Is Rudy Running?

The front page of today's New York Sun reports that Rudy Giuliani has decided not to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) to be held later this week in Memphis, Tennessee.  Given that all of the other major prospective 2008 Republican candidates (to date) are planning to attend —— including Senators McCain, Allen, and Frist, and Governer Romney —— the article asks whether Giuliani is "serious" about 2008?  The article goes so far as to quote one "national political analyst" (clearly no fan of Rudy's) who opines that Giuliani "is using the presidential rumors to make money."

Of course, just last month, Andrew Sullivan wrote that Giuliani was planning to run for president in 2008, after Giuliani spoke to the evangelical Global Pastors Network in Orlando, Florida.  As Sullivan put it:  "If Rudy is talking Jesus, he's going to run."

Clearly, the political tea leaves are not easy to read this far out from 2008.  Indeed, as the Sun article recounts, Giuliani recently told a Manhattan audience that it is still too early for him to declare whether he is running for president.  My money says he's leaning heavily in that direction, but is wisely waiting to see how the fall elections turn out and how the field of prospective candidates, and likely opponents, shakes out.

As for his not appearing at the SRLC this week, I suspect Guiliani realizes that his stock rises every time the voters see the pretenders (Frist and Romney), the second—stringers (Allen), and the opportunists (McCain) who presently are vying to be the Republican nominee in 2008.  For all his alleged faults and inability to connect with the Republican Party faithful, Giuliani remains the most popular potential candidate among likely Republican voters.  His popularity will only grow as the inadequacies of the other candidates become more and more obvious over time. 

Contrary to the Sun's speculations, I think Giuliani is quite "serious" about 2008 and is pursuing a brilliant strategy of limiting his overtly "political" appearances and separating himself from the "herd" of presidential wannabees, thereby maintaining his aura of leadership and greatness.  Giuliani's calculation is that when confronted by a weakened Bush presidency, a loss of seats in Congress, and a Hillary candidacy for president, the Republican Party will turn to the one man who can win in 2008 and prevent the Democrats from regaining power:  Rudy Giuliani.  He just might be right.

Steven M. Warshawsky   3 07 06

The front page of today's New York Sun reports that Rudy Giuliani has decided not to attend the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC) to be held later this week in Memphis, Tennessee.  Given that all of the other major prospective 2008 Republican candidates (to date) are planning to attend —— including Senators McCain, Allen, and Frist, and Governer Romney —— the article asks whether Giuliani is "serious" about 2008?  The article goes so far as to quote one "national political analyst" (clearly no fan of Rudy's) who opines that Giuliani "is using the presidential rumors to make money."

Of course, just last month, Andrew Sullivan wrote that Giuliani was planning to run for president in 2008, after Giuliani spoke to the evangelical Global Pastors Network in Orlando, Florida.  As Sullivan put it:  "If Rudy is talking Jesus, he's going to run."

Clearly, the political tea leaves are not easy to read this far out from 2008.  Indeed, as the Sun article recounts, Giuliani recently told a Manhattan audience that it is still too early for him to declare whether he is running for president.  My money says he's leaning heavily in that direction, but is wisely waiting to see how the fall elections turn out and how the field of prospective candidates, and likely opponents, shakes out.

As for his not appearing at the SRLC this week, I suspect Guiliani realizes that his stock rises every time the voters see the pretenders (Frist and Romney), the second—stringers (Allen), and the opportunists (McCain) who presently are vying to be the Republican nominee in 2008.  For all his alleged faults and inability to connect with the Republican Party faithful, Giuliani remains the most popular potential candidate among likely Republican voters.  His popularity will only grow as the inadequacies of the other candidates become more and more obvious over time. 

Contrary to the Sun's speculations, I think Giuliani is quite "serious" about 2008 and is pursuing a brilliant strategy of limiting his overtly "political" appearances and separating himself from the "herd" of presidential wannabees, thereby maintaining his aura of leadership and greatness.  Giuliani's calculation is that when confronted by a weakened Bush presidency, a loss of seats in Congress, and a Hillary candidacy for president, the Republican Party will turn to the one man who can win in 2008 and prevent the Democrats from regaining power:  Rudy Giuliani.  He just might be right.

Steven M. Warshawsky   3 07 06