Rudy Giuliani continues his own version of a surge, widening his lead over John McCain again in the latest polls. A Republican frontrunner who supports tax-funded abortion and gay rights is unusual – it’s a little like waking up and finding the red states have taken on a bluish tinge – and a lot of conservative are hoping it’s just a matter of time until Giuliani, like McCain, fades.
But Giuliani’s campaign is not – and may never be – about issues. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say there are two types of candidates: Issues candidates and character candidates. Reagan was an example of an issue candidate. Dwight Eisenhower was an example of a character candidate. No one even knew if Ike was a Democrat or Republican before he ran for President. But he was the hero of D-Day. General Eisenhower had character.
Rudy Giuliani is the hero of 9-11. Like Ike, it’s who he is – not where he stands –that matters. Because of his character Giuliani has a 72% favorable (to a 12% unfavorable) with Republicans and his stands on gay-rights and abortion, so far, haven’t hurt him.
It would be gratifying to believe one of the lesser known candidates – like Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore or former Senator Fred Thompson – could emerge from the pack to give Republicans a more conservative choice. But to paraphrase Bill Clinton, this election, It’s the war, stupid – and when it comes to the war Giuliani’s character matters. With John McCain fading, Rudy Giuliani may be building steam to swept to the Republican nomination.
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