Rudy for '08?

Speculation in Time magazine that Rudolf Giuliani is testing the waters for a run for U.S. President. I think he's got the name and the public recognition. Will the Republican base tolerate his liberal views on abortion and guns? If there were a strong Republican governor (Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush) I'd confidently say, Rudy doesn't stand a chance. But against John McCain or some relatively anonymous U.S. Senate colleague? The bookies have Giuliani as second favourite.

The problem for Mr Giuliani is the South, but only for primaries and not if the field is split. I can't see Texas, Florida or Georgia going Democrat because the choice is Mr Giuliani or Mrs Clinton. The prize he dangles is breaking the Democrat stranglehold on the North-East. Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland all look less convincingly Democrat with a Giuliani-Clinton contest. I'd guess California doesn't look so solid either.

Forecast: if the Republicans are going to field a pro-abortion pro-gun control candidate in 2008, Rudy's the only man, and barring health issues, he beats Hillary Clinton or Mark Warner hands-down. So maybe Rudy has do a deal on guns and abortion? Fancy that! Time tells us that Rudy has the acquiescence of Pat Robertson and has opened a law office in Texas.

The Supreme Court as it stands probably helps him. With a conservative majority in place, the concern over a moderate Republican President has to be reduced among the core supporters.

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