Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Romney Vexes Me

September 24, 2007

The other day the Mittster said something along the lines of “a necessary ingredient” for a GOP candidate to beat Ms. Clinton is to be able to “bring all their family together as I have to get on the campaign trail.”

First, the statement is incoherent on its face.  It just doesn’t make any logical sense.

Second, one finds it hard to imagine anyone would find it persuasive.  Either he really thinks that, which paints him as some sort of Stepford automaton.  Or it could mean he thinks GOP voters are unable to discern the statement’s dimwittery, which means he’s about as patronizing as a politician can get.

I favor the latter interpretation.  He has already shown himself to be the dirtiest GOP candidate out there with his ethically challenged slanderous anti-Thompson web site.  He has also already shown himself to be arrogant and patronizing with his transparent defense against accusations that his campaign had something to do with that site.

Seriously, about all this guy has going for him are appearances of rectitude and a nice haircut.  Does he really think that will generate a cloaking device preventing people from seeing how venal he is?

McCain Meltdown

July 12, 2007

Well, many pixels have been scattered commenting on the McCain campaign’s auger into the flight deck.  The question for those of us aligned with Giuliani is this:  How does it effect Rudy’s chances of securing the nomination?

My first instinct, actually, is this is BAD for Giuliani.  Without delving into the details, I think we can stipulate there is a small but noisy minority in the GOP that just can’t stand him.  That minority becomes proportionally larger every time a candidate drops out of the race.  The more candidates there are opposing Giuliani then the more the influence of those single-issue voters blinded to political reality is diffused.  The last thing Giuliani needs is for all those folks to gravitate to one guy.

Upon relflection, though, it seems to me this doesn’t change things at all.  Why?  Because ultimately that noisy minority will NEVER coalesce behind a single candidate.  Fred Thompson has his own social issue problems, and he’s part of the Hollywood mafia, walking around with a wife who is, frankly, even more obviously a trophy than Giuliani’s Judi.  And that’s hard to do.

Mitt Romney has also been a flip-flopper extraordinaire who can only inspire reluctant support from this minority.  Also– and let me be clear that when I say the following I am in no way saying this is how I or the Giuliani campaign feel– there’s the Mormon thing.  There are a lot of Evangelical Christians who simply don’t think the Church of Latter Day Saints is altogether kosher.  Many think Mormons are even bigger apostates than Catholics.

So what this means is the single-issue socially conservative voters now w/McCain will splinter amongst all the other candidates, including the Huckabee and Brownback bitter-enders.  As a former libertarian bitter-ender, I mean no disrespect there.  Besides, there were never many of those folks in McCain’s camp in the first place.

So what’s left of McCain’s support?  The institutional men.  The former Dubya campaign folks, Senate groupies, that sort of thing.  Now, those people like nothing more than a front-runner.  So I submit they will split marginally in Giuliani’s favor, offsetting the marginal gains the other “top tier” candidates get from McCain’s social right refugees.

In the end it’s a wash, yet again countering the conventional wisdom, in this care that more candidates is better for Giuliani.

Re: Family Research Council Unhappy with Rudy: Judges Matter

April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court of the United States has just upheld the partial birth abortion ban, which makes this the first significant federal legislative restriction on abortion since Roe.

Some social conservatives say it is not enough for Giuliani to say he will appoint judges like Alito and Roberts. They especially did not like that the Mayor allowed as he found it conceivable a strict constructionist judge may uphold Roe via stare decisis. This partial birth decision, though, would not have been decided this way were it not for the presence of, specifically, Alito and Roberts.

Well, here we have a sterling example of how important judicial appointments are. Granted, this situation is not ideal. Abortion should be a state legislative issue, as fetuses remain persona non grata in the Constitution. A presidential candidate’s feelings about it should be as functionally relevant as my mother-in-law’s cat’s. I say this, mind you, as a pro-life individual.

But in the light of this recent decision I find it difficult to imagine how pro-life conservatives can dismiss Giuliani’s “SCOTUS appointee” defense on unborn rights. His alleged faux pas on Federal funding of abortion gets cover here as well. In a moment of humility uncharacteristic for a politician Hizzoner simply affirmed he would uphold the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States.

So even if the mayor needs to simultaneously insert language indicating he will assess potential Court appointees based on legal philosophy rather than abortion litmus tests, it seems pretty obvious to me that pro-life activists should be comfortable with a Giuliani presidency.

Family Research Council Unhappy with Rudy

April 18, 2007

In their latest “FRC Action Update”, the pro-life group criticizes Rudy for his pro-choice stance:

Rudy… Rudy… Rudy…

The GOP, for the first time since 1976, is seriously considering nominating a path breaking supporter of abortion in Rudy Giuliani. Looking at six major polls, Real Clear Politics says Giuliani is leading by an average of 12.5 points. However, the former New York City mayor may start seeing his numbers drop. His recent campaign statements on abortion have his most ardent supporters shaking their heads in disbelief. His latest remarks came while campaigning in Iowa this past weekend. Giuliani said of abortion and the GOP, “Our party is going to grow, and we are going to win in 2008 if we are a party characterized by what we’re for, not if we’re a party that’s known for what we’re against.” In case Rudy missed it, what conservatives are “for” is life. Yet he added, “Our party has to get beyond issues like [abortion].” Meanwhile, across the pond, doctors in the United Kingdom are refusing to perform abortions. The reasons for their abdication vary between conscientious objections to finding the performance of abortion not “attractive.” Thus, as doctors in the U.K. seek to decrease their involvement in the abhorrent act of abortion, Rudy Giuliani seeks to increase, and even mandate by the use of our tax dollars, the American people’s involvement in abortion.

I for one would like to see Rudy steer clear of divisive social issues in this campaign.  But if he insists on continuing to talk about them, then he needs to be more sensitive to the conservative base.  Now granted, some of his public statements are being taken completely out of context.  I’ve heard that claimed about the recent spate of comments on abortion — but still believe he needs to work on refining his delivery on controversial issues.  Am I being too picky?  Maybe.  But as the FRC warns above, this could come back to hurt Rudy in the polls.

Rudy Video from Iowa With Hannity

April 4, 2007

Here is a link to the video of Rudy’s appearance last night with Sean Hannity of Fox News.  Broadcast from Iowa, Hizzoner briefly addresses his strength in that state, and he also hits some of the campaign themes with which we are becoming familiar.

Most importantly, though, he struck a rhetorical pose in this interview we have also seen before, which I think is very powerful.  He is, rightfully, so confident in his leadership abilities that he can simultaneously be self-effacing, acknowledging occasional errors in the past and allowing he will make others in the future.  This type of honesty and candidness can only be pulled off by someone supremely confident in his or her record and qualifications.  It is also, I think, very attractive to voters.  Including myself.  People unable to admit error, people who constantly equivocate to justify past decisions and positions, they drive me to distraction.  Think “I was for the war before I was against it” or “that depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is”.

He also completely diffuses any blowback from his remark on Barbara Walters’ program about how his wife may sit in on cabinet meetings.  Some folks over in NRO’s Corner — K-Lo, I think, or maybe J-Pod– thought this remark could end up haunting him, like Pat Schroeder’s tears or Howard Dean’s primordial howl.  Giuliani explained in context all he was saying was his wife has some experience in healthcare, and has a continuing interest specifically in health education.  In that capacity, yes, she could theoretically sit in on a cabinet meeting covering those topics.  He was clear, though, that she does not want to play an active role in his cabinet and we are in no way getting a “two for one” Clintonian deal with the Giulianis.

Newsday on Rudy’s Personal Life

March 27, 2007

Apparently pictures of Rudy are making the rounds in South Carolina.  Here’s the story from Newsday.  Discuss.

AOL Election Blog has a post up titled, “When Personal Life Matters.”  Also worth a read/discussion.

CNN Scrutinizes Rudy’s Personal Life

March 7, 2007

We all knew it was coming, Mayor Giuliani’s personal life has not always been well ordered. But in a CNN article out today, a leading Evangelical leader is trotted out to bash Rudy’s prior marriages, and divorces.

Here are the story “highlights” if you don’t want to read the whole thing:

• Southern Baptist leader says evangelicals have major doubts about Rudy Giuliani
• Richard Land cites GOP presidential hopeful’s bitter divorce from second wife
• Land says Giuliani ‘publicly humiliated’ former wife, children
• Giuliani has been married three times; first marriage was annulled

Now granted this isn’t a feature article, and it’s only appearing on-line from what I can tell. But this could potentially dominate the news cycle for a few days.

For his part, Rudy hasn’t encouraged reporters by responding to their questions about his marriages. Whether that’s a strategy that works, or not, has yet to be seen.

Update: Thanks to a reader who sent along a WaPo article on this topic today from Ruth Marcus, “Can Rudy Get Past the First Date?”  Rudy fans should expect to see more this in the coming days.  The media seems to be feasting on this topic.

Capehart Takes on Rudy in WaPo Column

March 6, 2007

I was starting to wonder what Jonathan Capehart’s point was in his WaPo column on Rudy titled, “Hizzoner the Curmudgeon.”  I mean, besides airing several negative facts about Giuliani’s personal life, and his time as NYC Mayor, the column didn’t seem to really be about anything (afterall this is his criticism of Rudy, made in the Seinfeld reference).

That’s because he doesn’t get to the point till the very end:

The visionary mayor who brought law and order to the ungovernable city and who became the face of a bloodied but unbowed nation on Sept. 11, 2001, was a difficult mayor. Many wonder whether the trauma of that day has mellowed Giuliani. We’ll soon know. There’s nothing like the stress of a presidential campaign to find out for sure.

Hrmph.  I guess that’s not so much an attack as a veiled compliment.