True Wisdom vs. Conventional Wisdom
I would also warn O’Beirne and others not to put too much stock into ancient quotes from the ’80s and ’90s that make Rudy sound like a liberal. What must be remembered is that Rudy was campaigning to win votes in one of the nation’s most midnight-blue cities. It’s true that Rudy’s mayoral campaigns are chalked full of liberal quotes. But what’s also true is that while Rudy campaigned as a liberal, he governed as a conservative. Just check the record. Rudy was a Reaganite on taxes, a Gingrichite on cutting and reforming government, and a Bushite on toughness and the bad guys. Even on social issues, Rudy was more of a pragmatist than anything. A socially liberal ideologue would never have padlocked porn shops in the name of order. But Rudy made himself sound like a liberal to New Yorkers to get elected and then governed from the center-right, just like Bill Clinton made himself sound like a conservative to the nation to get elected and governed from the center-left. In 2008, Rudy will be campaigning to win the nation — a much more conservative electorate than he faced in New York — and will run on his conservative record, not away from it. I would ask NR to analyze that sort of run, but we’ll probably have to give the conventional wisdom a little more time to catch up to the true wisdom of the American people.