Thursday, December 09, 2004

In 2008, Rudy vs. Hillary

I know it's early, but pundits are already calling the 2008 presidential race—or at least, calling the Democratic and Republican primaries. Peggy Noonan explains Hillary Clinton's strategy of posing as a moderate to position herself for a 2008 presidential run, while Hugh Hewitt describes the enthusiastic response for Rudy Giuliani at a meeting of conservative Republican women. I agree that this is the likely match-up for 2008 (to the extent such things can be predicted this far in advance), and I will go one step farther: if it's Rudy vs. Hillary, Rudy will win.

"Where Are They Now?" Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, December 9, 2004

"The base of the party will be with her, for two reasons. First, they know her history and know her. They believe she sees the world as they do but does certain things to survive. She was woven into the left and knew everyone on the left for 25 years. Second and just as important, after the trauma of the Kerry loss, after the morass of doubt and depression in which the party now finds itself, she will seem to be one thing they really want: the person who can win. Because she is a winner. She always has been. The base will make a calculation not unlike the one she has made: We can play moderate to win, no problem.... There is still, always, with Mrs. Clinton, the question of her deepest convictions and beliefs.... She has been finessing all this for decades and will continue to attempt to, but it may not work in a national presidential run.... Americans want to know the deepest beliefs of their president. Mrs. Clinton is no doubt correct that the first woman president will be a conservative or a tough moderate. But maybe the American people would prefer a woman who actually is a conservative or a moderate, such as Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison, as opposed to one who plays one on TV."

"Watching the Signs," Hugh Hewitt, Weekly Standard, December 9

"Giuliani swept more than three-quarters of the votes, with the other three choices receiving smatterings of support. Keep in mind that this isn't an exercise in name identification—these women knew each of the candidates—as well as every possible name in the 'other' category. This was an informed choice. I stopped what I was doing, repelled the audience, and then conducted a focus group. Like many other pundits, I have been wondering whether Giuliani can escape the snows of Iowa and New Hampshire in 2008 given that Pat Robertson won the former in 1988 and Pat Buchanan the latter in 1992. Giuliani is too 'moderate' to win the GOP nod, right? Wrong, if these ladies are to be believed. Among the many praises that gushed forth: decisive, experienced, loyal to 'W'—an interesting positive, that—funny and, crucially, tough enough to take on the Clintons. There were many praises for Senator Frist, and some for John McCain, but Giuliani has their hearts—already."