Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Giuliani and the Rest

In the US Presidential Race Giuliani is increasingly leaving the other Republicans behind. Unfortunately, this seems to have a lot to do with weak competition.

Romney, despite the rather suspect CPAC poll quoted by BritainandAmerica, is attempting to cover over the history of left leaning activity he has had to engage in as a Republican in a Democrat state. He is doing this in a rather disingenuous way as leaked campaign documents show. For example, he will apparently be noisily feigning dislike for France, a country he lived in with no obvious signs of discomfort for many years.

It feels terribly harsh to say it but McCain is looking very old and not terribly sharp. He is no longer the candidate he was in 2000 and is the most associated with an unpopular 'surge' strategy in Iraq.

This lack of competition is unfortunate for Giuliani because it is leading to him being decidedly unadventurous. Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam draw attention in the Weekly Standard to his shifting steadily towards the orthodox, 'government doesn't work', conservative position of Bush or Norquist and away from the rarer 'make government work for you' style which has more resonance with voters, particularly tax-paying strivers, and was his focus in his successful periods as Mayor. This lack of innovation, sticking with a programme which looks exhaustend and performed poorly at the 2006 elections, is a weakness that might be exposed once he comes up against the more 'in form' Clinton or Obama campaigns.


Mr Eugenides said...

In 2000 I would have voted for McCain, however he seems to be yesterday's man; the campaign seems to be phoned in. From stick-on favourite a few months ago, I don't think he's going to win.

Giuliani is also "my kind" of Republican ie liberal on lifestyle issues eg abortion and gay marriage, but strong on national security (at least, potentially).

However I would suspect his numbers are "soft". Republicans and Democrats alike are casting about for a candidate that is acceptable to them and likely to deliver victory in the general election.

So far, I don't think either party is entirely happy that there's anyone who fulfils both criteria. Giuliani and Obama seem the men most likely at the moment, but both have enough potential bana skins to derail them long before November 2008.

Mr Eugenides said...

I can't even spell "banana", so there's no reason to take that comment seriously.