Friday, January 05, 2007

Can Rudy Be Elected?

There's an article out of the Times of London that asks the question of whether America will vote for Rudy. Its an interesing question (and particularly interesting that a British paper is asking it). There's no doubt that Rudy Guiliani has tremendous leadership skills. The problem is his position on social issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. These issues will cause him enormous problems in the republican primaries. The other problem is John McCain. McCain and Guiliani are both moderate republicans although McCain has been courting the right. But if they both split the moderate primary votes, then a more conservative candidate might take the nomination.

In my opinion it will be difficult for Guiliani to get the republican nomination. My opinion may change of the next 12 months depending on who stays in the race and who gets out. But the Times article didn't ask whether republicans would vote for Guiliani. Rather it asked if America would vote for Rudy. That's a completely different question. Assuming Guiliani could capture the nomination, could he then be elected president? I think that is absolutely possible, particularly if Hillary Clinton is the democratic nominee. The republican voters would vote for "anybody but Hillary" and Guiliani, with his moderate positions, likely would pull some blue democrats. It might be enough to make a difference.

So, can Rudy Guiliani win the republican nomination? At this point in the race I'd have to say "no". But if he wins the nomination, could he be elected president? I think the answer to that question is "yes". It is a very intriguing dynamic. And some republicans might waiver on their convictions over social issues to vote for someone in the primary who they think can beat Hillary Clinton, i.e. Rudy Guiliani. This all makes for a very entertaining campaign season.

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