Rudy Giuliani, "Hero Of Our Age"?
Quite possibly according to the Pittsbugh Tribune-Review:
Ronald Reagan was the last candidate to make New York see red. Recent polls suggest Rudy Giuliani may be the next.
Gallup has three of four Republicans putting him at the top of their list.
He loves the Yankees, roasted peanuts (shells included) and the opera. During radiation treatments for prostate cancer, his staff played "stump the mayor" with operatic trivia.
His moderate Republican face displayed all of our anger, grief and horror on Sept. 11. A voracious reader, he turned that night to Roy Jenkins' Winston Churchill biography, poring over its recounting of how vital Churchill was to Britain's survival during World War II.
Today, he stands on the verge of running for president. The most formidable things he faces between now and the 2008 primaries are the hearts of conservative Republicans. His rather liberal record as a pro-choice, pro-gun-control with tolerance for gay marriage moderate could cause hair to rise on the back of the necks of the right.
Ray Hoffmann, GOP chairman in Iowa, home to the first presidential caucus, saw his state go red for the first time in 20 years in 2004. "Our Republicans are on the conservative side," he says, "but anything is possible."
Does Giuliani stand a chance? "Absolutely. ... It is up to him and his message. ... Maybe he has moderated some of his positions on social issues."
Club for Growth President Pat Toomey agrees. When seeking his second term in Congress, Toomey moved his own position to that of pro-life. For conservatives to warm to Giuliani, he says, "is plausible. ... If he starts out by offering up positions that oppose federal funding for abortions and stem-cell research, and promises a constructionist position on judges, well, then, who knows?"
"Twenty years ago, no way," says New Hampshire GOP county chair Wayne Semprini, "but the New Hampshire Republicans of today, that's a different story. ... While there are still a good amount of conservatives here, there are a lot more moderates."
South Carolina, the gateway to the South with that region's first primary, is staunchly conservative. But former GOP chair Barry Wynn says it "depends on the conditions in the country. If the primary were held today, Rudy would be out in front just on leadership. ... The house is on fire and we are sorely lacking firemen -- Giuliani would fill that role."
Bill Bennett, a conservative talk-show host and Bush 41 drug czar, thinks Giuliani stands a chance with conservatives: "Sure, look what is happening on the campaign trail. ... His stands on social issues can be an obstacle, but not a blockade.
"Giuliani starts with more positives than McCain in states like Texas and with the Baptist belt, and the upcoming 9/11 movie will probably give him a huge boost."