How Rudy Wins a Primary

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Feb 11, 2007 9:54 AM

If you're Rudy Giuliani, this quote makes you smile:

"I'm a Christian, and his views on a lot of social issues are to the left of mine," said Larry Stirling, a retired state superior court judge from San Diego. "But if you have to make a trade-off, I'll make the trade-off for Giuliani. He's been through a trial by fire. He's got gravitas. The first thing a president has to do is protect us. The rest is a secondary consideration."

My theory has always been that the only way Rudy wins is to make the argument that social issues are a "secondary consideration," because the most important thing voters should care about in '08 is: "Who is best prepared to protect us?" 

If the queston voters ask when they walk in the voting booth is: "Who is the most conservative?" -- he can't win.  But if the question is: "Who can keep us safe?" -- he may have a shot.

So Rudy's campaign is essentially about arguing over which question voters should use as the criteria for making their decision.  If he wins that argument, the question of whom to vote for starts to favor him a bit.

In politics, the question is more important than the answer.