Giuliani v. McCain: Do conservatives even care?
By Jim Kouri
The man known as "America's Mayor," Rudolph Giuliani, is putting together a group of donors who will raise money for his campaign should he decide to run for president in 2008.
Although the former New York City Republican mayor has still not declared he is running for president, he did meet with a group of supporters from around the country at one of the city's upscale restaurants last Wednesday. Republican sources say the group discussed how they would organize fund-raising for a Guiliani campaign.
According to the New York Times, Roy W. Bailey, the finance chairman of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Exploratory Committee, Inc., said, "Their commitment is to go out and help us build as strong a finance organization as we can build. They'll do that in their respective geographical areas."
And the Associated Press quotes Bailey as saying Giuliani is "very serious" about the presidential exploratory effort.
"The purpose of testing the waters is testing whether there is financial support," Bailey says.
Thirty supporters met with Guiliani, including billionaire Texas oil mogul T. Boone Pickens; Tom Hicks, a Dallas billionaire who owns the Texas Rangers baseball team; Mel M. Immergut, chairman of the New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy; William E. Simon Jr., an investor who ran for governor of California in 2002; and Barry D. Wynn, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican party.
While the GOP's social conservative base hold Giuliani in high esteem for his leadership following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks as well as his strong national security stance, he may not be a popular choice with social conservatives -- who make up a good portion of the Republican party -- due to his liberal positions on social issues such as abortion and guy rights. He will also have trouble with top pro-gun groups such as the NRA because of his gun-control stance.
"Certainly one of the first questions that was asked was how his views of things like gun control and pro-choice and gay marriage would affect the views of the party in terms of nominating him," the New York Times quotes Immergut as saying.
"He talked specifically about what his views on those issues were, and he said that his own view was that when he was able to engage in conversations with party members who were more on the right, they could understand that his views were not as black and white as they had been painted," said Immergut.
"He said that for many important issues, his views would be right in sync with the huge majority of Republicans."
A GOP political strategist told this writer that while Rudy Guiliani may not seem a strong candidate by the conservatives and evangelicals, but if the choice comes down to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) or Rudy Guiliani, New Yorker's may see their celebrated mayor on the ballot in 2008.
"McCain is not trusted by conservatives. He voted against tax cuts, he was against amendments banning gay marriage, abortion and flag burning, he is perceived to be too close to liberals such as [Ted] Kennedy and [Russ] Feingold -- they don't like him, "said Mike Baker.
McCain and Giuliani both have more name recognition than the other two potential candidates. So political watchers are paying the most attention to those two. That includes Long Island, New York Republican, Rep. Pete King, who is supporting Giuliani, according to the Mercury News.
King offered this analysis of whether McCain or Giuliani had the best chance of winning the 2008 Republican nomination: "John has certainly made inroads with the conservatives."
But he told the Mercury News that Giuliani could still defeat McCain because not only was he more popular, but he was also perceived to have a tougher stance on national security.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com and PHXnews.com. He's also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us.