Expect to read a lot about the US Presidential process on this blog in 2007. The 2008 primaries promise to be the most exciting in years. Let me nail my colours to the mast now. I want Rudi Giuliani to be the Republican candidate. I say this because I think he is possibly the only Republican who can restore the party's reputation and drag it back from some of the more extreme elements who control it at the moment. He's a man of vision and courage whose leadership skills have been tried and tested in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Yes, he has personal weaknesses and some decidedly liberal views on social issues which will be anathema to Christian fundamentalists, but hopefully even they will be able to see the wider picture.
But there is a view among Republican commentators that is worrying me. Friends of mine in Washington seem unanimous in their view that Giuliani won't get very far because he won't be able to raise the necessary cash to fund his campaign. The big bucks are already going to John McCain, which bearing in mind his own liberal views on social issues, is odd. Surely if McCain can attract the money, Giuliani ought to be able to as well? What am I missing?
I don't believe that Giuliani will fail to get the funds. A big New York player such as Trump, Bloomberg or Lauder would surely come in to support Rudy. Much as I admire them both, Giuliani has a greater cross-party appeal than McCain. Giuliani for President.
I went to New York in 1989 and it was a terrifying hell hole. I went back this year and it was very pleasant and unfrightening place to walk around. What I want to know is what happened to all the sick and disposessed that lived on the streets? Are they locked away somewhere? Were they given one way tickets to New Orleans? Guiliani certainly tidied the place up, but WHERE DID THE HOMELESS GO? Anyone know?
I'm not convinced by any of the candidates who are likely to stand on the Republican side. I would like to see Condaleeza Rice and Jeb Bush stand though.
Bloomberg is a Dem and I believe Trump is, too.
Noel Slevin - Condoleezza Rice will not stand for President and she wouldn't get the backing of her party if she did.
This woman is not a glad-hander. She has no interest in politicking. She has never stood for anything in her life - not even a seat on a local school board (which are all elected in the US). She is a very clever individual and she is a great achiever, but she is a private person - remote. She has a solitary nature.
The woman is a concert pianist, which should give you a clue. Long hours, long years of solitary work practising. She is also a champion ice-skater. Again, the solitary discipline to practice, practice, practice. She is not a rah-rah team player and she's not an outgoing person. She won't run.
Jeb Bush, yes, I would like to see him have a go, but I don't think he could succeed his brother. It would look too much like a dynasty to the American voter. Next time, maybe, but not in '07.
After what Rudi Giuliani achieved in New York I must admit that I am surprised he is not the front running candidate for the Republicans.
He would be my choice and I think that he might be the only candidate which might be able to repair some of the damage done to British opinion of the Republican party.
Yes, 2008 is much too soon for Jeb Bush. If the Republicans are going to win the Presidency they'll need a candidate who can distance himself (and the party) from George W.
Rudy Giuliani would be my choice too and I can't imagine funding will really be a problem. As far as I know he hasn't really kicked his campaign into gear yet - which would explain why McCain is ahead in the money stakes.
I believe Giuliani would beat any of the Democrat potentials in the Presidential race - the real problem for him is going to be winning the primary. The Christian right is going to have trouble accepting his views on homosexuality and abortion, as well as his failed marriages. Others will be troubled by his support for gun control.
Hopefully his leadership in the wake of 9/11, his success cleaning up New York, and his hawkish views on security and foreign policy, will still tip the scales in his favour. McCain would be good too - but I can't help thinking he's just too old to be President.
Whilst 2008 is too early for Jeb Bush to run for President, he is widely talked about in Republican circles as the ideal Vice Presidential candidate.
If someone like Guliani and to some extent McCain were to win the nomination, they will need someone who can appeal to the Republican core, and Jeb Bush is the ideal candidate.
It's a popular myth that Giuliani "cleaned up New York". He was hugely aided by three things; large numbers of drug addicts died after switching to dangerous chrystal meth; a large hike in NYs tax revenues came as a result of a large change in the state / city tax paradigm instituted by democrats in Albany; and he benefitted from massive government financial aid following 9/11. As to what happened to the homeless, well, he simply drove them out of the city, so they are now decamped in surrounding cities and states where they have become a major problem. He also incarcerated record numbers of minor felons, a US-wide trend not implemented by him but taken advantage of. Most local NY'ers regard him as a busted flush and will not vote for him at the elections. The most likely future president who will do well in NY is Hilary Clinton.
I hope that in the interests of America and the western world, McCain will not get elected. Underneath that shallow political skin lies an inward looking isolationist. Do people have such short memories? Besides, McCain is sooo boring...
Giuliani, otoh, can & will think out of the box, as well as being able to take & hold unpopular decisions.
I know where my money is going.
Anonymous 5:04pm, doesn't it say a lot about Iain that he is personally recommending this slime as President of the USA? Even more reassuring, he is a Tory candidate in the British Parliamentary elections next time. Fantastic! We are in safe hands with the New Tories!
Anonymous at 5,17. And doesn't it say a lot about you that you post anonymously. Prick.
Iain Dale said...
Anonymous at 5,17. And doesn't it say a lot about you that you post anonymously. Prick.
besides you iain does anybody use their real name? so where is the difference between me and anonymous?
People should not overestimate the power of the religious right in the US. For one thing, they're not a solid block. For another, they are very much a minority. For another, they are also pragmatists.
What would work against Guiliani is if he is indeed for gun control, as someone mentioned below. Now that is a huge constituency and he probably could not get in with that platform.
Anonymous 5:04 - Hillary Clinton will need to win more than NY to become a contender and she has gone off the boil. She is widely loathed. This is a difficult one to call because I think her support is not that loyal and could be won away by a more charismatic candidate, which is what the Dems need. I don't think Obama is an issue at all.
Jeb Bush - no. He could not even run for VP at this point and if he did, it would ruin the ticket. He won't. He will wait eight years. He may accept some official position in a new Republican administration, but he will not run for national elected office this time.
BTW - One thing Jeb Bush has going for him and will make him a formidable opponent in seven years or so is, he is married to a Mexican and his children, obviously, are half Mexican. Also, he is a fluent Spanish speaker. This will be a powerful influence in pulling in the second-generation Mexican-American vote.
The Republicans have a serious credibility problem with the budget deficit and out of control spending. People laugh at them when they say they are for small government. It will be difficult for Senator McCain to not be seen as part of the problem, and that's an advantage to Giuliani. He cleaned up NYC's Times Square by closing down the porn shops, and having very aggressive police. Eventually, more family friendly stores moved in. Cleaning up Times Square doesn't seem very relevant. His 3 months of Mayor after 9-11 is good experience managing during a crisis.
I think that fundraising would be the least of Giuliani's problems in wooing Republican primary voters. While his "America's Mayor" image is indeed a major asset, his positions on social issues (gay rights, gun control, abortion) would surely prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially in states with closed primaries. I would look for Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts to emerge as the most plausable challenger to McCain from the moderate wing of the party.
It surprises me that the Republicans doubt Giuliani's ability to raise money; particularly after 911, he's got an international presence, and people love him.
I remember him from back when he was a ruthless prosecutor and the scourge of the Mafia, and while I think he's an evil, self-centered and cruel man, I must admit that he has been good for New York City, and that he rose to the occasion when it was attacked. He was truly inspirational, and that's not an inconsequential trait when running for President.
He did simply drive the homeless out, quite literally having his police dump them in Jersey.
But some of the social engineering projects he implemented caused meaningful improvements in the slums, by inspiration and example. His single most effective property crime reduction policy was one I have suggested both here in Vancouver and also on Boris Johnson's blog: he simply taxed owners of derelect or abandoned-looking buildings at three or four times the regular property tax rate. They cleaned them up right smartly once they realized he was serious, and the crime level plummeted. How slick is that? Genius!
Meanwhile, McCain, for whom I have a great deal of personal respect (he's helped a friend of mine, who is a longtime Democratic activist, and who is also a military widow) keeps shooting himself in the foot. Pandering to the extreme right wing will make McCain their darling, but they won't like the zipper problem, the Keating Five issue will raise its ugly head again, and there's more dirt there to be found. The media will find it, unless he agrees to be a VP rather than President.
As for Jeb, it's way too soon. He's known to one and all as "the smart one" and he's got amazing political instincts. When I heard a Bush son was running for president I simply assumed it was Jeb, rather than his dumbass brother; imagine my surprise! But he's got huge family problems. They may be half-Mexican, but they make the Bush twins look like nuns. And no way will the Americans trust another Bush, particularly a serious hawk, so soon.
This will be a VERY interesting race.
Giuliani is the front-runner among Republicans according to every poll I've seen. I tend to agree with TC that the only reason he's not attracting big money is that his hat is not yet unequivocally in the ring.
When he declares himself in the race, it will trigger a monumental struggle between the Christian Right and the moderates for the soul of the Republican party.
One factor that works in his favor is that the Democrats now control both houses of Congress. If the Republicans lose the Presidency, they will be completely shut out of government. This means they will be desperate not to lose the Presidency. The Christian Right in its heart want to nominate a Romney or a Brownback, but unless they are utterly delusional, they know that such men would lose a general election. My hope is that they would thus nominate a moderate like Giuliani, rather than lose the Presidency to a Democrat even less to their liking.
Guiliani has more obstacles to confront than most but a few advantages too. He obviously has moved on successfully with his life since leaving the Mayor's residence by pursueing a successful business career. As other posters have noted he won't be damaged by any anti-Washington sentiment at the election either. There will also not be a funding problem.
He does face the problem of being seen to be a left wing Republican however. This will not be an issue in states with open primaries but it does mean that given the order of the Republican primaries and caucuses he will be slow off the starting block. If he can point to the polls and convince people that he is electable however this *could* be overcome.
My money would be on John Edwards to win the Dem primaries right now but the Republican race is still way too open. The only concrete prediction I can make about that race is that neither Congressman Hunter or Senator Brownback will win...
Jeb Bush? Jeb Bush?
Presumably that's something you lot read in a cracker over the festive season?
This US stuff is months away.
What about the Bangladeshi parliamentary elections on January 23rd? I trust 18DS will be sending its own reporter.
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