Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Is Giuliani More Likeable and Loyal than McCain?

Here’s a plausible account of why conservatives are less irked by Rudy than by John. Their socially liberal deviations from mainstream party principles are similar, but Giuliani doesn’t turn his disagreements into moments of self-righteous, media-pandering disloyalty (my obvious exaggeration is to get your attention). The claim is also made that Giuliani is just more likeable. (In my opinion, they’re both pretty likeable, despite their relatively thin skins.)

Discussions - 9 Comments

Beyond the issue of likability, Guilani has one huge advantage over John McCain - he knows how to manage. Partly, that means finding ways to talk about issues that attract support: McCain rarely accomplishes this - he appeals only to those already in his tent.

But more important, it means being able to generate confidence in those around you that whatever you decide, you will stick by. John McCain isn’t called a lone wolf or a maverick for nothing. Those close to him have no idea where he’s headed. Indeed you often get the impression that neither does he. Beyond a craving for attention and a willingness to jump ship at the worst moments, the man is scarily unpredictable. People don’t follow a leader like that. They keep their heads down and wait for better times. John McCain would be a disaster as a national leader, and people sense that about him.

Also, Rudy’s actually run things and made real changes -- in a difficult environment. He’s gone up against New York special interests and the left. He was very unpopular with such people before 9-11. We can’t just look at a candidate’s positions. We also need to look at what they’ve done, as distinct from said and voted on. We also need to look hard at who their enemies are, or were. I give big points to people who have good enemies.

Many of the comments about McCain are accurate, but instead of demonstrating his unsuitability for the office, demonstrate the he might be the man we need.

Allow me to explain. We are rapidly moving towards a period where our nuclear deterrent must once more be credible, I just don’t mean fully modernized, manned, ready for launch. I mean that our nuclear deterrent requires a man on the trigger who will fire a nuclear salvo that could destroy 100 million muslims in about 25 minutes. THAT’S where McCain is. That "scariness" of McCain is precisely what the physician is going to be ordering. Recall Reagan quipping about dropping the bombs on the Soviets. Those comments demonstrated a readiness, Liberals weren’t wrong when they perceived in Reagan something deadly in earnest. Ed Morris, his biographer, once asked Reagan what he would have done as President if the Soviets fired, his face became hardened for a moment, and he simply whispered, "everything...." Meaning, he would have unloaded our entire strategic arsenal in response.

These are grim issues, Dr. Strangelove issues, and those are the types of issues that we will once more be speaking of, because GW and the establishment have decided to allow Tehran to go nuclear.

People need to ask themselves, WHICH PERSON IS OF SUCH CHARACTER as to intimidate the Iranians away from using their nuclear weapons. Gingrich is such a man, I don’t know about Rudy, but I do know about McCain. McCain has the stuff to kill our enemies in droves. He is vain, but so what, so was Patton, so was MacArthur. Churchill was likewise vain. He courts the media, but without that courtship he would be another anonymous Republican backbencher. His ambitions required him to court the media. He knows the media enjoys the whole maverick crap, so he plays it. But he NEVER waffled on the war effort, even when many a Republican Senator put their assent behind one of those whifty resolutions over a year ago. George Allen signed on to that, but McCain never did.

McCain’s biggest problem right now is that Rush Limbaugh almost has it out for him. And that’s one force I wouldn’t want arrayed against me.

David, is Rudy going to be able to tell his story of how he saved New York City. That’s a lengthy story to tell, kind of difficult to sound bite. What he did for NYC most thought couldn’t be done. Rudy is much like Reagan, apt to accomplish the impossible. And what he did was a CONSERVATIVE thing, he imposed law and order on a city where people lived in fear, he drove out pornographic businesses around Time’s Square. Forced red light areas to the margins. This is a story that Conservatives would appreciate. But will he be able to get that full story out during his campaign. That’s a mighty challenge for him.

It’s a terrible thing to say, but for the years 2008-2016, greater fundamental danger to the U.S. is posed by liberals in the Supreme Court than by nukes in Iran. Giuliani has pledged, I think, to nominate moderate judges, and McCain is officially conservative on the abortion issue and others, but I don’t trust either of these guys on this front.

And on Giuliani, remember, this guy is going to develop a consituency, of voters, representatives, appointees, party officers, press allies, etc. This constinuency will remain powerful after he’s left, and will be the closest thing possible to the "liberal-tarian" faction that we’ve talked of some here. A Giuliani presidency is simply NOT in conservatives’ self-interest. His very virtues, which the. U.S. will be grateful for in the short term, make him a threat to our nations’ long-term well being.

I like Rudy a lot, but what Carl says holds a good bit of truth. The greatest danger to us in the long-term is internal, having to do with immigration, moral decay, and political nannyism. Would McCain be better for this environment than Guiliani? I doubt it. If you want a conservative who is pretty reliable, that would have to be Newt (or Tancredo, or Keating).

Carl is probably right. But Rudy’s gratitude-inspiring virtues remain genuine.

Indeed. I spent a basically safe-feeling six years in the Bronx and I know I owe a lot of it to Mayor Giuliani.

When I went back to NYC a few years ago to finish my degree over a summer I lived in Harlem, Harlem! across from Central Park and it was lovely. When I had gone to C.U. in the 1970’s that was like no-man’s-land. It was horrible. I took the bus that went that way around Central Park to my college once, and never again. The Bronx, Carl? In those days we took the train through the Bronx and it was like looking at the pictures of bombed out cities after WWII. Guiliani did a wonderful job in New York. However, you guys are right. There is more to the presidency than efficiency in management.

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