Giuliani Blog Tracking the likely Presidential candidacy of Rudy Giuliani

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

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:

"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."

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?

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.

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.

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.

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At 11:21 AM, Blogger Tim Byer said...

Giuliani could go a very long way toward acceptability to the pro-life Republican base were he to clarify that, whatever his personal views on abortion, he will continue to appoint originalist judges in the mold of Scalia/Thomas/Roberts/Alito. The base cares less what a politician's personal views are than that abortion loses its "constitutional" protection. Same on the gay marriage issue: let legislatures deal with it, but don't let the courts decide the issue for the country. That doesn't seem to be such a great stretch, as nominally "pro-life" politicians have been doing it for decades: "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I believe in Roe v. Wade". Rudy: "I'm personally pro-choice on abortion, but there's nothing in the constitution about it."

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