Well, it looks like Rudolph Giuliani is running for president in 2008. Can he win? Well, before last Tuesday election results I would have said he could have easily won the general election but would have almost no chance winning the Republican nomination. Now, I think the opposite of both those scenarios is more likely. One thing for sure, I don't want him for president. He blew it for me in 2004.
I have never been a fan of Giuliani. I voted for David Dinkins in 1989 when he ran against Giuliani. I had never regretted a vote more. Dinkins was the biggest disappointment I've ever seen. So, when the the two of them ran against each other again in 1993, well, I was glad I had moved to Seattle at that point. Giuliani won handily, and made some dramatic changes in the makeup of the city with the approval of most of the citizens. I saw some of these changes each time I visited the city, I liked some of them and didn't like others. The city was cleaner but lost a lot of its character. It became bland and indistinguishable from any other area of the United States.
Anyway, Giuliani's second term started off well but he soon became tabloid fodder when his marriage was on the rocks. He had an affair and was something of a joke as his tenure as mayor was coming to an end. Then September 11th happened and his image got the biggest boost anyone could ever imagine. He earned it by being the image of calm in a truly confusing, chaotic day. He acted more presidential than George Bush did, granted he was in the city when the attacks happened, but he had guts and acted decisively. That was the day I thought he would make a great president. My views would soon change.
Granted, I much rather have Giuliani as president than the man who stole the White House from Al Gore. If Al Gore had been president when the events of 9-11 happened (Though I think they would NOT have happened with Gore as president) Giuliani would have easily beaten him for president in 2004 and I would have been okay with that. Instead, George Bush Jr. was in the White House and was running for re-election. The convention was in New York City, and Giuliani was to give a keynote speech. That's where he lost me.
On September 11th 2001, Giuliani saved the Bush administration. He was there when the city was burning. Bush was nowhere to be seen. Who knows what Bush was doing? We didn't see him that day and from all appearances, was hiding somewhere, we don't really know, we're not allowed to find out. So, Bush owed Giuliani big time. Heck, Giuliani should have ran against Bush in 2004 either in the primary or as a Democrat, his views are more moderate that Bush's. Instead he bowed done to Bush and made what I felt was a disgusting statement at the Convention.
He said "For me, when I arrived there and I stood below the north tower and I looked up, and seeing the flames of hell emanating from those buildings, and realizing that what I was actually seeing was a human being on the 101st, 102nd floor that was jumping out of the building, I stood there, it probably took five or six seconds, it seemed to me that it took 20 or 30 minutes, and I was stunned."
"At the time, we believed that we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Without really thinking, based on just emotion, spontaneous, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, and I said to him, 'Bernie, thank God George Bush is our president.'"
I was livid. This election disgusted me enough when they smeared John Kerry's military record and mocking his medals by wearing purple heart band aids in the same audience. But thanking God that George Bush was president, when even at that time it appeared that if anyone else was president 9-11 could have been prevented. To see the second Republican kiss up to an unworthy human being like that (John McCain did it earlier that convention) made me more partisan than I had been in awhile. We got stuck with four more years of Bush and a war with no end in sight thanks to Giuliani and McCain. And they want my vote? I don't think so. They are not heroes.
The funny thing is that now, most people are angry with Bush, so much so that they may give McCain and Giuliani a chance in the Republican primaries. I think that the republicans will realize they need a moderate like Giuliani and a maverick like McCain to win over Democrat voters who don't want to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. I used to think that either McCain or Giuliani would be shoo-ins if they got past the primaries. But I think 2008 is not their time. I think both passed their opportunities.
McCain's best chance was in 2000. He would have been a welcome change for many people from Bill Clinton. He was a straight talker, An Arizona Republican in the Barry Goldwater vein. He would have made a great one term president. Guiliani's time was 2004. He was not going to take on an incumbent from his own party, and though he is a bit liberal on some issues. 2008 is a different story for both guys. John McCain is getting a bit too old, he'll be 72 in 2008. He also appeared weak in the 2000 primaries in defending his honor against attacks by Bush. He went full circle by supporting almost everything Bush wanted and lost any "maverick" points. As of now, it looks like that Hillary Clinton is a shoo-in to win and I couldn't be happier. I can't think of any Republican who can beat her. She has already been through the ringer enough to handle any attacks against her. This can change however, most likely it will be someone no one has mentioned yet.