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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Rudy Can Fail

One of the odd phenomena in the 2008 presidential runup is the disconnect between Rudy Giuliani’s strong GOP poll ratings and the CW that he can’t get the Republican nomination because of his socially liberal policy stands. Until recently, Rudy has floated above this disconnect, but now a leaked strategy document is giving his opponents an opening to bash him. According to the New York Daily News account of this document, Rudy’s self-identified problems are: “his private sector business; disgraced former aide Bernard Kerik; his third wife, Judith Nathan Giuliani; ‘social issues,’ on which is he is more liberal than most Republicans, and his former wife Donna Hanover.”The leaked strategy document goes on to dwell at great length on a fifth problem, fundraising, and barely gets into the ideological issues he faces. You have to conclude from this document that this ideologically handicapped GOP presidential candidate has a host of preliminary handicaps, personal and ethical, that even his own braintrust considers potentially debilitating. I don’t know how Rudy intends to deal with these handicaps. But I do know how his conservative opponents will exploit them in the early ’08 caucus and primary states, and I suspect “America’s Mayor” will be reduced to “America’s Dogcatcher” before the deal goes down in 2008.

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