Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Giuliani's Big 'Get'

According to Roll Call, Congressman David Dreier is set to announce his support for Rudy Giuliani:

Rudy Giuliani, fresh off a weekend visit to California, is set to nab the support of one of the Golden State’s most influential lawmakers as sources confirmed that Rep. David Dreier (R) is expected to endorse the former New York mayor’s 2008 GOP presidential bid.

Dreier, the ranking member on the Rules Committee, is chairman of the state’s GOP delegation and his extensive ties to California’s lucrative business community make him one of his party’s leading fundraisers. He also is extremely close to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).

Meanwhile, one of Giuliani’s top advisers was in Washington, D.C., Monday for meetings with his inner circle of House supporters.

Roy Bailey, a founding partner at Giuliani’s New York firm and a former finance chairman of the Texas Republican Party, is heading up the former mayor’s 2008 fundraising effort.

Among those who met with Bailey were GOP Reps. Mary Bono (Calif.), Peter King (N.Y.), Vito Fossella (N.Y.) and Pete Sessions (Texas), who are heading up the former mayor’s outreach efforts in the House...

Dreier has played a key role in the state’s internal Republican politics for years, from redistricting to choosing statewide nominees...

One of Giuliani’s biggest impediments to winning the nomination next year is his moderate views on social issues.

While Dreier is a leader of the California party’s moderate wing, he disagrees with Giuliani’s stance on abortion and other social issues. However, the Congressman is in line with Giuliani on issues of national security, taxes and free trade...

As Roll Call notes, Dreier is influential within the House GOP. More importantly, he is the quintessential 'pro-growth' Republican. Since his election in 1980, he has been an extremely consistent voice in support of lower taxes (especially capital gains taxes), reduced regulation, and reduced trade barriers. If Dreier is on board, it means that business (and folks like the Club for Growth) will be very happy with Giuliani's economic agenda. Further, it's very clear that Giuliani is making dramatic inroads among California Republicans - and is probably far ahead of Romney and McCain on that score.

With regard to abortion, it may be a bit much to say that Dreier and Giuliani disagree. Dreier generally gets 'passing grades' from anti-abortion groups, but that's never been a prominent issue for him. He's partial to the idea that regulation of abortion is largely a state issue. However, Peter King and Pete Sessions will be strong Giuliani boosters among pro-life House Republicans.

Update: Also, Brendan Miniter looks at one issue where Giuliani may be able to appeal to social conservatives:

Mr. Perkins has publicly predicted that Mr. Giuliani's support will evaporate once voters learn more about him. And Mr. Giuliani's track record, both political and personal, may hurt him in the primaries. He's been divorced twice, opposes banning abortion, supports gun control, and for a time as mayor lived with two gay men and (as Time magazine noted recently) their frou-frou dog, Bonnie. None of this will endear him to the party's values voters. But it also may not be what tips the scales in the primaries.

Take South Carolina. The state's influence in presidential politics has only grown since it derailed Mr. McCain's Straight Talk Express in 2000. Two weeks ago, Mr. Giuliani made a trip to the state and struck a chord by speaking to a burning issue in South Carolina--a fight over school choice. This probably won't make the national evening news, but today some 5,000 people--many of whom are black and live in poorly performing rural school districts--are expected to descend on the state capitol in Columbia to rally for school choice. After lobbying their elected leaders, they plan to leave behind chocolates for Valentine's Day embossed with the words "another voice for school choice."

Mr. Giuliani delivered his South Carolina speech to several dozen conservatives. One woman who attended told me she wonders whether electing a president who successfully took on the mob in New York is what it will take to finally break through the entrenched education political culture. Christian conservatives make up the core of the school-choice movement in the state. If they come to the conclusion that Mr. Giuliani is on their side and has the leadership qualities to achieve lasting and meaningful change, he may prove a surprisingly strong contender.

School choice isn't as prominent an issue as abortion or gun control, but it may prove a valuable 'rebuttal point,' when Giuliani opponents assert that he's too liberal on social issues.


Philo-Junius said...

So the question then in my mind is "what federal policies will Giuliani adopt as President in order to advance school choice?"

While simple posturing will gain a certain amount of political support, is there any evidence that he proposes actually to do something, if elected, to support school choice?

I want to believe, but I haven't heard anything he proposes to do that would actually advance these goals. Artful platitudes divorced from policy I can get from Barack Obama.

blogger said...

Today, Theodore Olson, the stalwart conservative lawyer and former solicitor general for the Bush administration, told the Spectator he will be supporting Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid.