Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Rudy G: Battered but not Broken

posted by Jazz at 12/18/2004 09:18:00 AM

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Good piece in the Times this morning on Rudy Guiliani's future in the Republican party, and the effect that his partnership with Bernie "Political Cyanide" Kerik may have. There is a lot of buzz in New York about Rudy, some good, but a lot of negatives. Around other parts of the country, however, some people seem to be in denial.

"He was close to Kerik, sure, but what does that mean?" asked Spencer Jenkins, the executive director of the Utah Republican Party. "Does that mean he was responsible for everything that Kerik did or thought? I don't see any negative here." A Quinnipiac University national poll of 1,529 registered voters, released on Thursday, said that 45 percent of those surveyed still wanted him to run for president, as did 68 percent of Republicans.

I like Rudy. He is part of that unique brand of moderate Republicans we tend to grow in New York. In such a decidedly blue state, it's the only way to get elected. Pro choice Republicans who are decidedly centrist on most social issues are the only ones who can manage to get elected around here. Unfortunately for Rudy, it seems fairly obvious that the hard right wingers in other parts of the country aren't exactly going to warm up to him. And some of them are already using his relationship with Kerik to poison the well.

"The question becomes, how does he fit with the plurality of the rest of Republicans, and the answer is, not very well," said David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "And the Kerik thing does not help. It really goes to the flip side of what people like about Rudy, which is that he is not seen as someone who is very careful about much of anything. It raises the question of what kind of people and what kind of checking would he do if he were in the position of making those kind of decisions."

Only time will tell. Getting Rudy into a prominent position in the party could go a long way towards salvaging what's left of the Republican party, but I just don't see it happening.