10 Nov 2007


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Matthew J. Frank discusses the interesting question of whether Republicans should trust the former New York mayor’s recent “conversions.”

“Isn’t it better that I tell you what I really believe instead of pretending to change all of my positions to fit the prevailing wind?”

So asked Rudy Giuliani at the “Values Voter Summit,” on October 20. It’s a powerful rhetorical question. Simultaneously Giuliani declared that flip-flopping and pandering are beneath him, and intimated that he is superior to his leading rival, Mitt Romney, who is famous for having changed his mind on the subject of abortion rights. I’m no waffler, no quick-change artist when I face a different constituency, says Rudy. “I believe trust is more important than 100% agreement.” And so Hizzoner has made trust the currency of his campaign, and he links trust to consistency: I’m the same guy yesterday, today, tomorrow, and the day after that.

By now you get the picture. Mayor Giuliani’s latter-day assurances on the abortion issue are thin and insubstantial, and appear to be made to endure for just as long as it takes to get the Republican nomination. So far I believe the phrase “right to life” has never passed his lips, and I’m not sure it can. It’s hard to imagine Giuliani as the party’s nominee even continuing to talk about the abortion issue after he achieves that status, if he could get away with it.

But would he get away with it? Giuliani’s pandering in all directions on this issue, his evident lack of a guiding moral or legal principle on the issue, is tailor-made for attack by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. We can hear her now in a head-to-head debate: “Which is it, mayor? Do your ideal ‘strict constructionist’ judges strike down a woman’s right to choose, or not? Which do you want to see happen? Where are you on this issue?” Does Rudy then betray a career-long support of abortion rights — or the platform of his party — or stick bumptiously to his well-rehearsed mantra of “don’t-care strict constructionism”? Surely the Democrats are already relishing the opportunity they’ll have to make him dance even faster.

Why do we worry about the flip-flopper or the panderer in political campaigns? Because we wonder whom to trust, to be sure. But also because we want our own party’s candidates to be as invulnerable as possible to attack by the opposition party. A lot of pro-lifers want desperately to trust Rudy Giuliani, and are willing to put the fate of the right-to-life cause in his hands because they believe he’s the man who can beat Hillary Clinton. But even if that trust is wisely given (a big if indeed), on this issue, compared to almost anyone else in the GOP field — Mitt Romney most certainly included — Rudy Giuliani is the most vulnerable candidate the Republicans could make their standard-bearer.

I don’t myself care much about the abortion issue. (I’m not really planning on having any personally.) But I care a great deal about Gun Control, on which issue Giuliani’s record is utterly abysmal, and Hizzoner’s recent supposed conversion on the subject does not impress me in the least. If they nominate Giuliani, I’ll be voting Third Party.

7 Feedbacks on "Trustworthy?"


Rudy is not my ideal candidate… but is there one? Nope not one that can beat the Whoribillary.

Whatever it is you think about Rudy: love his positions or hate them, the one thing that absolutely has to be admitted is that you know exactly where he stands. Whether I agree with him or not, I admire that he has the courage to own his positions and say ‘take me as I am because…’. That’s pretty gutsy in a day and age when most politicians will tell whomever they are talking with exactly what they want to hear and/or whatever it takes to get a vote.

Scott D

While I see a lot of unpleasant Rockefeller Republicanism in Giuliani, a vote for a third party would be a vote for Hillary. No thanks.


syllabucks, that’s exactly the point of the commentary above — you DON’T know exactly where he stands. He just says you do. Look at his record — he’s completely changed his stated views on a number of issues, including immigration, gun control, gay marriage, and he even tried with abortion, but his views were too well known to get away with it, so he put forth the wimpy “strict constructionist judges” as a replacement. And he used to be for big government and was not fiscally responsible — just research his record. So no, we don’t know where he stands. All we have to go on is his self-proclaimed honesty. But research shows he has flip flopped. But because he’s the mayor of 9/11, he’s gotten away with it.

Vote for Hillary Online

Mitt Romney doesn’t have a chance at all to win the presidency. If you want to check out a real candidate with real values, check out Hillary Clinton. You won’t be disappointed.

Dominique R. Poirier

Hello, Syllabucks, Scott, and Charlotte,
I get your points but didn’t Giuliani do a lot of good for New York well before 9/11?
Fred Thompson is my favorite by far, but I express some doubt about his chances to succeed against Giuliani. Just a feeling.

Leslie White


If you vote 3rd party, you’ll get Hillary*. And despite her adulators, she ain’t what she makes out she is. As neither was Bubba. His anti-jihad measures were pitiful–and useless. thanks to him we have al qaeda in Kosovo.

Hillary dillary doc–the hillary machine’ll clean our clock!


Rudy will abort Hilary and Osama. That’s good enough for me.


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