I’ve read with much interest the news coverage that Rudy’s speeches have garnered in places like South Carolina. Bloggers who want to make “America’s Mayor” into “America’s President” say that Rudy’s warm crowd response indicates he’ll sail easily past the social issues that divide him from typical red state voters.
However, the casual observer misses one key point: politeness. If I were listening to Rudy speak, I would cheer and clap for him, and leave regretting that he was unfit for the Presidency. Lee Bandy of The State points out a similar phenomenon in this article.
South Carolina Republicans love Rudy Giuliani.
But will they go so far as to vote for him for president?
Because the former New York City mayor is a moderate Republican who supports gun control, same-sex civil unions, embryonic stem-cell research and abortion rights–stands that put him at odds with the majority of the GOP’s conservative base.
“We are a pro-life party and proud of it,” state Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson said.
In other words, our respect for him will not and cannot translate into actual votes. I wonder if Rudy knows this…and isn’t quite ready to plunge into an elongated campaign which would invariably bring his stock down.
“Is he serious about the White House? Or is this just an exercise in branding?” asks a New York Magazine article:
Rudy Giuliani’s announcement that he has formed an exploratory committee for a presidential run has raised as many questions as answers. He’s never made a secret of the scope of his ambition–but though he was often seen on the hustings during the past campaign season, he has no national organization to speak of. And notwithstanding his impressive poll numbers, his pro-abortion views, three marriages, and gay-friendliness are thought to be fatal defects in many Republican primaries.
The article speculates that maybe Rudy is simply trying to build his clout in the GOP and his business:
New Hampshire Republican Party chair Wayne Semprini says that, unlike other visiting politicos, Giuliani is “an attraction.” But there’s a difference between coming to see someone and voting for him.