Time to Join Team Rudy? Not Just Yet
In 2008, God willing and the creek don't rise, I will vote for the Republican candidate for President. That won't come as a great surprise to those who know me. I did favor John F. Kennedy in 1960 (seems like only yesterday!), but I wasn't old enough to vote. In 1964, I knew in my heart that Barry Goldwater was right, and I cast my first ballot for him.
Strangely enough, one of my fellow Goldwater supporters in those days was Hillary Rodham of Wellesley College. It appears that my politics have remained relatively consistent, while hers have changed dramatically.
However, I think she's by far the Democrat's best candidate this year. Obama is largely a media creation, popular because he doesn't sound like Jesse Jackson or look like Al Sharpton. Edwards is getting a small bump in the polls -- what's traditionally called the sympathy vote -- but he will soon revert to being "The Breck Girl," a pretty boy pretending to be a populist.
Hillary's position on the Iraq War, whatever exactly that position is, won't wound her severely in the primaries. As she adjusts her position rightward in the general election, she will become a formidable candidate. As the saying goes, a lot of people have gone broke underestimating Hillary.
Rudy is very tempting. Unless Fred Thompson enters the race, Rudy will be a big -- and early -- winner. If Thompson, potentially a very strong candidate, does enter the race, Rudy will have a tough fight, but he'll still win the nomination. He'll do so by winning primaries in states like California, New York, and Illinois.
As a social conservative, I'm heartened by his statement that he would appoint judges who are strict constructionists. That's more than we got from George H. W. Bush (who gave us David Souter!), let alone Bill Clinton, who appointed cartoon liberals Ruth Ginsburg and Steve Breyer.
John McCain and Mitt Romney are good men, and I'm interested in hearing -- soon -- what they have to say. For example, how do they intend to conduct the War on Terror? What steps are they going to take to build the Republican Party in swing states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey? What do they intend to do to rebuild the Republican Party in New York, California, and Illinois? I'd like to hear the same from Rudy.
So, I'm not ready to join Rudy's team now, 10 months ahead of the primaries. But right now, I'm leaning strongly toward the former Mayor of New York, also known as "America's Mayor." Can he lead the nation? He's already done so, in the dark days that began on September 11, 2001.