Let me preface this by saying that I was for Mitt for one day and in one state only. I’m moved by his competence but not by his charm so far. But here’s an email I received on his behalf by a particularly astute political analyst:
It occurred to me this morning why I like (but don’t love) Romney more than the rest. Romney is being accused of having adopted three different campaign messages in Iowa, NH, and MI, the implication being he is all ambition and a rank opportunist, etc. etc.
well, that is a bad thing...
BUT, it seems also true that Romney is the GOP’s most energetic AND competent candidate. reinventing/ changing your message on the fly is hard work. He wants to succeed and so he works for it and finds what works.
The GOP nominee is almost certainly doomed in the General. Having said that, the candidate with the best shot will be the one that is broadly conservative, with the most energy and competence.
what stands out about Bush is his lack of energy and competence (see inaction on Iraq from 04-06 and Katrina, bungled legislation, immigration tone deafness, etc). Sure Bush went to Business School-- all he learned was to wear a suit in the office. He reads History too-- like middle aged white (collar) males read history, they all want to be Churchill, anticipating foreign threats, staying the course, saving the world.
Romney doesn’t daydream, he works; he studies situational details and changes course accordingly. ASSUMING he has a core (which I think he does: see his happy family, his Mormonism and the moxie to govern Mass. as a prudent conservative), Romney’s flexibility, energy, and competence is the best medicine for a GOP suffering from Bush induced stagnation.
Huck- has his charms here and there. BUT methinks he is finally just a clever one trick pony, albeit an interestingly unorthodox one.
McCain’s record demonstrates that he has a big time core, which he will obstinately seek to advance, damn the Party ! the Polls ! whatever.
Thompson- glib and an almost orthoodox conservative, but NO ENERGY, no flexibility and therefore I doubt he will be able to respond to complex situations with creatively conservative policies.
Guliani- a complex candidate with many obvious warts. and I’ll leave it at that.
so, its Romney for me - because the guy doesn’t stand still.
Well, that didn't take long........
I was half expecting Peter to drop this on us last night.
I really and truly didn't write the above, nor do I fully endorse it. The author can out himself (or herself) if he (or she)wants...
I've settled on Romney myself. My concerns were about how truly conservative he is. But his backing by people like Bork and Jim DeMint and other very conservative figures reassures me on that score.
I have just as many problems with Romney as I have with the other candidates. But there is one critical one that I can't surmount. I think the guy has absolutely no chance of winning the general (barring, of course, a major Democratic implosion--which, I admit, may not be as unlikely as I thought a few weeks ago). I think the election is too important to lose and that the biggest issue at stake is the one most painfully absent from the discussion. What I think, however, is that that issue (namely, national security) is going to come to the fore once the primaries are over. While I think Romney would take a more or less solid position on the question (certainly better than any Dem) I have no faith in his ability to persuade the vast numbers of people who are going to need persuading. He brings no special connection to it to the table and, more important, he has almost no support among young people. Young people do not vote in numbers that move elections (though there is some evidence that they vote in slightly higher numbers now--and will do in this strange election even more) . . . but their views on this issue are driving the views of the nation as a whole (as they did in Vietnam . . . perhaps because there's a sense that it the young people who have to do the heavy lifting in war and the older folks feel guilty about it?)
I still think that despite his problems (personal and political within the GOP) Giuliani can and would make a forceful and pretty convincing case for us. I am unconvinced that when the rubber met the road, vast numbers of GOP faithful or social conservatives would alienate the party after the debate had been so framed for several months. I hear their threats and I'm sure some of them are serious. But I'm not afraid to call them on it in November. It hasn't been about Iraq for this primary season . . . but it will be in the general. Just watch. When it is, are these folks really going to sit by and let Hillary/Obama carry the day? The Dems have to make the war their issue and the media is going to be happy to swing around to that narrative; thinking, as they will, that it will carry the Dems to victory and that's the more interesting story. It may work out for them. But there's a chance it won't. It seems to me that there is only one candidate (possibly two if you count McCain . . . but he's distanced himself so much from Bush as almost to seem two-faced on the issue) who has any shot of pulling off a successful battle on those grounds. And that's Giuliani. Who are you going to pick in a street fight between Hillary/Obama and Giuliani?
But I'm still hoping the stars align and we get a brokered convention. It's the best way to keep interest in the GOP alive as excitement for the first black or female nominee mounts. And with the variety of candidates in the GOP, the focus will be on the ideas (and, yes, also the horse race) less than on any one of them and his particular flaws. The Dems will almost certainly have a nominee soon. He or she will have to start taking clear positions that will need defending by the summer . . . and if we go into the summer still uncertain as to who will force that defense (and the GOP candidate has had all that time to watch his opponent and build his case) I think I like the look of that.
Surely Romney's strong suit can't be that he pulled an Al Gore and reinvented himself in each state so far. Which Romney will show up at the debates (plural) in the fall?
Which Romney will show up at the debates (plural) in the fall? That's easy. None of them.
Trying to predict who can win the general, several months before the general, is a waste of time. Poll's are meaningless that far out, they only become useful in the couple of months prior to the election.
Go with the candidate you think is best on the issues that matter to you.
I've gone over my problems with Romney in great detail. And I don't think I've any need to repeat them.
South Carolina will demonstrate whether or not a "solid South" lines up behind Huckabee.
South Carolina might also demonstrate whether the McCain candidacy is dead in the water.
South Carolina is likely to reveal whether there is any life in the Thompson campaign.
I'd like to know who the Giuliani campaign would like to see prevail in South Carolina. I'm sure that whoever it is, they want it to be a narrow victory, proving little, providing no bounce to the candidate.
And I don't see any reason to believe the GOP nominee is "doomed in the general." The Grand Old Party is going into a tough election to be sure. But there's NO reason for that level of pessimism, which borders on despondency and despair.
I think you might be wrong both about the electability and youth support.
1) Romney should make just as formidable candidate in the fall as Giuliani for much the same reasons. He has the energy to keep pace with either of the two possible Dem-nominees. Crafting three separate messages shows more than just his ability to change gears as the emailer suggested, but it also indicates his platform is multifaceted and he can tailor the parts needed to the audience. These are good signs for a potential GOP-nominee who will be expected to know and discuss everything from national security to economic policy; especially economics since that is increasingly looking like a major issue for the fall.
2) I'm 27 and have a friend in Ohio younger than I am working on the state-wide campaign. There are even more folks I know of in Ohio, out here in PA, where I live currently and back home in CA who are Romney supporters. Most of us (myself included) started off liking someone else but came around as we took serious stock of the front runners.
It's not so much that he doesn't have the support of the youth, but that most of them are usually charmed by the character and look of the other candidates, which I must admit is a current weakness he must overcome.
He is by no means a perfect rock solid candidate, but if I can't have Rudy in that street fight, I pick Romney.
Giuliani, to say the least, is not a candidate with youth appeal. I doubt Romney is much better. I also doubt the election is going to turn mainly on toughness concerning the war. The Dems. have huge advantages, studies show, on the domestic issues, and if the surge continues to succeed Iraq beomes sort of a wash, but things could get worse. As I said before, some evangelicals would prefer Obama to G, and the turnout among social conservatives would be low if G were the nominee. What reelected Bush was the huge e. turnout.
I agree with Luke P.'s last point. Romney is my second choice. But I am mystified by his prior points. If Mitt Romney doesn't project good looks to appeal to young people, who among this field can hope to do so? Mitt is about as handsome as they come. And yet, his numbers stink among the young (despite the report of your young Ohio friend). Romney may peel off women voters from Hillary if Rush is right about the "arousal gap" . . . but I wouldn't take that to the bank and if Obama wins the nod, Obama wins the arousal contest too. So the conclusion must be that it is not looks or other such superficial things that are driving young voters. On the other hand, young voters are still young. It's not as if their inclination to favor Obama or Hillary is often based on some deep thinking through of the issues. But I think they do find something about those respective campaigns that intrigues and compels them to offer their support. The "first black"/"first woman" narrative is certainly part of it. But it's also a kind of youthful rejection of the old order (more, in Obama's case--though also some in Hillary's) and a perceived level of excitement surrounding that defiance that makes them feel as if they are part of something bigger than themselves. Republicans seem to have little ideas in comparison (at least to their way of "thinking"). So far, no Republican candidate has done a thing to refute that perception. Least of all, Mitt (until, perhaps, just recently in Michigan . . . but he'll need to put that argument on steroids if he wants it to penetrate.)
Peter Lawler makes the most sensible contrary point by suggesting that Giuliani's appeal will not extend to young people in the general because the war will not be as important as I believe it will be. And, even if it is, there is a chance that Rudy won't be able to hit the right note. I concede that there is a good chance that he is right. Rudy's chances, both in the primary and in the general, may depend on a whole host of factors lining up exactly right. Still, for him I see a path. I don't see one for the other guys--though if one of them gets it, I will deny I ever said this and try very hard to convince myself and others that there is one! But I am not persuaded that R's chances are as complicated in the general as Peter suggests. He is not immediately appealing to youth, but he is a scrappy little guy who earns respect in a fight. He'll leave deep scars in the battle. And his appeal is nothing like Bush's in my opinion, so he won't be going for exactly the same demo as Bush had to go for to win in '00 and '04. I still say that the desertion numbers will not be as large as all predict but, beyond that, Rudy's strategy has always been to appeal to more independent voters and purple/bluish states we lost before. With things as close as they've been in the last two go-arounds, I think we need to think about adding to--not just holding onto--our numbers. It may be risky as Peter suggests . . . but nothing ventured nothing gained. Once we have their ears, it will be up to others besides Rudy to win their hearts. But I think that's less difficult once the first thing is accomplished. Doesn't anyone remember how much we all longed to see the fight between HRC and Rudy in the Senate race? There were good reasons for that. There still are.
The writer of the original e-mail stressing Romney's energy and competence has a good point. I take issue (to put it far too mildly) with his or her denigration of "middle aged white (collar) males" who read history and want to be like Churchill and save the world. How can someone who denigrates readers, whites, and men, disparages Churchill admirers, and looks down on people who would like to save the world be a "particularly astute political analyst." He/she sounds like a rather stupid undergraduate to me. But even a fool and a bigot can be right now and again. And Romney's energy (in politics, at least) and competence (in his field, at least) may well be part of why so many people dislike him. They may also be greater strengths in a general-election campaign, and greater strengths still in the presidency. The GOP doesn't have a great supply of highly energetic or highly competent leaders. We shouldn't throw this one away too quickly.
We need someone who can counter the Dems' stupid but appealing slogans on domestic issues. At the end of the day, it's questionable whether McCain can do this. Admittedly, a war hero is far better than Richie Rich in terms of thermometer level. But people don't, in fact, necessarily need to like a candidate in order to vote for him. Cases in point: Richard Nixon. Al Gore, who lost only by accident. Gray Davis here in California. In addition, the Dem candidate will probably be Hillary. Her manipulative, phony campaign, plus the pro-Democratic media, can make her more likeable. But there won't be a huge gap, that's for sure.
Doesn't anyone remember how much we all longed to see the fight between HRC and Rudy in the Senate race? There were good reasons for that.
There were good reasons why Rudy bowed out of that contest, and they had nothing to do with the reasons he offered at the time.
There were good reasons for that. There still are.
Then it's odd that none of the Giuliani supporters are ever able to articulate them.
Rudy's strategy has always been to appeal to more independent voters and purple/bluish states we lost before.
Iowa, New Hampshire, and Michigan are all blue/purple states. NH and MI had open primaries, allowing any independents or liberals who wished to vote for Rudy. Rudy got 3% in Iowa, 9% in NH (behind Huckabee), and 3% in MI (behind Ron Paul.
Face facts, the liberals and independents are not flocking to Giuliani. Why should they, when they can get the same thing and better in the other party?
Regardless of what certain people wish were the case there is not a big constituency in this country for pro-war liberalism, which is what Giuliani offers.
I'm not at all convinced that the democrats are in a much better position in the general election. Just look at the absolute failure of the Democratic Congress to get any of their agenda passed. The war is going substantially better, which means the main problem for republicans has gotten a good bit better. Hillary is a decidely unattractive candidate for numerous reasons, and Obama has his own issues, some of which are just now coming out. What exactly does he stand for? Why is it that he consistently misses votes on controversial subjects?
Giuliani would be a problematic candidate in the general because a huge wing of the party will be very unlikely to turn out, especially if Obama is the alternative. Romney, Thompson and Huckabee wouldn't have that problem, though they might have others.
What is the obsession with the youth vote? It'll be roughly the same as always, i.e., not very much, but heavily for the dems. So what?
If we nominate a decent candidate he'll have a good shot at winning. The basic dynamics of the last two elections should be the same. It's a 49-49 split with the decisive votes in between.
See, that's what I get for not being clear when I write. It's not that the younger crowd doesn't find him good looking and all that, but he comes off as too polished to get noticed. The first impression is to assume he's just a good looking talking head. The pejorative being used by those on the left is "ken doll". But when the younger crowd starts paying attention, he's appeal will increase.
Caleb is right, though, about the total effect young voters have in the general. I remember all the talk in 2000 about how the under 30 crowd was going to shatter the 15-18% average for turn-out on election day. In the end, only 17% came out. I don't expect that number to be much higher this time around.
John, I think you miss the point about Giuliani's independent appeal. The left and center aren't flocking to him but we shouldn't expect them to either. However, we can expect him to win enough of them in the right places to turn some states red. If he pulls it off, I think a carefully chosen running mate could help create enough enthusiasm from the other wing of GOP to keep them all energized. (Either that or the prospect of Clinton/Obama naming the next generation of Judges.)
Luke, there's no doubt that what you say in your first paragraph is correct until you get to the last sentence. Why do you imagine that people will suddenly find him appealing if they haven't yet? David Frisk is right to suggest that people don't have to "like" a candidate to vote for him. But they do have to think that he's real. Romney's problem isn't likability. It's that he seems phony. If that's unfair in the end, so be it. It's an almost an insurmountable opinion on all sides at this point. His looks--unfortunately for him--add to the perception. So this perception has become a political reality he won't easily overcome.
David's suggestion that people don't have to like a candidate adds more to my suggestion that Rudy could pull it out. If the central issue becomes the war again (and whatever anyone has to say about the likelihood of this, it remains a fact that this SHOULD be the central issue), we don't need to "like" the candidate. It's better if he seems a bit like an SOB. And if Democrat incompetence in Congress become more pronounced as an issue (something I think to be less likely, but I'll take it if it comes) then Rudy's SOB persona helps him here too. We'll want someone who doesn't take prisoners in Washington.
Luke is right about the power of a carefully chosen running mate for Giuliani. I don't usually put a lot of stock in the theory that Vice Presidential candidates are a great boon to the ticket either way . . . but in Giuliani's strategy it might work. I'd suggest Bobby Jindal from Louisiana. Very conservative, from the South, young, energetic, and he comes with an undeniable multicultural appeal to combat the "freshness" represented by the Democratic alternatives. Plus, he can talk.
Finally, a last word about the stodgy complaint from Caleb that the so-called "youth vote" is not important. Yes, strictly speaking you are, of course, correct. But the thing about "youth" is that they grow up and (if you have kids) you'll see that they do this rather quickly. And, as I said above, they may be flaky when it comes to voting but they're still shaping the debate. The young always do. America is obsessed with youth culture and has always been obsessed with it. We want the new, the bold, the possible. We like to experiment and try new things. So appealing to youth, whether or not you get their votes, is always, always important. This does NOT mean pandering, mind you. But it does mean that you have to offer them a jumping on point--something that grabs their attention so that, later (and over time) you might grab their minds.
Hmm, I've never been called stodgy before. It's true that "youth" grow up - but then their adults and through that process many of them change. I'm still not sure why we would rank appealing to youth voters as very high up the list for a presidential candidate. They won't vote in this election, and by the time they are at an age when they are more likely to vote, the things that appeal to "youth" voters, whatever they are, won't appeal to their grown-up selves anymore.
On Rudy, I know a lot of people here seem to like him. My question is, why exactly does he have such great credentials on foreign policy? I don't see that he does. He did a great job in holding NY together during and after 9-11, but that doesn't automatically mean he would do well prosecuting the war as President. I happen to think that he probably would, but his job as a mayor does not make him more uniquely suited to doing that, than someone like Gov. Romney.
If that's true, Rudy loses a lot of his appeal because quite frankly, he's not a conservative. And he never really has been. We used to know this, but somehow, in the desperate attempt to ward off Pres. H. Clinton we seem to have forgotten it.
As far as Jindal for VP - as a Louisiana native I'm estatic that he was just elected governor. He's wonderful. But he was just elected governor. And by all accounts he really wants to be governor. Jumping on as VP would be seen as a blantly political move to a stepping stone job, something that wouldn't be appreciated back home, or forgotten. It would really hurt his ability to govern if the ticket lost and would probably hurt him in future campaigns if they won. On the broader VP question, social conservatives aren't going to be assuaged by a token conservative VP for Rudy.
I'm not a Huckabee fan in general, but there is something to the argument that a section of the party has taken social conservatives for granted. Other than a very modest faith-based initiative that congress never got behind and the partial-birth abortion ban they have gotten very little from the party lately. They are tired of it. And a lot of them will stay home if Rudy is the nominee, especially if he's running against Obama, who won't seem as scary as Hillary, even though he's more liberal.
I see that Julie continues to evade the question. And the information. What a surprise.
It's no secret that I support Huckabee, but I beleive the only chance to avoid a brokered convention is a McCain win in SC, which will give him momentum in FL and then a big win on super Tuesday. At this point a Huckabee win in SC, which is possible but unlikely now, will only lead to a further division of delegates. Romney has the money if he wants to try and buy the election, but his principles are so out of whack that not many conservatives will stomach his flip-flops.
McCain has made peace with a lot of the establishment in the past 4 years, and its time that we rally behind his great conservative credentials on foreign policy, spending, and the budget. He has a solid record on abortion, taxes, limited government, and values as well. We know he has certain weaknesses like Campaign finance reform and immigration. However, please note that these two issues-what conservatives rightly hate most about McCain-were done in response to two already flawed systems. Campaign finance and immigration was already a mess, so did McCain hurt anything? In situations where the issue is not a disaster, he preforms much better. No candidate, except Tancredo was going to solve the immigration problem; Reagan whiffed, Bush whiffed, no one will act. So immigration is a poor issue to distinguish any candidate on, both on principles and practice.
McCain is the most orthodox conservative as a composite in the race; unless one is willing to believe the Romney is exactly as he portrays himself, but given the continuous change, what is that anyway? That said, were I in South Carolina, it would be my duty to vote for Huckabee on Saturday.
John, I think you miss the point about Giuliani's independent appeal. The left and center aren't flocking to him but we shouldn't expect them to either. However, we can expect him to win enough of them in the right places to turn some states red.'
We can expect him to turn off enough normal Republicans to turn some red states blue. Have you noticed the reaction of Republicans to him so far? A series of 3% finishes.
Julie, Romney and Giuliani have no chance. Neither appeals to youth, neither appeals successfully to the base. I like your idea of Jindal, just don't link him to Giuliani; he's our backup plan for 2012 running for President to unseat either Clinton or Obama. And, he was just elected and we need to see him fix Louisiana, a heroic accomplishment that would shoot him to victory, before we take him national.
Luke, even if Romney could get youth votes, what about minorities? He can't even relate to poor white people, much less take his Grosse Point sheltered self into minority neighborhoods. He seems aloof to problems, and while I am an economic conservative, I don't even believe that he understands how normal people live. Even if he does get it, he sure can't communicate it, and for that reason he has a snowball's chance in hell of winning in November.
The more I see of Romney, and the more relaxed he seems to become on the stump, the more I like him. But I still have this gnawing worry that he does not have anything close to a conservative core. I don't know that his business instincts will necessarily serve him well in the White House. He seems to have approached problem solving in the past by soliciting the opinions of the "best and brightest." He seems to be very focused on process. With this type of mindset, how would he approach education issues? Call together nabobs from the NEA and university ed schools? How about our intelligence failures? The folks at the CIA and FBI who created the current mess? In political battles on any issue, without a conservative philosophical foundation, I worry that he will be dragged leftward by the Dems, who are the real professional political brawlers.
I swear I'm not making this up: I just heard a young guy (like 25) call in to Dennis Prager's show and announce that his first choice for President was Barack Obama. His second choice? Rudy Giuliani. Anecdotal? Yes. Representative? I think so. It's at least a possibility. Do I think Rudy could knock down Obama in a street fight and persuade that guy to make him #1 on his list? You bet.
I'm a Conservative, but if Guliani is nominated the GOP won't get my vote. Guliani is a tough guy allright, over the top tough.
Contra Julie, the war should not be the focus in 08 and if it is, it will be nothing but bad for the GOP. Certainly, the surge + the tribal resistance to Al Qaeda have reduced the violence, thank God. But Iraq is still very unpopular which will not change before the election, probably not ever.
the future of Iraq is now almost entirely in the hands of its elected representatives, I'm pleased they still have the remainder of Bush's term to do it. I think we should keep troops there beyond Bush's term. But, our committment should end at some point. Furthermore, it is unlikely that, even under the best realistic scenario, Iraq will serve as an example transforming the political-social structure of the region (therefore placing islamic terrorism on the road to extinction).
The war was the most important issue in 2004 and rightly so, but the war shouldn't be the focus in 08. There are other important and more pressing issues. In particular I would prefer the election and the GOP be focused on the social issues; creative, market friendly health care policies; family friendly (pro-natalist) tax policies; and the social issues and judicial activism.
I don't want the GOP to ignore Iraq, our nominee and party should articulate our recent successes and the reasons why our commitment should continue-- in the near term. But, to make Iraq--six years on-- our focus would be a substantive and practical mistake.
Julie, I suppose that was my point. The sudden appeal comes when people get back the image and perception that he's just a good looking mannequin. Trust me, there are more than just a few people under 30 who are just now starting to tune in and will continue more so through the primaries. Part of this bodes well for Romney as they begin to take stock of his platform; part of this doesn't since he may not win the nomination before the rest start paying attention to the election.
Clint, any minorities who won't vote for the GOP are not going to do so regardless of who he is. And if Obama is the nominee this will be more difficult on top of that. It's not that Romney can't relate to them, I doubt any of them can relate to poor in any demographic. But much like not needing to like a guy to vote for him, I don't think one need relate to the guy either. I voted for Bush twice and never for a second thought I could sit down and have a conversation about life with the man.
Furthermore, it is unlikely that, even under the best realistic scenario, Iraq will serve as an example transforming the political-social structure of the region (therefore placing islamic terrorism on the road to extinction). You're right about that Ryan. And that's why the war (not so much in Iraq, but against Islamic jihadists actively engaged in plans to harm us) must be the central focus of a serious campaign. The only person I think can make a good case for that with any hope of being persuasive is Rudy. I think McCain has some cred on the issue too, but it's superficial. When you dig deep it's not consistent or thoroughgoing. And Romney didn't even mention it in his victory speech in Michigan.
They won't vote in this election, and by the time they are at an age when they are more likely to vote, the things that appeal to "youth" voters, whatever they are, won't appeal to their grown-up selves anymore. Caleb, that's right. By the time these "youth voters" grow up they will be more interested in what appeals to their children. If you doubt this, go to a car line at your local elementary school and take a look at what the mothers are wearing. They don't care if it makes them look ridiculous. They want to be hip.
Luke, it's not true that others can't do better. Huck got better than 40% of the black vote in Arkansas. Nor is Obama a slam dunk for minorities-particularly Hispanics who are the biggest minority group and leary of the black affirmative action and political movement. It steps on their toes even more than native Americans'.
I admire your ability to separate likability from your vote, but most Americans are not that subtle, and any political analyst knows that Bush beat Gore (and maybe Kerry) merely because his is more personable, friendly, charismatic. Bush is certainly a guy that most conservative or independent American's could talk about life with, so I'm sorry you feel so differently.
social conservatives would alienate the party after the debate had been so framed for several months. I hear their threats and I'm sure some of them are serious. But I'm not afraid to call them on it in November.
Uh oh, perhaps it's time grab such domains as "www.conservativesstayhome2008.com" & "www.better-honest-lib-than-dishonest-one.org"...;)
The GOP doesn't have a great supply of highly energetic or highly competent leaders. We shouldn't throw this one away too quickly.
It has plenty, the problem is one of ideas and ideals. The GOP is too much of an insider org, with insiders concerns takeing over after the rhetoric is finished. We should toss Mitt like an old rag - we need yet another spit & shine GOP company man like we need another liberal.
Very conservative, from the South, young, energetic, and he comes with an undeniable multicultural appeal to combat
Interesting suggestion! Having had the chance to vote for him before Katrina booted me out, I would love to support Bobby. However, if he ended up on a ticket with Rudy, I would be checking the skies for flying pigs - than man is smarter and has too much conservative integrity for that...
Christopher, well done in pointing out some silly Ponzi political theorizing. I quit reading her fantasies about Giuliani and Romney actually appealing to conservatives, but that's because I know no one is buying what they are selling. It's cute to call bluffs, but when you start the music you'd better be ready to dance till it stops.
The big issue is that Giuliani is not a real conservative at all; he is a liberal New Yorker who happens to like killing terrorists. That was so 2004, move on, there are new issues that people care about. Regardless, Iraq isn't enough to overcome being pro-choice, pro civil union, in fact pro any immoral choice that you can think of. The only thing Giuliani isn't pro-choice on is guns, which he thinks should be regulated. Hmmm, Julie, doesn't he understand the right to revolution and to keep our government in check? Please don't try to defend it with some liberal argument shrouded in conservative rhetoric. Giuliani is a liberal, and the only reason I'd vote for him in November if, God forbid, he were the best candidate is because he's our liberal.