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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Rudolph, the red state winner?”

    Strange things are happening in the high-stakes world of presidential politics. A former first lady is challenging an only recently removed state legislator for the Democratic Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, and the same race pits the first serious female presidential candidate against the first serious black presidential candidate.

    Politically speaking, even more intriguing is the GOP’s nomination drama, in which a liberal is appearing ever more likely to win the blessings of America’s “”conservative”” party.

    His name, of course, is Rudy Giuliani. We know him as the former mayor of New York and news junkies know him as the man most likely to take up residence in the White House in 2009, but for all his maverick-ness, he’s the best candidate in the entire race.

    Though most polls (like those from Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal and Rasmussen) show Giuliani defeating both Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in a general election, rumor has it socially conservative Republicans are hesitant to throw their weight behind Time magazine’s former “”Man of the Year.””

    That’s no big surprise, considering Giuliani’s pro-choice, pro-gay-marriage stance. Still, it’s unfortunate: the extreme right is taking Rudy for granted to the detriment of the entire Republican cause.

    As Rudy’s record on abortion and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues becomes clear, far too many in the right have begun to question his credentials as a Republican, but the fact is, Rudy Giuliani is a Republican.

    He pushed some of the most dramatic tax-cuts in New York City history, proving himself a fiscal conservative in a town historically hostile to that ideology. He showed his decisive, no-nonsense character (both prime presidential traits for fighting the war on terror) in combating the crime and filth that plagued the Big Apple before his term began. He even follows the GOP playbook on issues from school vouchers to Supreme Court nominations (he promised to appoint “”strict constitutionist”” judges who would likely strike the ire of Democrats).

    Last, but in no way least, Rudy has mass appeal; no other candidate promises such electoral dominance. Though his abortion and gay marriage stances alienate him from social conservatives, they may explain his surprising appeal in a number of “”blue”” states: According to SurveyUSA, Giuliani would defeat Clinton in traditionally liberal New Jersey, Michigan and Oregon. The poll predicts a similar fate for Obama, as Giuliani cruises to victory.

    On the contrary, polls show Republicans Mitt Romney and an increasingly mainstream John McCain having a much tougher time. Without Rudy, Republicans face the very real possibility of working under a Democratic White House and a Democratic Congress.

    Giuliani is the only candidate capable of breaking the virtual tie that has plagued the electoral map in recent presidential elections. He can redefine red vs. blue, and his refusal to adhere to the all the dogmatic demands of the religious right can restore reason and sanity to a party in dire need of revitalization.

    After the drubbing Republicans took in last year’s elections, revitalization is exactly what the GOP needs. Republicans fancy themselves the party of individual freedom and small government, but it’s becoming ever apparent those ideals are being lost.

    It almost seems as if the Pat Robertsons of the world saw an opportunity to use Republicans to work toward the establishment of an American theocracy, duping them into the belief that keeping same-sex couples from getting married was a legitimate political cause. For primarily that reason – that puerile, absurd notion – they unwittingly could stand between a true “”Reagan Republican”” and the presidency.

    Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom: A recent USA Today/Gallup poll projected Rudy 24 percentage-points ahead of his closest competitor for the Republican nomination. With some time until the parties choose their candidates, that lead could slip away – but for now it’s almost as if Republicans don’t mind Giuliani’s social liberalism.

    Of course, the aforementioned hard-right is scrambling in search of their dream candidate, but with the likes of Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson (an actor!) as their preferred guys, there just might be hope for Rudy and real Republicanism after all.

    So let me utter the first of many slogans we’re likely to hear between now and Nov. 7, 2008: Rudy Giuliani for President!

    David Francis is a pre-business sophomore. He can be reached at mailto:letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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