DAVID Frum on Rudy Giuliani for president.
No living elected official has solved more public problems with more outstanding success than Rudy Giuliani. If there is one person Americans associate with competence in government, it is Rudy. As the primary race has warmed up, some have tried to diminish the mayor’s accomplishments. But in fact, the closer you look, the more amazing they become. (emphasis added).
With his donors’ money, Giuliani captured a single national delegate, in Nevada. At that rate, it would have taken close to $60 billion in spending to capture the 1,191 delegates needed to win the nomination.
Can he do it? No he can’t…
THE Republican contest in Iowa has gotten dirty.
With just weeks to the Iowa Caucuses on January 3, Mitt Romney’s campaign has launched a low blow against Mike Huckabee’s stance on immigration.
Could these tactics have anything to do with the fact that Romney has fallen behind the cherubic wonder preacher Huckabee in recent Iowa polls?
John McCain’s camp said the ad was an insult to Iowa voters. And as if by magic, pro Huckabee ads have popped up touting his hard-line on immigration.
Don’t you just love that message at the end – “Authentic Conservative” – as though Huckabee’s rivals are just cheap, Chinese-made, knock-off conservatives. (Though that might go some way to explaining Fred Thompson’s failure to live up to expectations.)
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani’s team are facing questions over their candidate’s stance on homosexuality. It appears the former mayor of New York thinks homosexuality itself isn’t sinful, it’s just homosexual acts that are a one-way ticket to hell.
And Ron Paul’s supporters are convinced that the boos their candidate suffered during a recent debate were a set up by the Giuliani campaign.
Are the conspiracy theorists right? Or is it possible that saying you want to bring the troops home is not the best way of appealing to a room full of Republicans?
Says Rudy Giuliani: “It wouldn’t quite be fair to say September 11, like, made my career. I’ve had a very varied career and I’ve done a lot of things”
COULD this man really be President?
Until a week or so ago, Mitt Romney seemed to be posing a formidable challenge to Rudy Giuliani.
So how is it that Giuliani, despite recent allegations of wasting taxpayer money as he carried out an extramarital affair, despite previous support for gay marriage and gun control, despite getting dressed up in women’s clothes and being kissed by The Donald, is still the Republican frontrunner?
Is it 9/11?
Or is it just that the others are that lousy?
IN a sign of just how close the Republican race for the nomination is proving the candidates in last night’s YouTube/CNN debate turned on each other with ferocity.
With less than six weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses and less than two months to the first primaries, Mitt Romney traded barbs with Rudy Giuliani over illegal immigration.
Romney accused Giuliani of being soft on illegals’ rights and Giuliani accused Romney of turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants employed by a landscaping firm that worked at his home.
That mud might stick, but so did the boos of the audience as Giuliani repeated his accusations.
Meanwhile, Fred Thompson went on the attack with a YouTube video of his own, highlighting Romney’s past support for abortion and Mike Huckabee’s support for taxes.
There was barely any time to devote to pillorying that old chestnut, Hillary Clinton, as the candidates turned on each other over abortion, guns and tax.
Romney and John McCain clashed over torture. And Thompson attacked Giuliani for his support of Bernard B Kerik, the former New York police commissioner whom Giuliani appointed and who has recently been indicted on charges of fraud and tax evasion.
All in all, it hasn’t been a good 24 hours for the Giuliani campaign. Yesterday Politico.com reported that Giuliani billed obscure New York City agencies tens of thousands of dollars for a security detail in the Hamptons during 1999 and 2000 when he was having an extramarital affair with a woman who lived there.
The only crumb of comfort for Giluliani may be that commentators appear divided on who came out on top.
The New York Times Caucus blog said it was hard to pick a winner for the evening “because the fur was flying in all directions.”
The New York Post declared it Thompson’s best debate yet with Giulani appearing too liberal.
But Britain and America chose John McCain as the winner of the evening, talking well on immigration, foreign affairs and torture while Thompson lacking fluency, Giuliani was off form and Romney couldn’t shake accusations of flip flopping.
Meanwhile, Redstate went with Huckabee and McCain, accusing Giuliani and Romney of being so so, and Thompson of failing to deliver anything better than a few good one-liners.
All eyes would now turn to the CBS Democratic debate scheduled for December 10. But the debate has been canceled because of the writer’s strike and candidates’ unsurprising reticence to cross the picket lines.
NOPE it’s not the title sequences for a new sitcom. It’s the promo video for the CNN/YouTube Republican debate in Florida tomorrow night.
And with less than two months to go to the presidential primaries the debate actually promises to be a tad more exciting than this dreary promo suggests.
While Hillary Clinton continues her runaway lead among the Democrats, the Republican field remains wide open, with Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney constantly at each other’s throats, Mike Huckabee champing at the bit and John McCain and Fred Thompson battling hard to stay in the race.
Oh, and did we mention Ron Paul? His name seems to evade the mainstream media most of the time, but Paul continues to attract vehement support and piles of cash online.
But ahead of the debate, Mike Huckabee is hogging most of the limelight.
Huckabee’s latest ad portrays him for what he is: a good Christian candidate for President.
The ad may also contain a number of veiled digs at Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and his flip-floping on issues such as abortion, according to the New York Times.
Either way, Huckabee’s appeal among socially conservative Christians is sure to hurt Romney, and by doing so help Giuliani.
Indeed, Huckabee’s recent surge in Iowa polls and his strong campaign has set tongues wagging about a possible partnership with Giuliani next year.
The New York Sun points out that Huckabee and Giuliani have refrained from criticizing each other as the campaign has intensified and that Huckabee has even taken Giuliani’s side in his recent spats with Romney.
Certainly, Giuliani could do with the conservative street cred of a former southern Baptist minister who so appeals to evangelical Christians.
IT’S got to be one of Hillary Clinton’s least desired endorsements since Jenna Jameson said she wanted the former First Lady to be president.
Yesterday, President Bush told ABC News that Hillary was the strongest competitor in the Democratic field and noted her experience of the pressures of being in the White House.
The soon-to-be ex president went on to attack Clinton’s closest rival, Barack Obama, for his desire to negotiate with America’s enemies such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
It’s hard to say what the Bush effect will be. But you’ve got to guess that he is one of the last people Hillary wants on her side with less than two months to go before Democrats choose their candidate for the 2008 election.
Perhaps it’s the promise of Thanksgiving turkey in the air because yesterday another Republican sprang to a Democrat’s defense.
This time it was Rudy Giuliani who let Obama off the hook for telling a group of school kids about his drug and alcohol use during a misspent youth.
According to the New York Daily News at least one pupil took this to mean that you can fool around with both and still be a success.
And what was the response from the Republican frontrunner Giuiliani?
“I respect his honesty,” Giuliani said.
“One of the things that we need from our people that are running for office is not this pretense of perfection,” added the twice divorced former New York Mayor who spent a period living with a gay couple and who has been pictured dressed as a woman.
“We’re all human beings.”
No, you’re not. You’re politicians.
And if you’re a Republican candidate who can’t berate a Democrat for using coke, weed, and booze, then what chance do you stand in 2008?
IT’S official: God supports Rudy Giuliani.
The twice-divorced, abortion and gay rights supporting former mayor of New York has the official blessing of leading evangelical Pat Robertson.
You remember Pat? He’s the gay hating, liberal hating, pro lifer who once said that September 11 was god’s wrath for America’s support of pornography, secularism and abortion.
With the Republican race still extremely close, candidates are scrambling for whatever support they can get. And backing from Robertson is sure to boost Giuliani’s conservative credentials among Christian voters.
But why would Robertson choose Giuliani?
Apparently, he is is willing to overlook Giuliani’s errant ways because he believes Giluliani is the candidate most able to defend the country against “the blood lust of Islamic terrorists.”
Plus, Giuliani has apparently promised to appoint conservative justices who could some day overturn abortion rights.
Then there’s the issue of electability.
Rudy might just be the best hope conservatives have of preventing the Democrats from winning the race for the White House.
Hillary Clinton came out well ahead of her Democratic opponents in the latest New York Times/CBS poll of Democratic party leaders.
But a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll today shows that although most voters support Democrats over Republicans (50 percent to 35 percent), when voters are asked to choose between Clinton and Giuliani, the numbers are almost tied, with 46 percent supporting Clinton and 45 percent supporting Giuliani.
RUDY Giuliani could have a couple of problems on his hands.
While millionaire Mitt Romney buys his way to the White House on one side, the New York Sun points out that a dark horse social conservative has emerged on Giuliani’s flank.
That outsider is former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, who has come from nowhere to tie Rudy Giuliani for second place in the latest Iowa poll, a crucial early state in the presidential primaries.
The University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll shows Huckabee (12.8 percent) and Giuliani (13.1 percent) statistically tied, while Romney sits way out front with 36.2 percent. Huckabee polled just 1.8 percent in a similar poll in August.
His surge is impressive considering Huckabee has spent just $1.7 million on his campaign so far, compared to Romney, who has spent $53.6 million, and Giuliani, who has spent $30.6 million.
Huckabee is one of the few Republican candidates who appeals to social conservatives. He is an ordained Southern Baptist minister. And he attracted more than half the votes of delegates to a recent Values Voter summit in Washington.
He is tough on immigration and tough on corporate pay. And he has the added advantage of being able to boast that he has fought the Clintons in their Arkansas backyard. Yesterday he told politico.com that he had beaten the “Clinton political machine” four times.
Nationally, Giuliani still leads the Republican pack with 20 percent in the polls. Fred Thompson and John McCain follow with 19 percent and 14 percent respectively.
But it’s Huckabee and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney who appear to be gaining all the traction. Watch this space.
One of the city’s best-known Yankees fans, Rudy Giuliani, told a New Hampshire crowd yesterday that he’s supporting the hated Red Sox in the World Series.
The Boston Red Sox play the Colorado Rockies in the first game of the World Series tonight.
By chance, the Red Sox haven of New Hampshire is one of the first, and therefore most important, states to vote in the Presidential primaries.
By the New York Daily News’ calculation the combined value of all Red Sox supporting states, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and half of Connecticut, is worth 30 electoral college votes. Colorado has nine votes.
Giuliani, who is a regular at Yankees games and owner of four Yankees World Series rings, recently taunted Hillary Clinton for becoming a Yankees fan while “growing up in Chicago.” Now this.
“The man really must want the job,” says the Op-Ed page of the New York Post.
Meanwhile, Democratic hopeful Barack Obama told a Boston crowd last night that he was a White Sox fan: “You don’t want somebody who pretends to be a Red Sox fan as president of the United States. You want somebody who is a principled sports fan. Even when his team is losing, he still stands up for them.”
In other news: John McCain told workers at a small weapons factory in New Hampshire that he would follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell and “shoot him with your products,” and a bleary-eyed Mitt Romney accidentally accused Barack Obama (not Osama) of “calling on radicals, jihadists of all different types, to come together in Iraq.”
WITH less than three months to go before Americans decide which two candidates will square off in the Presidential election, all eyes are fixed on the Republicans.
It’s not that Hillary Clinton’s Democratic nomination is assured. It’s just the race between the Republicans is closer, and turning a little bitchier.
At last night’s Republican debate in Florida, Fred “Fading Fast” Thompson, John “Vietnam Vet” McCain, Mitt “Don’t Mention Mormonism” Romney and Rudy “9/11″ Giuliani exchanged barbs.
Thompson and McCain both played up their conservative credentials attacking Romney and Giuliani for their liberal records on issues such as gay marriage and abortion. Meanwhile, Giuliani played the “I Made New York a Safer Place” card while the telegenic Romney talked up his successes as a Republican governor of a Democrat-dominated Massachusetts state legislature.
When they weren’t bashing each other, the Republicans were attacking Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. McCain scored the biggest hit of the night, criticizing Clinton’s support for a $1 million museum to commemorate the Woodstock Festival that took place while McCain was a PoW in Vietnam.
“Now my friends I wasn’t there. I’m sure it was a cultural and pharmaceutical event,” he said, before adding, “I was tied up at the time” to a round of applause and a standing ovation.
Whoever goes on to face the Democrats won’t necessarily be quaking in their boots if they face Clinton. A recent Zogby poll showed that half of Americans would never vote for her, compared to 43% who said they would never vote for Giuliani and 42% who said they would never vote for Romney.
At the other end of the poll, Democratic candidates Barack Obama (37%) and Bill Richardson (34%) fared much better. Richardson, who recently released a humorous video telling voters about his career, has turned to more serious subject matter. His latest campaign ad trumpets his success freeing a pair of American hostages in Iraq.
PRESIDENTIAL hopeful and former TV star Fred Thompson survived yesterday’s Republican debate. But he failed to make a big enough dent to emerge as a strong contender for the Republican ticket. That title seems firmly attached to frontrunners Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
While pre-debate attention had been all Thompson, post debate attention was firmly focused on a heated exchange between Romney and Giuliani over taxation and spending. The two have been engaged in a war of words over the issue via speeches and press releases during the past week, with each accusing the other of raising taxes during their respective administrations.
The majority of the US press pack couldn’t fault Thompson’s performance. But expectations were exceedingly low after a couple of campaign trail gaffes and a growing reputation for sending voters to sleep.
Thompson stood up to the test. He even managed to make light of a critique from Mitt Romney that he joined the race six months later than his rivals. Romney suggested the campaign was a bit like Law & Order, in that it has a huge cast, seems to go on forever, “and Fred Thompson shows up at the end.”
Thompson countered: “And to think I was going to be the best actor on the stage.”
But while Thompson will be happy that he didn’t attract the predicted headlines.He may also have been disappointed to be eclipsed by Giuliani and Romney, who dominated the debate according to the New York Times. Despite a gallant effort, John Podhoretz, writing in the New York Post, declared that Thompson simply lacked the energy to make it to the White House.
So with Thompson’s chances getting slimmer by the day, and Giuliani and Romney dominating the headlines, it’s looking increasingly like a two-horse race for the Republican nomination.
As the Guardian reports, the man who would be the American President is at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
You can meet him. Lunch in the same room as Mr Giuliani costs $1,000. If you want your picture taken with the man, the full package costs $2.300.
Your money will be viewed as a donation and in no way reflects the width of Mr Guiliani’s grin nor the quality of food on offer.
And there are many takers. The paper says there are an estimated 200,000 American living in the UK.
One of them speaks with the Guardian. Says Mimi Aye: “I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”
Any doubts as to Ms Aye’s nationality are quickly dispersed as she falls into the trap of mistakenly believing British people speak the same language as Americans. She may as well be speaking Dutch, and very possibly is.
It’s eyes up from plates as Mr Giuliani mounts the rostrum. He is stood beside Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys. She calls him “Churchill in a baseball cap”.
This may resonate well among Americans. But it should be observed that Ms Sandys is not her grandfather, just as Jenna Bush (who was once arrested for using a fake ID) is not George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States.
But the connection is made.