A Rudy Awakening?
The latest entry in the presidential sweepstakes rumor mill has former New York Governor Rudy Giuliani contemplating another run in 2012. The article reports that Giuliani believes there is room for a moderate Republican to compete in a field likely to be dominated by social conservatives. The article also correctly notes that Giuliani is savvy enough to know that merely floating the idea guarantees heightened public visibility, which is the central currency of modern political celebrity.
I have previously written that New Hampshire would be an ideal place for some Republican to set up shop as the moderate alternative to whichever social conservative emerges victorious from Iowa. Some political observers thought Giuliani fit that bill in 2008, but it just didn’t happen for his campaign during that election cycle. I heard a fair bit of criticism back then that Giuliani didn’t put in the retail politics legwork necessary to win in the Granite State. A concentrated effort might have helped him develop a more organic (and winning) campaign message.
So, we may see Giuliani up here again throughout 2011, although I’m not sure what would be different for him this time around. Perhaps having John McCain out of the way would help him get traction as the preferred alternative. But given the tenor of the 2010 midterm election, I imagine that surviving the Republican primaries will be even more difficult for a self-described political moderate in 2012, even one with Giuliani’s high name recognition.
Note: Back posting on Tuesday. -Dean

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