Monday, October 22, 2007

How Giuliani Helped Himself At "Values Voters" Conference

We love that title of "Values Voters" because it's just so perfectly misleading. Take off the "s" on values and you have "value" voters, kind of like some kind of bargain shopping club. Anyway, as is typical with zealots, they assume that if you don't share their values, then you don't have values, a rather ridiculous and silly notion but for the fact that it leads to war, prejudice, intolerance and all kinds of other human ills.

But we stray--our point today is how Rudy Giuliani helped his campaign by his weekend appearance before the relatively hostile Values Voters. (Note: if they were truly Values Voters, they wouldn't have their conference in Washington--they'd put it someplace boringly wholesome, like Topeka.)

Rudy didn't really help himself much--if any--with the GOP's Christian right, other than demonstrating that he's not afraid of them.

The real benefit to Rudy comes from his unwillingness to pander to the Values conference. In his speech, Giuliani had this to say: “I’m not going to pretend to you that I can be all things to all people,” he said. “I’m just not like that. I can’t do that…Isn’t it better that I tell you what I really believe, instead of pretending to change all of my positions to fit the prevailing winds?"

I.e., I ain't going to change my positions on abortion and gay rights just to suit you.

There are two pay-offs to Rudy from this stance. First, it's a great swipe at Mitt "Two-Faced" Romney and helps Rudy with more moderate traditional Republicans, who may, for once, be the key to who gets nominated.

Second, IF Giuliani gets the nomination--and we're certainly not yet ready to crown him with that mantle--it will be a tremendous boost for him in the general election campaign. Any Republican who gets the nomination by successfully pandering to the Christian right--are you listening Mitt?--will pay a price in the general election. Most of the rest of the electorate is pretty sick of what Bush has done, and firmly associates him with the religious right. By distancing himself from that crowd, Giuliani has gained insulation against attacks that would inevitably be fair game come the general election campaign.

Whether Rudy G. can get there, however, is yet to be seen.

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