Rudy's Baggage

Yesterday, when Rudy Giuliani announced his intention to run for president, he was speaking as the leader of the Republican field. Carrying that lead all the way to election day is going to be tough, particularly with some of the baggage he carries - not the least being his often stormy personal life.

The question is whether the party of "family values" will nominate a thrice married man. Frankly, I don't think so.

I like Rudy a great deal. His politics match mine almost exactly and I think he is one of the best leaders this country has produced in decades. Yet I came out for Romney early because I was and am highly skeptical that middle America will overlook Rudy's positions on abortion, guns and gay marriage, as well as ignore the more gruesome details of his second marriage. I lived in New York during the days when headlines screamed about his second wife Donna Hanover (who never took his name) locking him out of Gracie Mansion, while he was shacked up down the street with Judi Nathan. Is there any question that Hillary's "war room" hasn't already prepared a YouTube video series depicting that horror show?

And there is another thing. There are some who feel that Giuliani can be "outworked" on the campaign trail. During his truncated run for senate against Hillary in 2000, Rudy sometimes appeared to take winning for granted. It seemed as if Hillary was putting in longer days, although to be fair, Rudy was ill during those months. Now early in this presidential run, there are rumors that Giuliani isn't as well focused as might be necessary. In contrast, it is the conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney has put together the best campaign operation in either party, with the possible exception of Hillary.

The battle between Giuliani and Romney for the Republican nomination is going to be good sport. Either man would make a fine president, so from my perspective, it is a win/win situation. But coming out of the box Romney is looking like the better manager of his own campaign.

In addition, his present "running mate" is at least as attractive a personality as Laura Bush, who gets approval ratings in the high 80's. She is attractive, well spoken and void of the kind of political ambition that Americans deplore in a first lady. Anne Romney's battle with MS generates sympathy with many and helps focus attention on both her personal struggle and her work in that area. Even the most dedicated opposition research intern will find nothing more damaging to Mitt and Anne Romney than this lame report the Boston Globe published recently.

In any case, a couple of more pictures of Rudy and Judi playing Gable and Lombard on the front page of the New York Post will only make Romney's work easier.



1:11 PM

Agree with your assessment that Rudy will have a tough time winning the nomination.

I am a journalist, but I have been telling anyone who will listen that the Globe piece you linked to had to be politically motivated. I wonder who fed the Globe that story.

Imagine that! Illegals on a landscaping crew. And Mitt didn't ask the company whether they had papers.

What would have happened if he had inquired as to their status? He would have been labeled a racist and a xenophobe by the same people who feign outrage at what was revealed in the Globe.


1:23 PM

Although the Sage disagrees and says not only is Giuliani a good bet but your man is fading fast. But then again, he predicted Dean would be the Dem nominee in 2004.


1:43 PM

Leave it to me to have two commentors, both with the same name...

This may sound self serving (and is) but I took Morris's "sage" status away about a year ago. He's made too many bad calls recently (including Dean).

That said, the article linked is good analysis and there's lots to agree with. However, saying Romney is fading on the day that twenty-five congressman stand on the steps in support of his candidacy is pretty bad timing. And suggests that Morris isn't paying very much attention to the details.

And then there is the money issue. Romney has piles more money than any other of the GOP candidates. Morris rightly notes that McCain is looking less and less serious, particularly because no one is giving him money. Gingrich isn't running, and has for all intents and purposes said so. The rest of the field are not serious candidates.

Morris places his whole analysis on Fox News polls which are at this point just name recognition contests. And then he essentially contradicts himself by saying that primary voters are well informed. So what's the releveance of a name recogition poll for primary voters? I would contend... very little.

This thing is definately between Rudy and Mitt. I'm not saying Mitt has any kind of lock, but the rest of the field has already been taken out. Now it's down to a four or five round battle of the heavyweights. You know who I'm pulling for.