amnesty. Rudy isn't quite right by conservatives on this issue, but he's got a ready-made narrative to get right: he'll do for the border what he did for crime in New York City. The un-nominatable McCain, by contrast, is hopeless on what has become the central issue of our time for conservatives.