Lee Bandy: Social Issues Unlikely to Hurt Giuliani
Lee Bandy is the dean of political reporters in South Carolina -- think Yepsen in Iowa and DiStaso in New Hampshire.
Today, he focuses his column on social issues and Rudy Giuliani, and concludes that they won't hurt him down South as much as people think:
Former state GOP chairman Barry Wynn said the party needs to take a fresh look at the way it regards new voters, especially those new residents who’ve settled along the coast and are starting to have an impact on state party politics.
Those voters tend to be more progressive in outlook and are more inclined to support someone like Giuliani.
“I think Rudy could be more popular in South Carolina than most people would think,” Wynn said.
The debate in 2008 isn’t going to be about tax cuts, abortion or Social Security reform — Republican favorites.
“The overarching issues this time will be national security and leadership,” Wynn said. “Everything else will fit under that.”
Such a scenario favors Giuliani, Greenville consultant Chip Felkel said.
Francis Marion University political scientist Neal Thigpen, a GOP activist, said Giuliani is in a “special category.”
He’s a “glittering personality” with star quality who can get away with supporting legalized abortion and gay rights.
His position on those social issues “would not hurt him as bad over the long haul as one may think. If John McCain had the same position, it would hurt him a lot worse.”
Barry Wynn, fast becoming the go-to guy in S.C., concludes:
“If your house is on fire,” Wynn said, “you want a guy with the hose.”