Hawkins then compiles a list of quotes by and about Guiliani during his tenure as mayor of NYC. I tend to see those utterances as the price Guiliani had to pay as mayor of the bluest city on the East Coast. They may well end up costing him the nomination. But here's the thing: What's the issue that will unite GOP voters behind a candidate? For me, it's the GWOT. And from what I know now, Rudy seems the best man to entrust with our national security.
And Rudy's likely opponents for the nomination have problems of their own.
- Take John McCain. He's been solid on the war, and generally solid on the issue of national security. Personally, I cannot stand his maverick stance. He seems always to be trying to position himself as a war supporter but a Bush opponent--a balancing act that ends up making him look, in my eyes, like a hypocrite. And then there's McCain-Feingold. If Rudy's position on, for example, gun control puts him outside the pale for certain GOP voters, then McCain's almost mystical belief in the virtues of campaign finance reform do the same for me. I view it as an abridgement of free speech and a legislative exercise in wish fulfillment. But if McCain were the nominee, I'd probably vote for him. Because I can't imagine a Democrat having the same commitment to national security.
- New Gingrich has been making the rounds of the Sunday morning talkfests imparting his pearls of wisdom on the GWOT and other issues. Newt's cleaned up pretty good, but Newt has a lot of bad history. For one thing, he's really got a pants problem. For another, his one chance at leadership was pretty much a disaster. Should the future leader of the free world really be whining about having been snubbed on Air Force One?
- I don't know enough about George Allen to say one way or another how he'd perform as president. But can he make it past Macaca-gate?
- Spend a day reading The Corner and you're sure to run across at least one glowing reference to Mitt Romney from NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez. This, I imagine, is chiefly because of his pro-life stance. I'm not sure where Romney stands on national defense, but if gun control and abortion rights make it impossible for certain Republicans to pull the Guiliani lever, Romney's mandatory health insurance plan would make it hard for me to vote for him. Talk about big government conservatives!
- Chuck Hagel? No way in hell.