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Rudy's blind spots

"Values voters" aside, I don't see how Rudy would get through primaries--much less a General Election campaign--if he continues to show the bumptious stubborness he was infamous for pre-9/11. The latest episode was his defense of his disgraced former NYC police commissioner, Bernie Kerik (a very genial rogue, as those who know him can attest). Kerik has already pleaded guilty to state corruption charges and is now facing a raft of federal charges, all for problems Rudy knew about beforehand. But in an interview with the AP, written up in today's NYT, Rudy--whose push to have Kerik nominated as Director of Homeland Security led to the scrutiny that prompted Kerik's downfall--defends Kerik's record.

Sure, there were issues, Mr. Giuliani says, but if I have the same degree of success and failure as president of the United States, this country will be in great shape.

Ummm. If he becomes a convicted criminal and potential felon while in office, that would be okay? Rudy, Rudy. Rudy...

Okay, it's early (though it seems like the campaign has been on forever), but here's my prediction: It'll be Mitt versus Hillary, and the Mormon Question will cancel out the Gender Worry. Oh, and I reserve the right to delete this post should I turn out to be wrong.

About the Author

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.



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Yes, tha campaign does seem to be taking forever (and not a single vote has even been cast!) .. iof ever there was a moment for a strong third party candidate it will be next May or June--by which time the public will have gotten tired of both parties and both candidates (who by then will have likely been chosen long before--in terms of delegates won--but who won't even have their conventions for another month or so) ... in the meantime, we might be looking forward to a modern revisiting of the Lincoln-Douglas contests of 1858 and 1860 (in which, for those who don't know their history, Douglas defeated Lincoln for senator and then they faced each other again as presidential candidates .. true, Rudy dropped out of the senate campaign against Hillary, but the potential match-up could be interesting ...)And as far as Rudy's supposed blind spot, one can also describe it as personal loyalty.

Not only with Kerik, but also Msgr. (or ex Msgr.) Placa, Rudy reminded me of the pointy headed manager in Dilbert a few wqeks ago, cryingout, " I choose loyalty over competence."

Rudy is a smart politician. He was an effective mayor because he realized that people do want order in society. He was lucky enough to follow David Dinkins, the epitome of incompetence. He did get the job done, however. He may get in because the Republicans have no candidate and Rudy is good at buying people's votes. People forget that the Bush campaign gave a lot of loose money to religious groups for their support. No matter what your history book says, that is how Kennedy won West Virginia, a key to his win. Rudy's chances are real good and if his party can captitalize on another scare, who knows about his chances in the general election. There is a way to go.(First I want Arrod back as a Yankee.)

So far it is difficult to see any theocons, neocons, paleocons or any other cons in the Republican race. Gotta give credit to Buchanan he certainly had the neos and theos pegged.The only one they seem to have is Rudy who is not bashing them. Will he send Keric and/or Placa to Iraq to pacify their critics? Or will he send a group of emergency psychiatrists to help his cons? No need for Buchanan, however. He called it right.

Breaking News. Pat Robertson endorses Rudy for president. I told you they need Rudy.

I tried to suggest Rudy is a mixed bag, When he was US Attorney, he was tough and did lots of good stuff, though his underlings did not appreciate his hogging the spotlight - ( I guess that's true of lots of politicos; we used to joke that Koch fell in love every time he looked in the mirrror.0While the Dinkster had a number of faults, his law enforcement appoinments began the groundwork of cleaning up the city in terms of dealing with corruption and prioritizing workload.9/11 is what catapalted Rudy into the spotlight and really what he's banking on now.Given the numerous problems facing this country here and in the world, I don't think that's enough.

In terms of personal values, how can one get past Giuliani's treatment of his second wife, as when he announced to the public his intention to divorce her before telling her? This places him right down there with Newt Gingrich and Woody Allen.As for his public role--this was before 9/11--remember when he started a lawsuit because an advertisement on buses referred to something that "Rudy" couldn't control. Everyone thought it was just a clever ad; everyone, that is, except Rudy, who showed himself to be without a sense of humor. Having a sense of humor, particulary in the ability to laugh at oneself, I would place pretty high in my list of desired qualities in a president. I wouldn't want Rudy anywhere near the nuclear button, or whatever the equivalent is in our post-cold war era.

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