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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Rudy Will Fail Again

A lot of Republicans have been pining for late entries into their 2012 presidential nomination contest. The apparently imminent announcement of a campaign by Rudy Giuliani is probably not what most of them had in mind.
But Bill Kristol gives the old college try to an argument that somehow the former America’s Mayor could succeed in 2012 despite his abject failure in 2008:

Rudy’s theory of the race: In the fall of 2007, he decided he couldn’t compete with both Mitt Romney and John McCain in New Hampshire, and disastrously decided to try to pull back there and pitch his tent in Florida. This year, he’ll commit everything to New Hampshire, where he thinks he has a good shot at beating Romney–whom he criticized there earlier this week. He then thinks he can beat whichever more socially conservative candidate(s) is left by winning what are still likely to be winner-take-all primaries in big states like California, New York, and New Jersey.

It’s not at all clear to me why Rudy has “a good shot of beating Romney” in New Hampshire in 2008 any more than he had a good shot in 2008. And bad as his back-loaded strategy of waiting until Florida turned out in 2008, waiting for late-season primaries in big states in 2012 sounds even worse. Sure, you can construct some scenario where Rudy’s slugging it out with Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain in California and New York after the rest of the field has vaporized, but in today’s GOP, it’s not all that obvious Giuliani would win even with that fortuitous series of developments.
Put aside all the negative stuff about Giuliani you can imagine–his marital history, his questionable associations, his less-than-Reaganesque personality–and the simple fact remains that the Republican Party will not nominate a pro-choice candidate for president. The very idea that John McCain was considering a pro-choice running mate in 2008 nearly produced a convention revolt, and instead led McCain to bend the knee by selecting anti-choice ultra Sarah Palin. The powers-that-be in the conservative movement will destroy Rudy the moment it appears–if it ever appears–he looks viable. They would rather take their chances with a nominee who looked weak against Obama than to give up their iron control over the GOP.
Put it in the bank: Rudy 2012 ain’t happening.

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