"Don't Bet Against Rudy"
Richard Baehr makes the case here.
Is conventional wisdom gelling on this? The social federalism rationale has been repeated so often, even I'm starting to find it a yawner, which means it might be starting to cut through. (It's argued by Baehr, and by Political Prognostications, and is preceded by Baseball Crank's August 2005 classic and blog comment threads even before then.)
From the discussions Baehr relays in his piece, it seems that there is a large group of pro-business, pro-GWOT conservatives (and even savvy social conservatives) who a) agree that McCain is unacceptable, and b) think an outsider like Rudy or Romney is the answer.
DeLay introduced Giuliani as the man on my right (in terms of seating). When Giuliani got up to speak, he told the audience that he might have to remind some voters in the years ahead of Congressman DeLay's description, that he was to the right of Tom DeLay.