Giuliani, McCain or ?

Monday, July 31, 2006
Ryan Sager writes some very decent puffery stating that Giuliani appears to be favored over McCain and that a socially liberal Republican from the northeast would now be "acceptable" in the south and west. He bases his analysis on a recently released Gallup poll which apparently actually uses the term 'acceptable' in one of its questions. He also posits Giuliani as the "clear leader" on the basis of a 29/24 split in Giuliani's favor in a poll for which he does not state the MOE.

Should the race come down to a Giuliani/McCain choice (bearing in mind that neither received even one-third of the respondents support) then I believe that Giuliani might prevail - if he clearly identifies the type of individual whom he would appoint to the bench. McCain has proven to be entirely undependable with regard to judicial appointments and will receive, at most, lukewarm support from those who give primacy to that aspect of a nominee's curriculum vitae and Giuliani shares with McCain (and with Gingrich) lapses in personal conduct which will not redound to an advantage for any one of them.

Mr. Sager also neglects to emphasize that Giuliani has very few ties at the national level within the party. He is not noted as a team player (nor is McCain). If Miz Clinton is the opposing candidate then either man would win but it would not be on the basis of popularity and trust but upon the choice of a lesser evil.

It is still a bit early to try and follow this very closely but I do expect that McCain will receive a considerable amount of negative press coverage, beginning in November from the same MSM who lovingly patted the head of their favorite 'maverick' in a soon to be forgotten past.


terrye said...

I like Rudy. And I don't find McCain half as obnoxious as I do some of his critcs.

Present company excepted of course.

I would say both or either of them have a better chance than an Allen/Tancredo ticket.

brylun said...

Many, many conservative Republicans simply do not trust McCain. Remember McCain/Feingold and the Nuclear Option fiasco. And look who he chooses to drink vodka with!

Fresh Air said...

The big problem with McCain if he doesn't get the nomination is that his towering ego will likely impel him to run as a third-party candidate. This would doom the GOP.

Rick Ballard said...


I like Rudy just fine - I'd vote for him in the general without hesitation. If he came out with a statement on his basis for selecting judicial nominees that was absolutely clear, I could support him for the nomination. He is certainly more trustworthy than is McCain. It's just that being more trustworth than McCain is a very low bar.

I don't have much of a feel for Allen but how would you feel about a Giuliani/Allen ticket - or vice-versa.

Skookumchuk said...

It depends, he said, with his usual attempt at sagacity...

I think that there is now a widespread realization that the war will last a long time - certainly throughout our lifetimes. As Wretchard once observed, the fact that the Democrats can not formulate a coherent national security policy is a great tragedy for America. It is however, a boon for Republicans. Or a possible advantage, anyway, if not squandered.

Giuliani's claim to fame is his rallying the city - a city with superb infrastructure and competent emergency institutions - in the aftermath of 9/11. His denouncing Yasser Arafat and post 9-11 Arab money are two additional feathers in his cap. McCain's claim to fame is in a more distant past. It is easier, rightly or wrongly, for Americans to recall the former than the latter. As to the rest of Giuliani, we can only guess. I intuit a solid centrist socially, and a moderate hawk on the WOT. Somewhat of a cypher still.

As in the case of McCain, we do not know the type of person a President Giuliani might might appoint to the bench. It is, sadly, a crapshoot for the voters. As you point out, the lapses in personal conduct are worrisome but so are those of McCain, Gingrich (who I can't believe will run) and Ms. Rodham C. I also don't think that McCain will bolt and form a third party candidacy in the manner of a Ross Perot. He isn't that quixotic.

McCain/Feingold and the policy zigzags mark McCain as an opportunist in the eyes of the Republican base. So we have an opportunist versus a cypher.

Giuliani will probably modify his past position on the 2nd Amendment and abandon any further attempts at gun control, an issue that the Democrats - with the exception of Hillary - seem to have quietly abandoned at the national level. Democrats only emphasize such efforts in very blue, high crime cities where they also wield political power at the local level.

But I agree with what you imply - that Giuliani, being from New York, would receive the blessing of the MSM given that he was mayor of the center of their cultural universe. He might even receive some enthusiasm, in a way that McCain would not.

So. Being liked by the MSM is, right now, a prerequisite to success. We may wish it to be otherwise, but it ain't. We shall see if it still is the case two years hence.

terrye said...

McCain would fight the war. And I don't think the gang of 14 was all bad.

sorry I just can not help myself. I am a Libra. I like balance, harmony all that stuff.

CF said...

I like Giuliani and really fear McCain's moody swings and disrespect for the First Amendment. But I agree the press will now show that they liked McCain only when he was a maverick who could be counted on to slam the Administration.

Rick Ballard said...

Harmony is great but what about the days when McCain gets bad reception through his fillings and doesn't understand what the voices are telling him to do? I'm not sure how harmony arises from a group of second raters making a power play either. Not a smart choice at all, which is understandable.

And if he was going to allow himself to be rolled in order to cover up his own previous ethical lapses, he could have gone to Levin rather Feingold. Feingold is politically dumber than a brick and so far left that I'm surprised he doesn't move to Hawaii.

chuck said...

I am no so sure about Giuliani. He did a good job in New York, but he also recommended Bernard Kerik for the Homeland Security post and Kerik turned out to have all sorts of problems. I would also like to see him put together some sort of foreign policy and defense team before running. If nothing else that would show that he was ready for the job and it would also help us learn something about what he intended and his people skills. One of the good things about Bush as opposed to Kerry was that Bush had a team that he worked with while Kerry had a bunch of Democratic opportunists. That's how it looked to me, anyway.

John Lynch said...

I tend towards those with executive experience. Senators have lousy track records at taking and holding principled positions; executives have experience at making decisions and sticking with them through criticism during implementation.

You can review the character of an experienced executive; you can see only demagoguery from lawmakers. </cynicism>

Senators also have lousy records at winning presidential races.

McCain has demonstrated those qualities that would cause me to not vote for him, and perhaps actively vote against him (depending on the choice.)

Rudy has demonstrated commitment and follow through. I may not always agree with his positions, as I do not with our current president, but I do admire and respect the quality to evaluate, decide, and follow through as demonstrated by both President Bush and Rudy.

That said, is there a better choice?

Rick Ballard said...


Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon were all Senators. The executive issue is certainly valid but it's not a perfect determinant.

The better choice question can't be answered quite yet. The pols with the most sense are keeping a low profile. It's still too early.

John Lynch said...


I'll admit my laziness in advance as I haven't dug up the statistics to quote them here; but during the last presidential race the statistics were pretty widely cited. Senators have run in a large number of presidential races - the four you cite are the ones that won.

My memory of the statistic isn't good, but it was something like a 60% win rate for governors, 20% for senators (having received the nomination.)

As you say, it is too early to make a decision, but if you are asking - I like Rudy over McCain for the reasons stated.

John Lynch said...

Here's a referecne that comes within (large) rounding error of my memory: Link

48% last office governor; 16% last office senator.

Rick Ballard said...

Thanks, John. Good recall on your part.

Luther McLeod said...

Still Condi. I know.

Syl said...

First, I don't care about squeaky clean. And, personally, I'm damn sick of blue dress references. M'kay? I have no problems with Rudy except for his lack of foreign policy experience. McCain seems more in the know on that score.

But McCain tries to please everybody, and we can't afford that.

So I'd go with Rudi 'cause I like him and he's tough and has great administrative credentials.

I like Allen, but he talks like an RNC chair and has all the talking points down pat. IOW, he sounds like a politician more than a possible leader.

Frist is waaaaaaaay too conservative for my tastes.

But nobody mentioned him anyway, so I guess he doesn't matter.

Newt is smart but I just can't envision him as President or Commander in Chief. He telegraphs and probably has never acted on an instinct in his entire life. We need a touch of raw and gutsy too, and for that I think Rudy would fit the bill best.

terrye said...

Newt is smart, but he scares me.

Wouldn't Europe have a collective cow if we made Newt Gingrich president. Makes it almost worth considering.