Monday, May 17, 2010

Encore? Giuliani sets stage for 4th act

Encore? Giuliani sets stage for 4th act


He was on political life support after his disastrous 2008 presidential run, but Rudy Giuliani has positioned himself in a critical year as a potent Republican fundraiser and the party’s star surrogate for hammering the White House on terror.

After deciding against a run for governor after a prolonged flirtation with a bid, the former New York City mayor has upped his political and paid-speaking travel schedule. In June, he’ll make his first public visit to New Hampshire since the single-digit, fourth-place finish there in the January 2008 Republican presidential primary that triggered his fast fall from front-runner to also-ran.

His high-profile reemergence, coinciding with the return of terror to the national headlines and numerous Sunday shows appearances bashing the president on the issue, leaves little doubt that he wants to be in the national mix. What’s less clear is what Giuliani is looking for in his next act.

"He wants to be part of the game in 2012," said Fred Siegel, a former adviser to the mayor and author of "The Prince of the City," a history of his time in office, who still talks to him periodically.

Giuliani, Siegel said, is trying to keep his options open for the future by being part of "the game," but isn’t necessarily angling to run for office again.

"As a presidential candidate? Not necessarily," Siegel said, suggesting that Giuliani could instead try to make himself a cabinet appointee or try for something else with national influence. The last New York mayor elected to any higher office, he noted, was John T. Hoffman – in 1869.

"But there is a strong, and I think justified, sense that there's a reasonable chance that (President Obama could) be a one-term president…It seems to me it's all in play."

That, of course, remains to be seen. Giuliani will find out the mood of voters in New Hampshire in June, when he heads north to help the Republican state senate there fundraise, tend to some business for his private firms, and be honored by the New Hampshire Political Library, whose mission is preserving the state’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Giuliani’s political obituary has been written repeatedly, only for him to spring back to life each time.

It happened when he won office in 1993 after his first run for mayor in 1989 fell short in a racially charged campaign, and again when the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks catapulted him from unpopular lame duck to “America’s mayor,” and yet again when he emerged as a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination after President Bush’s nomination of his former Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik fell apart amid scandal.

But after $56 million spent on a 2008 “Florida strategy” that garnered just one Republican delegate nationwide, the mayor may be in search of one more revival: A fourth act.

Even with the memory of 9/11 fading – and with the dings he took from now-Vice President Joe Biden in the 2008 race about “a noun, a verb and 9/11” – Giuliani is still regarded as the best Republican spokesman on the national security issue. And the party’s governor-dominated roster of likely 2012 candidate lacks anyone with his anti-terror bona fides, an issue increasingly seen as a sore point for the White House.

Despite the sense among opinion-makers and insiders that a second national run in a Republican primary would be a heavy lift for a social moderate who governed a left-leaning city, never held statewide office, and whose personal life has repeatedly come under scrutiny – the wide-open Republican field and the riled-up electorate make it impossible to rule out.

A close Giuliani ally, though, insisted another presidential run is the least likely path, saying he’s more interested in being part of the discussion nationally, including on the deficit.

“I don’t know if that means trying to be a surrogate, or maybe trying for a cabinet appointment,” the ally said. A future run in New York seems pretty unlikely, that person said, and not necessarily something he’d want. Albany is a long ways from the klieg lights of Manhattan, and the governor’s powers relative to the intractable state legislature pale compared to the dominance over the City Council he enjoyed as mayor.

While his presidential run both demonstrated and added to Giuliani’s sustained national celebrity, it didn’t translate into votes. Rather than wage a second campaign more than a decade after leaving office, Giuliani could remain an uber-surrogate for Republicans on specific issues, which would allow him to continue making money at his law firm, which is doing well, and at his consulting practice, which was heavily pared down after his last run. Being in the public eye as a surrogate augments the business without exposing that business to the scrutiny a national race would draw.

Giuliani has been making appearances in Texas, especially on behalf of Rick Perry, and has been increasing his speechifying for “Get Motivated,” which pay him well while allowing him to reach big crowds across the nation.

At age 66 and despite a brand that took a substantial hit after 2008, he still manages to capture public fascination and admiration.

Giuliani was one of the few surrogates brought in to help Scott Brown in his come-from-nowhere Massachusetts Senate run, which became a loud signal of fear for incumbents everywhere. And he campaigned for New Jersey’s new Republican governor, Chris Christie, who’s widely seen as basing his efforts in office on the “Giuliani 1993” governing playbook.

Another point that could make Giuliani relevant now nationally is the austerity he prided himself on in his first mayoral term well before 9/11, which was a major factor in making him a national star, the transformative figure who fixed the rotten Big Apple.

Excerpt: Read more at Politico

NOTE: After reading this, we started asking ourselves if he would run for President again and frankly we don't think a "Presidential" run is in the cards. That said we would not be shocked or surprised to see him end up as a Vice Presidential candidate. One of our Republican Governors has been saying he is not interested in getting in the race but deep down is that true? Rudy would be the perfect match for him as his Vice President as he brings all kinds of national security background on terrorism to the ticket. Something to think about and keep an eye on for now.

Tampa was awarded the 2012 Republican National Convention last week and now plans are underway to start getting ready. In 2012 security is going to be a main focus of the Convention organizers.

Rudy was so well received by the delegations in 2008 that it made you wonder what the voters in those first states were thinking with their support for other candidates treating 2008 like the threat of terrorism didn't exist. Some people were lulled into complacency because not terrorist acts had happened on American soil.

Social conservatives in 2008 wanted the perfect candidate that would put social issues first and that mentality helped defeat the GOP. Most Americans are pro-life but they don't want that as the major focus of campaigns. It is time that National Security, Fiscal Conservatism, and Pledge to Appoint Strict Constructionist Judges ruled the day as qualifications to run for President on the Republican ticket for President.

National Security in today's dangerous environment takes on a whole different meaning after almost 18 months of Obama -- we need Border Security, strong military, and a President who will stand up to Heads of State who sponsor acts of terrorism. Our current Attorney General won't even use the words "radical Islam

The people yelling the loudest on Obama's Supreme Court and other judicial appointments are the ones who put a litmus test on our 2008 candidates. Elections have consequences, and we are hoping that this Administration has woken up some Republicans to the Ronald Reagan 80% of agreement factor. No more social litmus test as the primary qualification or we could lose again. Social issues were not part of the 1994 Contract with America and that is how it should have stayed.

If Republicans want to win in 2012, they need to lose the "RINO" label against some of our candidates that keeps getting plastered on them because they are not 100% conservative. They still vote for the Speaker and Majority Leader. When an office holder votes how their state wants them to vote, then they are doing their job. It might not be what an Oklahoma Senator might vote for or against but then we are a conservative state so we should expect our Senators to vote Conservative.

Anyone who stays home in a snit and doesn't vote because they don't like the candidate is the true "Republican in Name Only" -- have never figured out who made this group of conservative Republicans (if they are Republican) judge and jury over who is a "RINO" because none of us have all the answers. If we have incumbents who are lazy and just occupy a seat, they need to be gone but they don't need labeled like they are a Democrat with a ZERO conservative voting record. Base your opinions of elected officials on how they represent the constituents of their states not on how as a conservative you want them to vote.

We need to come together as a Party to nominate the very best candidate possible and anyone not liking the candidate and vowing to stay home and not vote are the ones who need kicked out of the Party. If you don't vote, then your voice should not be heard.

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