While Bruce and I generally agree on matters political, he appears to be backing our nation’s most excellent Secretary of State for the GOP presidential nomination in ’08 while I favor the former Mayor of the Big Apple. As I wrote last September, echoing an excellent column by Lorie Byrd, the leadership Rudy Giuliani “showed in the wake of 9/11 makes him an especially strong contender.” Lorie said that the way he responded to the attacks that day shows he has a “proven ability to perform under pressure.” He is, as she put it, “already known as a uniter and a strong leader.” Exactly the man we need in our troubled times.
I was delighted to read in Robert Novak’s column today that the man who “on top of last month’s national Gallup poll measuring presidential preferences by registered Republicans . . . intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.” (Via Instapundit.) Giuliani is my type of Republican, a fiscal and judicial conservative who made public safety a top priority when he helmed our nation’s largest city. He supports the president in the War on Terror (as well as the war in Iraq), but is a social liberal, who, as Mayor of New York, signed a landmark domestic partnership program that his Democratic predecessors failed to enact.
If there is a man in America who could best unite us, Rudy’s the one. A conservative man, he was reelected by a comfortable margin in one of the most liberal jurisdictions in the nation. The extremes aren’t too happy with the man. While those on the far left have been more outspoken in their opposition, social conservatives have pretty much kept their grumblings to themselves. They may be impressed with his leadership on 9/11, but would they back a man for president who is pro-gay rights, pro-gun control and pro-choice on abortion?
Rudy has been doing the right things to woo these people, campaigning for social conservative candidates, even in the “reddest” areas of the “red states.” As the 2008 campaign approaches, he’ll need to find a way to finesse his liberal stands on social issues. On gun control and abortion, it should be relatively easy. He can say that gun control is an issue for the states. On abortion, he can say that while he is personally pro-choice, he is against Roe v. Wade, saying that the decision was wrongly decided. He believes it should be overturned so that the states can set abortion policy for their jurisdictions.
On gay rights, he will have to walk a finer line. He can make the case that he opposes the constitutional amendment the president supports because, as this week’s decision in New York shows, it’s not necessary. I would also expect him to come out against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) on libertarian grounds.
Finally, he can appease the social conservatives, making sure they support the GOP ticket in November ’08, with his Vice-Presidential choice. To that end, he would do well to pick someone like Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour or Virginia Senator George Allen.
While I like George Allen, I wold prefer Governor Barbour. Barbour has a long record of service to the GOP, having worked in the Reagan White House in the 1980s and helming the GOP at the time of the “Contract with America” in 1994. He clearly understands that conservative principles which have made our party ascendant.
Given the leadership Barbour showed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, a Giulilani-Barbour ticket would be a Republican team composed of two tough men who did not crack, but showed their ability to stand strong in the toughest of times. A real sign of a GOP commitment to governing.
If my man Rudy can find a way to hold on to the social conservatives in the GOP, he’ll be able to win our party’s nomination and lead our nation well into the second decade of the twenty-first century. Let’s hope he succeeds.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com