Giuliani has similar potential. With northern states solidifying blue and southern states solidifying red, electoral gridlock has set in. 2006 was a reaction to the war in Iraq and a series of Republican corruption scandals; it did not end the stalemate that has been in place since the mid-1990s.
But Giuliani could change all that. The South will remain solidly Republican simply out of necessity -- the Democratic Party has moved too far left to threaten Giuliani's right flank. The North, however, may see Giuliani's appeal. Giuliani, after all, was the mayor of the largest city in the United States. He is tough on crime, soft on traditional morality and solidly reductionist on taxes. It is no wonder that in every recent poll Giuliani defeats all comers in a general election.
What about a conservative insurrection against Giuliani? I recently spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), perhaps the largest agglomeration of conservatives in the United States. By and large, the 6,000-plus attendees seemed lukewarm on the candidates -- many of the attendees sported stickers condemning "Rudy McRomney," a combination of Giuliani, Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor and alleged flip-flopper Mitt Romney. But when it came time to vote in the CPAC straw poll, Romney came away with a slight victory, and Giuliani came in second. When first choice and second choice votes were combined, Giuliani came out on top.
Republicans may be idealistic, but they are not fools. When it comes to the 2008 election, national security is the big issue -- and national security is Giuliani's issue. For Republicans, it is more important that a Democrat stay out of the White House than that a Ronald Reagan conservative occupy it.
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