Political analyst Charles Cook lays out the field for the 2008 Presidential races , and quickly concludes that Rudy Giuliani can not be nominated due to his liberal views on social issues. As a result, he finds John McCain a clear leader in surveys of Washington insiders, or Republicans, when Giuliani is not included in the sample of potential GOP candidates.
Giuliani may decide that Cook is right and not compete, in which case his analysis may be valid. What Cook misses is that many Republicans are not enthusiastic about McCain, but would accept him as the Republican candidate most likely to beat Hillary Clinton, if she were the Democratic nominee. But what Cook is missing is that among many of these same folks who would accept McCain, Giuliani is considered a better alternative, and a stronger candidate in a general election were he nominated .
Conventional wisdom can sometimes be turned on its head. Who would have expected the Democrats to nominate a pro—life Senatorial candidate (Bob Casey) in Pennsylvania? Casey is running well ahead of incumbent GOP Senator Rick Santorum at this point. By selecting him, the Democrats have made it much more difficult for Santorum to pick off socially conservative Democratic voters. Sometimes parties expand their tent, and for their own good. A McCain and even more so a Giuliani would make it much harder for the Democratic nominee in 2008 to compete for the center and independent voters.
Richard Baehr 6 10 06