In a wide-open 2012, will Rudy Giuliani be a contender?

While Tim Pawlenty struggles to get traction with votes in opinion polls, there’s a former candidate-turned-prospective candidate who’s already doing twice as well: Rudy Giuliani. The former New York City mayor fizzled fast in a 2008 campaign with a disastrous primary strategy, but the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol is reporting that Giuliani will enter the race, perhaps soon.

AP Photo / Phelan M. Ebenhack

AP Photo / Phelan M. Ebenhack

In a sense, Giuliani fits a common Republican nominating pattern: He’s a candidate who’s run before and lost. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who believes it’s Giuliani’s “turn” the way it was Ronald Reagan’s in 1980, George H.W. Bush’s in 1988, Bob Dole’s in 1996 and John McCain’s in 2008. And, you’d be far more likely to hear, Mitt Romney’s in 2012.

In another sense, a Giuliani candidacy makes no sense: Since 9/11, he’s positioned himself as the tough-on-terrorism former NYC mayor, the same way he was the tough-on-crime former prosecutor before the terrorist attacks. Kristol’s report says the Giuliani camp has an explanation in hand:

Rudy’s message: I’m tough enough to put our fiscal house in order and to protect us from enemies abroad. The U.S. in 2012 is in bad shape — like New York in 1993. The budget crisis is as severe — and seemingly intractable — as the crime/welfare crisis was in New York then. Rudy dealt with that when people said it couldn’t be done. He’ll deal with this.

As for how Giuliani could overcome that wretched 2008 campaign, Kristol reports the strategy will be to focus on the New Hampshire voters he ignored back then — and to point out (to potential donors especially, I’m sure) that he’s bounced back before, winning the mayor’s race in 1993 after losing four years earlier.

I’d be more skeptical that such a plan could work if the field weren’t so muddled. But it is, as Kristol also notes, shaping up to be “an implausible year.”

Giuliani would match or surpass any of his competitors as far as executive experience and gravitas, i.e. looking and sounding presidential. And he would bring a different foreign-policy/national security element to the primary race. But would that be a good thing? Said element would associate him more closely — maybe too closely — with George W. Bush than any of the other candidates. Too soon? Too easy for President Obama to portray Giuliani as going back to the past?

Or would his track record as mayor convince voters that he has the fortitude to make tough decisions and follow through with them?

I wouldn’t bet on his getting the nomination. But then again, there aren’t very many candidates in this wide-open primary I’d bet against right now, either.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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57 comments Add your comment

Dearie

June 9th, 2011
11:48 am

Interesting post Kyle

George of the GOP Jungle

June 9th, 2011
11:56 am

Do you misunderestimate me yet.

jt

June 9th, 2011
12:13 pm

Another Progressive War-mongering NY Yank.
.
Put your chicken-hawk money where your mouth is Rudy………….don a uniform and go fight them moooslims yourself.

Bart Abel

June 9th, 2011
12:16 pm

Rudy Giuliani, the thrice-married serial adulterer who supported abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, and a liberal immigration policy. Good for him (sans the adultery/multiple marriages).

But how exactly would he would bring a different foreign-policy/national security element into the race? Being mayor of a city while it was successfully attacked does not a national security expert make. What are his foreign policy credentials? Having been a cheerleader for the war in Iraq?

Giuliani’s perceived strength is the one area of his background in which he has literally no experience or expertise. Indeed, security matters are probably Giuliani’s weakest link: he did, after all, put NYC’s emergency-response team in a known-terrorist target (World Trade Center), and named Bernie Kerik his top local law enforcement official.

ByteMe

June 9th, 2011
12:39 pm

The return of Mayor “Noun-Verb-9/11″? Unlikely to garner more than 2-3% except in Florida. Especially once those pictures of him in drag get circulated in Iowa. Can’t make this stuff up.

stranger in a strange land

June 9th, 2011
12:45 pm

wake me when it’s over

Grasshopper

June 9th, 2011
12:45 pm

I would say that Giuliani’s foreign policy credentials are more impressive than Barack Hussein Obama’s were in 2008.

that's goofy

June 9th, 2011
1:09 pm

Remember when it was supposed to be Rudy “9/11″ Giuliani vs Hillary Clinton? That didn’t exactly work out.

Bart Abel

June 9th, 2011
1:13 pm

I’m not sure that’s true, Grasshopper, since Obama sat on or did work for the Foreign Relations, Veteran’s Affairs, and Homeland Security/Governmental Affairs committees as a U.S. Senator. I believe that limited experience gave him more foreign policy/national security experience than Guiliani, Romney, Pawlenty, and Palin combined. Obama certainly had more of such experience than Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush had before they were first inaugurated.

That aside, when Obama ran in 2008, he never claimed foreign policy/national security experience as a selling point; Guiliani and his big media enablers do make such claims. So, I’m seriously asking…how does being mayor of a city that was successfully attacked qualify one to be head of state and commander-in-chief? What am I missing here?

jconservative

June 9th, 2011
1:15 pm

Bart Abel at 12:6 pretty well nailed it.

With Romney officially in the race do the Republicans need another liberal in the primary battle?

The primary this year is not a “winner take all” as it was in 2008. The candidates will get the percentage of the votes they earn. Two liberals in the race will split that “moderate” vote either will need to secure the nomination.

This nominating race will go down to mid-July 2012 before the Republicans settle on a nominee.

And it ain’t gonna be “I’m waiting on Florida” Giuliani.

that's goofy

June 9th, 2011
1:16 pm

Mitt can beat Obama. Not sure if the others can. GOP needs to understand before they repeat 1996 – the majority of the voters in the US are not “conservative” or “liberal”. They are some place in between.

Mitt appeals to a larger group than just the GOP base.

Junior Samples

June 9th, 2011
3:18 pm

yawn…

Besides, too many pictures of the Mayor in drag. New York won’t bat an eye, but the heartland won’t have anything to do with him.

Milo

June 9th, 2011
3:23 pm

The GOP needs to get a whole new group. What they have so far aint worth a S%$T.

Goldie

June 9th, 2011
3:34 pm

Rudy, “a noun, a verb and 9/11″ — why not? He’s as likely as any of the other GOP-ers to go down in flames!

George of the GOP Jungle

June 9th, 2011
3:34 pm

I don’t believe the Republicans can produce a candidate with enough flexibility to contort to a majority of the extremist viewpoints currently contained under their own big tent without becoming something much more than a mere two-faced politician. Why not give old John McCain another chance if he’ll promise to pick Sarah again as his running mate.

DixieDemons

June 9th, 2011
3:51 pm

Palin Limbaugh 2012

[...] Rudy Giuliani in 2012?PoliticoMore signs Rudy Giuliani will make second White House runCBS NewsIn a wide-open 2012, will Rudy Giuliani be a contender?Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Hair of Newt

June 9th, 2011
4:13 pm

A muddled field of candidates? Sounds like the comment you typically hear when a football team plays two QBs… it generally means that you don’t have one good QB if you’re playing two. If the GOP has to dust off every losing candidate from the 2008 campaign (like dear old Rudy), then they should just sit this one out. Oops, I guess that is what Daniels, Hucklebee and Barbour and Jeb and several others have done.

Newt, I’ll be your campaign advisor. :twisted:

midtownguy

June 9th, 2011
5:16 pm

He and Chris Christie are the only two Republicans I would even consider voting for. Nominate anyone else and Obama gets my vote.

Jefferson

June 9th, 2011
5:44 pm

Some folks had rather run a recap than a new tire….

Paul S

June 9th, 2011
5:52 pm

As a Dem, I think there are some pretty good GOP candidates – I think it’s going to be Romney v Pawlenty when all is said and done – but I wonder if the GOP would go out and nominate a Cain or Palin? While I don’t care for his policies – I have met Cain a few times and found him to be a very nice guy….

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 9th, 2011
5:58 pm

Newt was toast just a day or two after he announced, and now he’s landed jam side down.

George of the GOP Jungle

June 9th, 2011
6:26 pm

The Republican Party could always spare themselves the embarrassment and just sit this one out — vote Newt.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 9th, 2011
7:12 pm

This is not the election to sit out if you’re in the GOP, not with the Idiot Messiah’s 9% unemployment, $1.5 trillion deficits every year, and failure to address the unsustainable parasite maintenance programs.

sam

June 9th, 2011
7:20 pm

rudy is way too socially liberal for todays GOP..no shot rudy. doesnt matter anyway, obama will ride his wonderfully succesful first term to a resounding victory regardless of opponent

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

June 9th, 2011
7:23 pm

You may as well start writing about Sarah because she is the One, just sayin…

The rest of these guys are cannon fodder.

sam

June 9th, 2011
7:23 pm

its one thing to be an arrogant congressman from georgia, but we cant possibly be expected to support a president named ‘Newt’…name alone should invalidate his candidacy

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 9th, 2011
7:46 pm

I’ll vote for someone with a funny name like “Newt” before I’ll vote for an America-hating Marxist who hangs out with domestic terrorists and racist preachers.

George of the GOP Jungle

June 9th, 2011
8:15 pm

I’m glad Timothy Mcveigh isn’t running for president either. Otherwise Newt would get no Republican votes.

Curious

June 9th, 2011
11:12 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout is actually a surrogate for Obama.
It’s a trick.

Tyler Durden

June 10th, 2011
6:22 am

I think Lil Barry and Michael H Smith are twins, both living in Mom’s basement and whining about the libruls, socialists and other boogeymen.

BUT, they provide a valuable community service. Every day, they remind us of the precious gift of reason and what happens when someone exists without it.

Thanks guys!! :-)

Tyler Durden

June 10th, 2011
7:02 am

I Report:…

Yes, we are all counting on Sarah being the ONE. Her nomination will help ensure that the adults get four more years to clean up the mess left by Dubious, McConnell and Boehner.

Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!!! :-)

Toby

June 10th, 2011
7:08 am

http://www.npr.org/2011/06/10/137088287/thinning-snows-in-rockies-tied-to-global-warming
-in reply to a previous Wingfield post… the man foolishly tried to bet money against a global warming caused apocalypse of humankind without understanding the climate trend is a fact and that the only thing in debate (outside of the “the CIA is monitoring my thoughts via teeth fillings” crowd Wingfield nods to with respect) is “when will the culprits take responsibility?” Wingfield cited an economist who cited tornado rates over a few decades… utterly pathetic & non-scientific.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 10th, 2011
8:03 am

Yeah, your Idiot Messiah is doing a great job of cleaning up the mess that was 5-6% unemployment and $160 billion deficits.

MrLiberty

June 10th, 2011
8:10 am

It would be fun to watch Ron Paul embarass him again at another debate. What a jerk he is. Completely ignorant of how our horrible foreign policy is the leading cause of “why they hate us”, but thinks his jingoistic pro-american rhetoric can somehow blind his audience to this reality. Guliani is a clown who only knows one word – 9/11. America needs someone who is willing to tell them the truth about what is wrong with our country and how to fix it. That man is Ron Paul. If Guliani runs it will only be to get himself another book deal. Once the anniversary of 9/11 passes he will have nothing to talk about. Americans are tired of perpetual war on behalf of Israel’s foreign policy. They are ready for someone who is not a neocon.

Songbird

June 10th, 2011
8:56 am

Tyler, you nailed it on Lil Barry and Michael Smith. Lmao!

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 10th, 2011
12:44 pm

Nine percent unemployment. $1.5 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see. Record levels of home foreclosures. Record low home values. Skyrocketing healthcare costs. More Americans receiving food stamps than ever before.

Heckuva job, Dems!

Roll Tide Roll

June 10th, 2011
1:11 pm

Lil’ Barry Bailout,

It will be ok. I promise. You will survive eight years of President Obama just like we all survived eight years of W.
You may want to consult your primary care physician and ask for a xanax prescription to get you through. That is unless your insurance company has decided to drop your coverage based upon your pre-existing insanity.

Have a great weekend y’all!

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 10th, 2011
1:28 pm

Funny how someone who identifies himself with the second most respected university in Alabama can’t point to one thing his Idiot Messiah has done that he wants more of.

fair and imbalanced

June 10th, 2011
1:34 pm

Attacking our President during war Barry? You are not supporting our troops! Not everyone can be as intelligent as you boy W.

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 10th, 2011
1:36 pm

And with another new war going on, our troops need all the support we can give them.

Sister Sarah

June 10th, 2011
1:56 pm

Nope! NEEEXXXXXT!

THE "REAL" TRUTH

June 10th, 2011
1:57 pm

Lil Barry, please tell me you don’t think the President Obama caused this mess??!! (I think they call that “revisionist history.” YOur “heroes,” caused and continue to cause these problems, Lil Barry. Mind you I didn’t call you a name, but I’m certain you will call me one…

Sister Sarah

June 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

People like LBB just have SO MUCH hatred inside of them that they cannot help themselves. I can just picture this guy (or gal) right now, banging away on his or her keyboard literally FOAMING at the mouth and all red faced! ROFLMAO!

yuzeyurbrane

June 10th, 2011
2:17 pm

Kyle, good analysis. I also think it shows that most of big Republican figures have seen polls that show Obama probably winning reelection. So, a good year for those who otherwise would never even be considered. Maybe even authentic TeaParty favorite? After all, if they are going to lose anyway, why not sacrifice a Bachman? Kills 2 birds with 1 stone: (1) gives wingnuts what they want, and, (2) lets Establishment kill TeaParty by pointing to the wipeout for years to come.

Junior Samples

June 10th, 2011
2:22 pm

someone has to step up and end the pain.

is obamer trying to run the country into the ground or is he really that incompetent?.

guess what? this is his economy now.

Truth

June 10th, 2011
2:24 pm

Herman Cain for President !

Lil' Barry Bailout

June 10th, 2011
2:30 pm

Will this “wipeout” be as good for the Dems as their 2010 wipeout?

MrLiberty

June 10th, 2011
2:32 pm

Truth – Yes, lets put the Federal Reserve in charge of the white house as if they don’t already cause enough problems in our economy. His past Director position with the Fed should make him immediately inelligible for the job. Ron Paul 2012. End the Fed.

Hannah

June 10th, 2011
2:38 pm

I sure hope so! But I’m afraid not.