The Republican debate last night in South Carolina seemed to prop up one of the candidates and say good-bye to another. When Texas Congressman Ron Paul suggested that our foreign policy is the reason we were attacked on 9/11, Rudy Guiliani buried him. In that brief exchange, the former New York mayor demonstrated what a strong, decisive, tough-as-nails guy sounds like, while poor Congressman Paul just twisted in the wind.
It was like watching a big leaguer play catch with a little leaguer.
More importantly, Guiliani's performance is a reminder that he is, indeed, a very viable GOP candidate. Isn't it wise to consider a guy like Rudy as a wartime president? And isn't it true that a battle-scarred, street fighter like "America's mayor" would be the perfect opponent to Hillary?
Let's face it, most of the men up on that stage last night are nice guys. Pleasant, affable fellows all. With perhaps one exception. Rudy Guiliani is a lot of things, but a touchy-feely nice guy he is not. He's tough, edgy, to-the-point, and capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone who crosses him.
Do you really think Hillary Clinton would best him in a debate? Let them discuss 9/11 and her previous support of the war on terror and he'll make mincemeat out of her.
I certainly struggle with Rudy's ideology on some crucial social issues, especially abortion. But when Rudy Guiliani says that he's willing to appoint constructionist judges, regardless of his personal views on abortion, I believe him. Besides, we've had years of pro-life presidents and so far, Roe v. Wade doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
More and more, I'm starting to believe that if Republicans have any chance of winning the White House in 2008, we'd better put a seasoned, tough cookie up against Madame Hillary.
They don't come much tougher than Rudy.