Rudy Giuliani, former New York Mayor and failed candidate for the 2008
Republican Presidential nomination, is the subject of two juicy bites of news. The first is the New York Times' report
that he won't seek the New York governor's mansion in 2010, despite
long-standing speculation. The second is the New York Daily News's bombshell
claiming it's because he's actually running for the Senate. (Giuliani's spokesperson denies it.) If true,
Guiliani would contest Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for the seat she was
appointed to last year, replacing Hillary Clinton. The possibility
raises speculation that Guiliani would use the Senate seat as a
platform to run for the Republican nomination for the presidency in
2012. Would he have a shot?
- Could Win Senate The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza lists
two reason he'd beat Gillibrand, in addition to his current polling
lead: "near-universal name recognition" and a "vast national
fundraising network" left over from his failed presidential run. "On
its face, the Senate race is a more winnable race [than governor] for
Giuliani. Gillibrand was appointed to the seat by Gov. David Paterson
(D) earlier this year and remains a somewhat unknown commodity
- Foreign Policy Experience The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti points out
that Guiliani would boost his diplomatic cred. "If elected to the
Senate, Giuliani would immediately become a prominent
spokesman for an assertive U.S. foreign and counter-terrorism policy."
Continetti, who just released a book praising Sarah Palin's
political prospects, dismisses the possibility of a Guiliani run.
"But who's to say? At the moment, Giuliani's future, like the political
future in general, remains unknown."
- Running Against Palin?! Gawker's John Cook is skeptical.
"He lost his first bid for the Replublican nomination for a reason:
a gay-loving abortionist whose name ends in a vowel and whose children
hate him. The ever-diminishing number of angry people who describe
themselves as Republicans are going to flock to Palin over him." But he
sees the logic in a Senate run. "He's crushing Gillibrand in the polls
right now, and the Senate could
be a better place from which to prepare a 2012 presidential bid,
lacking as it does all the unpleasantness associated with actually
governing a nearly ungovernable state."
- No Path to Presidency The American Spectator's Philip Klein insists
that, for Rudy, it's not through the Senate. Guiliani would have to hew
hard left for New York to send him to the Senate, where he would vote
on the national issues on which the state is so liberal.
Even if he
were to win the Senate seat, the battle for the Republican nomination
would begin the morning after. After repositioning himself as a
moderate once again to win in New York, Giuliani would then have to
instantly turn around again to court the conservative base. And
throughout 2011 -- theoretically his first year in office -- his
potential rivals would be hunkering down in Iowa, New Hampshire and
South Carolina. If he joins them, he'll recieve a heap of criticism
back home, and yet if he doesn't, he'd have no realistic chance of
competing. And without much of a voting record to reassure
conservatives who rejected him in 2008, there's no reason to think he'd
make the sale in 2012.
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