Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2008: Rudy's OK. Really

While some political talking-heads are pondering the downfall of John McCain, others (Cillizza: "As close readers of this blog know, The Fix remains skeptical that Giuliani, who is pro-choice and pro-gay rights, can win a GOP nominating process dominated by conservative voters.") are talking of the impossibility of JMac's main rival, Rudy Giuliani, actually winning the Republican nomination.

In fact, the Washington Post has an in-depth analysis of why Rudy can't win in '08. According to the WaPo story, Giuliani will never be able to overcome conservative anger with his liberal social positions and his sordid past. That will be what halts the Rudy campaign, GOP strategists say.

...conservative party strategists and activists in key primary states are skeptical and warn that the socially liberal Republican faces a difficult campaign. They question whether a Republican who has had one marriage end in annulment and another in divorce, and favors abortion rights, gun control and immigrant rights, has much retail appeal in the evangelical and deeply conservative reaches of the GOP.
"If the Republican Party wants to send the social conservatives home for good, all they have to do is nominate Rudy Giuliani," said Rick Scarborough, a Southern Baptist minister and president of Vision America. "It's an insult to the pro-Christian agenda. . . . He's going to spend a lot of money finding he can't get out of the Republican primaries."

But are the WaPo pundits and Republican insiders overestimating the influence of Christian conservatives in the GOP? After all, they couldn't save Republican this November and lost many of their main politicians of influence in that election blowout. Can Rudy win by ignoring the evangelicals and instead focusing on those voters that love Rudy as the Hero of 9/11? He has broad appeal beyond just traditional GOP circles, so losing the religious vote may not spell the end of Rudy.

Rounding up GOP cash may be the biggest hurdle to a Rudy nomination. With McCain grabbing oodles of cash from some of GWBush's old donor friends, Giuliani has been forced to take drastic measures to get funding.



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