Thursday, February 01, 2007

Giuliani's Conservative Moment Arrives

As Captain Ed has pointed out, it's very early in the 2008 Presidential cycle. (It's disturbing that we even have to say that, a year before the first primary). We don't even know all the candidates in the primaries, and people are already making endorsements. The rush to select candidates distracts from the task of governing - especially at a time when we are fighting a major war. In an ideal world, we would not be thinking seriously about candidates until 2008 arrives.

That said, we have the system we have. And it is clear that the vetting has already begun. In light of this, I'll point you to a warning sign for the candidate that I like best so far: Rudy Giuliani. It's clear that he's getting a lot of love from conservatives right now. Even Dick Morris is talking about reconsidering his view that Giuliani can't get the nomination. Many of us are saying that in a field of imperfect candidates, we can live with someone who's not been very conservative on social issues.

But here's the thing: while we don't need someone who's been with us all along, we do need someone who's basically with us going forward. I don't expect the Mayor to have 'Saul on the road to Damascus' epiphany, and suddenly declare that he's been wrong all along on abortion, gay marriage, gun control, and immigration. But I need a candidate who will recognize where the party rank-and-file is on those issues, and promise to be faithful to them. That means (first and foremost) strict constructionist judges. It means believing that each abortion is a tragedy, and being committed to reducing abortions. It means a commitment to protecting the right to keep and bear arms.

The reason I post this now, is that I think Mr. Giuliani's moment may be arriving. Many bloggers are searching for a conservative candidate to back. There is dissatisfaction with McCain and Romney. Lots of people are talking about Giuliani. If a few months go by and Mr. Giuliani hasn't taken advantage of this opportunity, people may have turned their backs on him - and gone to support Mike Huckabee, or someone. And once folks have moved past Giuliani, it will be harder to get them back.

I think this is the time for Giuliani to talk about his views today on some of those issues.

Go and read the American Spectator and Ace of Spades as well, for some thoughts on this, and some discussion of whether Giuliani is passing up his chance.

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