Rudy! again

Krystle points out that Rudy Giuliani is leaning towards taking on Hillary-clone Kirsten Gillbrand for the NY Senate Special in 2010. She points out that Governor may be a better fit for “America’s Mayor.” However, there’s an untold story. From Political Wire on October 26th:

“Andrew Cuomo has secretly notified Rudy Giuliani that he will run for governor next year,” according to the New York Post.

“The confidential message, conveyed through intermediaries, was delivered to Giuliani recently and is expected to play a central role in the former mayor’s impending decision on whether to run as the Republican candidate for governor in 2010, sources with knowledge of the situation said.”

Less than a month later:

“Former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has decided not to run for governor next year after months of considering a candidacy, according to people who have been told of the decision,” the New York Times writes. “It remains unclear whether the former mayor is considering any other political race in 2010. Some have urged him to take on Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, who is newly installed in office, has never run statewide and is still introducing herself to voters in some areas. Mr. Giuliani is said to have made no decision about such a race.”

I think either race would be a good fit for Rudy, and frankly, Cuomo is probably too much for even Rudy. As a long time NY operator, he knows the continuing legacy of the name and is smart to move on to where he can do best. For conservatives and Republicans, I think its an overall win. Yes, Giuliani is notably liberal when it comes to the trifecta of guns, god and gays. But he scored a number of points during his abortive 2008 run for President by leaning towards a states rights perspective on these hot button issues, a position that has become a rallying cry for many conservatives these days. I anticipate that on the issues of the day (massive government expansion in more areas than one can count), Rudy would be a reliable vote. On social issues, I think Rudy is more of an open book than one would believe, given that his position on these issues are drawn mainly from his past statements versus actual policy (outside of the gun issue). Only time will tell, but I’m cautiously optimistic that Rudy is much better than Collins or Specter. Again, let’s remember: it is New York, people. I can see Rudy running a McDonnell-esque campaign, but for opposite reasons from McDonnell–not to draw the middle in, but to keep the base in line, particularly if the newly minted Obama Democrats of 2008 are as unexcited about electoral participation as they were in 2009.

More troubling: the prospects that Rudy is gunning for a 2012 presidential run. I think if Rudy was ever going to have a chance it would have been 2008 (particularly if Cheney had been dumped in 2004 and replaced with Rudy, but what’s past is prologue. Giuliani’s camp participated in person in an RNC hearing regarding the 2012 primary schedule. Also participating in-person were the Huckabee and Hunter camps, while the Paul, Thompson and Romney camps sent written statements. McCain did not participate (course, he has his own issues these days, to say nothing of his age and “two time loser” status disqualifying him from even speculation). Giuliani’s participation may have come more from the fact that Mike DuHaime, his campaign manager, is a big timer in national Republican circles. Still, the thought that Rudy may try to muddy the waters further in what will be an apocalyptic battle to define our party in 2012 is frightening to any conservative.

So let Rudy go where he will do the most good: the Senate.

(Trivia time: The exclamation mark next to Rudy’s name in this post’s title is a reference to what other moderate NY Republican. Hints: drug laws, stop Goldwater, and Gerald Ford.)

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