Sixth, Republicans in 1952 offered a balanced ticket, ideologically and geographically, balancing the centrist Eisenhower from New York with the conservative Richard Nixon from California. Should Republicans replicate that approach in 2008, Giuliani would run with a conservative running mate from the American heartland. In 1980, Ronald Reagan not only balanced his ticket with a moderate, George Herbert Walker Bush, but he also gradually moved to the center on a some issues, recognizing that his more extreme positions would not play well with the dominant center in American politics.
Seventh, today’s overriding issue, terrorism and homeland security, puts Giuliani front and center on the presidential stage just as the Korean War did for Eisenhower in 1952. Eisenhower said that if elected he would go to Korea and bring an end to the Korean War. In the matter of terrorism and homeland security, no other candidate rivals Giuliani’s credibility and authority.
For all of this to fall into place, Republicans must have an insatiable thirst to win that causes them to subordinate ideological purity to political practicality. Republicans did that in 1952. Will they in 2008? History could repeat itself.
A leading scholar in the intersection of faith and politics in the United States, Charles Dunn was named Dean of the Robertson School of Government in August 2004.
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