A couple of years ago, the conventional wisdom was that Rudy Giuliani would be a formidable Presidential candidate, but could never get the Republican nomination because of his liberal views on some social issues. I believe that we were among the first to question this assumption, noting that Giuliani is conservative on some social issues (notably, crime) and, more important, could win the support of a broad range of Republicans by putting the key social issues in procedural terms: I may be a New Yorker and more liberal on these topics than most Republicans, but I think issues like gay marriage and abortion should be resolved by through the democratic process, and I will appoint strict constructionist judges to the federal courts–which really, after all, is the only significant thing the President has to do with the social issues.
Giuliani has taken a course much like what we hypothesized, and there has been a lot of publicity lately about surveys that seem to show him doing well with the GOP’s conservative base. At the Candidates’ Forum, the Giuliani campaign has started a thread titled Social Conservatives Back Giuliani, which cites some of the recent poll data.
What do you think? Are you satisfied with Giuliani’s positions on the social issues? Are you willing to trust his pledge to appoint conservative judges? Do you see him as the best bet to beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?
Go to the Giuliani Forum and tell Rudy’s campaign what you think.
UPDATE: Interesting–so far, the commenters on Giuliani’s Forum site are pretty much unanimously OK with his position as laid out above. That could change as more comments come in, of course, but I think readers of this site and participants in the Candidates’ Forum are a much better barometer of conservative opinion than suppositions by liberal reporters about how social conservatives think. One more thing–check out the YouTube video that is playing on Giuliani’s Forum site. It’s good.
PAUL adds: In the latest issue of National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru argues that “abortion should doom Giuliani’s campaign.” Ramesh also believes that it will. His piece isn’t available on line, but I’ll summarize it here when I find a little time.
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