Rudy Giuliani has polled very well since he has made his presidential ambitions clear. In a recent Quinnipiac University poll Giuliani does well in blue, red and purple states beating Clinton 48 - 43 percent, Obama 47 - 40 percent and Edwards 48 - 40 percent. Much can and will happen between now and the November 2008 presidential election. The electorate is fickle, just ask President Bush and his father.
Can Giuliani maintain his momentum as the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination? Will he be able to overcome video's like the one below which will appear on countless blogs and other websites?
Giuliani has plenty going for him. He is the U.S. attorney who decimated the Mafia. He turned New York City around with tax cuts, welfare reform, and tough-on-crime action. He became "America’s Mayor" for his post-9/11 leadership. Is that enough to overcome Giuliani's pro-choice, pro-gun control, and pro-civil unions positions and win the confidence of conservatives?
My esteemed RedState colleague Hunter Baker writes that Giuliani was well received at the Conservative Political Action Conference after announcing that former Solicitor General of the United States Ted Olson had joined his campaign. Olson's endorsement may not be enough by itself, but there is more.
Two days ago, Louisiana's conservative first-term Senator, David Vitter, also endorsed Giuliani:
"Obviously, I disagree with Rudy on some significant social issues, and these are very important to me and to many of the people I represent," Vitter said. However, he said, after numerous meetings with Giuliani, "it's very clear to me that he's not running for president to advance any liberal social agenda."Vitter also said that he is convinced that Rudy will appoint the best federal judges of all the major candidates. Giuliani added he would do everything he could to "appoint judges who would interpret the Constitution rather than execute their own social policy." Vitter will serve as the Giuliani campaign’s southern regional director.
Today Roll Call reports the fiscally conservative Club for Growth has kind words for Giuliani, while making the group's distaste for McCain clear.
So far, Giuliani has run a smart campaign. Aptly described by Richard Miniter as "I-am-who-I-am," Giuliani's campaign is embracing Giuliani's mayoral record, rather than trying to hide from it.
Will this be enough to overcome conservatives reservations about Rudy's warts? It's a good start, but I still just can't get past that image of Rudy endorsing Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo for reelection over George Pataki.