In the past, I've noticed that NewsMax tends to feature Rudy Giuliani quite a lot. Since their material tends towards the outrageous and attention-grabbing, I strongly suspect it's because he makes better copy, and sells more magazines and ads than any of the other 2008 candidates.
NewsMax tips their hand yet again with the cover story on their latest magazine, "Yes, Rudy Can Win" which is like a flood of Rudy analysis and speculation after wandering in the desert that it is the Brain-Dead Beltway Media (BDBM). It begins with an exhaustive cover article (it's better than you expect) that covers his years as Mayor, the challenges and opportunities of a Presidential race, and long on-the-record musings from Ralph Reed. Also included is a calendar by Hotline editor John Mercurio on how a Rudy candidacy could unfold, and memos on a Rudy candidacy from Dick Morris and James Carville.
So, let's begin.
The piece isn't online, so I've transcribed the best, most politically meaningful clips here.
On Rudy's 9/11 reception:
Finally, it's Giuliani's turn. All eyes are riveted on the man as he steps to the podium. More than anyone else, he's the one they've come to see, to hear.
"Five years from the date of the attacks that have changed our world," he begins, "we've come back to remember the valor of those we lost."
"God bless all of those that we lost," Giuliani says, "God bless all of you who mourn for them. Remember them and live on in their spirit. And God bless America.
As he steps away from the podium, voices cry out, "Giuliani for president!" And again, "Giuliani for president!"
Don't cross Norm Coleman off the endorsement list:
"He's America's mayor," says another fellow Republican, Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota. "I would never rule out Rudy Giuliani accomplishing anything he set out to do."
On where Team Rudy realistically sees this thing going and the "X-factor:"
One Giuliani insider admits to NewsMax that on the face of it, Rudy cannot win the GOP primaries. But his inner circle sees an "X-factor" that can catapult Giuliani to the top of the GOP heap and to the presidency. The X-factor is no mystery -- it's a possible event in the not so distant future, another terrorist act of 9/11 proportions or greater that many predict will take place.
"If it happens, security issues will outweigh all the other issues," the Giuliani insider said. Rudy will be the man the nation turns to, as they did after Sept. 11, to be their crisis leader.
A bunch about the Christian Right in here. Among the old guard, Robertson's friendly (he can't stand McCain) but Falwell won't endorse. So, at least among those two, it's a wash.
Few people understand more about winning Christian voters in the modern era than Ralph Reed, and despite his unfortunate loss in the Georgia LG earlier this year, you can see him playing a big role behind-the-scenes in '08. He also likes Rudy, and here's what he has to say:
"Rudy Giuliani is going to be a very appealing candidate for a lot of Republicans should he choose to run for President," Reed told NewsMax, adding that in addition to 9/11 Giuliani deserves credit for introducing conservative ideas and policies to urban America.
"If he does decide to run," Reed explains. "I think it would be mutually incumbent on him and social conservative leaders to have a dialogue about the issues that they care about. I have talked to a lot of social conservative leaders. They disagree with him on some issues, but have enormous respect for him.
"On the campaign trail, he has said that he believes we ought to be appointing judges like Alito and Roberts. Where he stands on issues like abortion and gay rights is going to have to come out of a dialogue with social conservative leaders. I think he will get a fair hearing.
"The closer he can move to where grass-roots social conservatives are, the better it will be for him."
Wink, wink, nod, nod.
Now, onto the calendar. John Mercurio envisions a March 2007 "late entry" for Rudy and it sounds like he's done his homework. The relevant pieces:
Mid-to-Late Feb. 2007: Giuliani campaign gains steam. Rudy is expected to start making strategic moves, announcing that he's "exploring" a 2008 presidential campaign and will "travel around the country listening to voters." Aides say this will most likely include a focus on Southern (South Carolina and Florida) and Midwestern (Iowa) states, where Giuliani's support is weakest.
March 2007: Giuliani cashes in political IOUs. Cashing in on hundreds of campaign appearances he has made for Republicans since becoming "America's Mayor" in 2001, Giuliani starts to collect chits from the so-called "invisible primary." Aides say Giuliani has campaigned for Republicans in more than 40 states in the past five years. Assuming he's polling the weakest in the Southern and Midwestern states, Giuliani will focus on drawing endorsements from state and local officials in those regions.
March 2007: Hired help. Giuliani will likely start hiring senior staff for early-primary states. Many top aides who are expected to fill these jobs have been with him for years, including former press aides Sonny (sic) Mindel and Cristyne Lategano. Sen. John McCain has already started locking up the vast majority of top campaign strategists and elected officials.
March 1, 2007: CPAC. The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) holds its 34th annual conference in Washington, D.C. and Giuliani will be there to build bridges. If he makes successful inroads with the GOP conservative base, Giuliani will be strengthened. ...
September 2007: Giuliani "kick-off" announcements. Giuliani holds campaign "kickoff" announcements in various primary states. Look for lots of red, white, and blue bunting, charming anecdotes, and soaring, visionary rhetoric.
November 2007: Slamming Rudy. By now, the right wing of the GOP is attacking Giuliani on gay marriage, abortion rights, etc. He's forced to respond by highlighting his tough-on-crime credentials and his leadership following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If Giuliani refuses to shuffle to the right on social issues, his road to the nomination will be uphill. ...
Early January 2008: Iowa debate. Iowa holds a debate, and Giuliani will need a strong showing to defeat McCain here later. After the debate, the GOP race will quickly boil down to two or three candidates. Expect at least one to be an anti-Giuliani conservative, possibly Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. ...
February 2008: Southern states. The morning after the New Hampshire primary, Giuliani flies to South Carolina to campaign nonstop for the GOP nomination. If Giuliani builds a coalition of social moderates -- a rarity in South Carolina GOP politics -- and "national security" conservatives, he could establish himself as a strong alternative to McCain, who is vulnerable.
Dick Morris's advice to Rudy:
McCain, while he is a buddy of yours, has backed handcuffing our military when it questions terrorists and has wanted to subject our investigators to civil damage suits for violating the rights of terrorists. Nobody can believe that McCain will have the independence and focus to wage the war on terror and win.