My Dinner with Andre, Part I

I was recently at a dinner with a number of political hacks, consultants, and assorted riff-raff.  Two interesting conversations took place, both of which concerned recent events at the CPAC event in Washington, D.C.  I’ll only write about them one at a time because they are very distinct and are both likely to start some lively debates.  This is also the short one to write so I’ll start with it!

One consultant pointed out that the second highest score in the CPAC straw poll belonged to Rudy Giuliani in spite of the fact that he had no campaign presence at the event.  Yes, he spoke, which is more than John McCain did.  But where Romney, Brownback, Huckabee and the rest had the full-court press on the attendees in order to garner the best possible finish, Giuliani arrived, gave his speech, and left.  The consultant gleaned two things from this: First, that national security and the war on terror was the conservative movement’s top issue at present.  Litmus issues like abortion were still fundamental and important but that being pro-life meant little if New York City was reduced to nuclear ash.  Second, that since CPAC features a conservative group of activists, each of whom was already aware of Giuliani’s many imperfections, Giuliani would likely have a great deal more staying power in the coming primaries than many pundits thought.  The consultant went on to opine that none of the candidates currently in the race would be assured of a united conservative following in the general election, even if Hillary Clinton were the Democrat’s nominee and that his advice to Giuliani, if Giuliani were to prevail, would be to select the one remaining conservative rock star that conservatives at CPAC and everywhere else still wanted to follow…

Giuliani - Gingrich - small.jpg  Yes folks, its Giuliani/Gingrich 2008…  Two men, many marriages…  In his words, one man who could be elected President if he can keep the conservative wing of the party engaged and another man who inspires the conservative wing but has little real chance of actually being elected President on his own.  While another diner suggested that Gingrich would never play second fiddle to anyone, our soothsayer said that 8 years as Vice-President would allow Gingich to focus on meaningful issues like health-care reform and other issues that appealed to all Americans, and that he could certainly rehabilitate his national image, preparing himself for his own run for the Presidency…

Everyone agreed it was interesting, several thought it was simply never going to happen, and at least attendee stopping buying drinks for our prognosticator…  I thought it was interesting enough to post here and to see what you all thought about it.


  1. Having a number of former wives might be an advantage. If they all remained on good terms, the candidate could form a voting bloc constituency.

  2. Excuse the food analogy but this combo sounds like a stiff espresso with a sprinkle of Ginkgo Biloba.

  3. AZGOPgal says

    Gingrich would kill the ticket. Unfortunately…

  4. Saw another story that said CPAC respondents said liberty/size of govt. was their primary issue, w/ pro-life issues coming in second.

    Does Giuliani’s crimedog nature overcome his liberal tendencies?

    Time will tell. He’s going to take a lot of incoming fire over the next year.

    I think the most damning proposition I read about a Giuliani candidacy is that on social issues it is identical to the standard democratic candidate, which means that Catholic Dems have no reason to vote GOP.

  5. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    I noticed that the ten choices people were given to select from did NOT include the immigration issue… I would have to imagine that discontent with the GOP on that issue would have ranked somewhere in the top ten!

  6. The only way Giuliani could pull off a victory is to have a running mate who is a true conservative. Many social conservative (including the Democratic Catholics mentioned above) would less likely to vote if the match up is Clinton and Giuliani.

  7. I remain baffled by Republicans “sitting on their hands,” and refusing to vote if the stars don’t align properly for them. Regardless of the choices presented, and as much as we are weary of this scenario, we must realize that even second-tier Republicans are better than Democrats.
    We’ll all tired of compromising, but by withholding our votes, who are we hurting but ourselves?

    As someone who enthusiastically supported George W. Bush, I certainly feel betrayed by him today. His irresponsibility in securing this nation’s borders, and appalling lack of leadership in dealing with the inflated budget, are worse than disappointing. However, judicial appointments are infinitely more crucial than the term of a presidency. Court decisions made today will affect us all for generations to come. Four U.S. Supreme Court Justices are over age 70, John Paul Stevens is 86. I prefer to see them replaced by a Republican president.

  8. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    I think we likely all agree with that on this site. But just because 10 or 100 of us agree doesn’t mean that the lack of a pro-life candidate will leave many pro-lifers sitting at home. Look, if you are opposed to slavery and both candidates favor keeping slavery legal, then you aren’t going to vote for either because you view it as a critical, litmus test issue. If someone can’t recognize a baby where a baby exists and if that someone doesn’t recognize that that baby is “endowed by its Creator with certain inalienable rights” and that those rights include the right “to Life” then it can be rightly argued that that person lacks the morality and judgement needed to be President. That is the challenge faced by the current front-runners for the GOP nomination.

  9. Villanova says

    I’m both pro-life and anti-slavery. This is an unfortunate comparison.

    Although I’m tired of compromising my votes as I did in voting for George W. Bush, I’m a realist and the bottom line is not slavery but whether Hillary and Obama would be preferential to Giuliani. (McCain is on a collision course with himself and will likely come in third in the “08 primary race. ) So do we sit on our hands and let the Dems control both the White House and congress?

    Did you marry a perfect person or make a compromise on one issue or another because overall you had faith the union would work? Sorry to make the harsh comparison between love and politics, but the same analogy holds true. It seems for many of us, politics is love. We go to the mat for our candidate and feel personally betrayed when they deceive us by voting for a prescription drug benefit. We want them pure on the issues that matter most to us. My druthers would be a strong conservative, pro-Second Amendment, pro-lifer who would cut taxes, govern less and apply the Constitution instead of trying to interpret subtle nuances and re-craft the Founders’ intent. If I don’t get the opportunity to vote for such a person, I’ll take the next best and not give the Liberal a pass by my inaction.

    We all long for a Reaganesque rerun, yet conveniently forget his amnesty program gave citizenship to millions of lawbreakers. He thought it was a one-time thing, when in fact what he accomplished was merely encouraging more lawlessness.

    Perfect? Not but a long shot, but he was better than most.

  10. Constantin Querard says

    Villanova raises two issues there. One, the comparison between slavery and abortion being “unfortunate” and two, whether or not Giuliani will be found acceptable. I don’t think STS took a position on the second. He seemed to indicate that we need more information before we can judge and that it is a litmus test issue for many people. If Giuliani is as bad on abortion as Obama or Hillary then many pro-life voters will stay home and not vote for either. I think his logic is fine and he’s probably right.

    As to the comparision between abortion and slavery, many excellent books have been written that draw exact, compelling and powerful parallels between the two. In each case it is either a human being or not. If so, then it has been endowed by its Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. When slavery was argued, there were those who said that no sane person could look at the human being in front of them and find that he or she was not a human being. Yet our Supreme Court managed to find slaves were less than 100% of a person. Slave owners said that they were merely property, their property to be specific, and that others had no right to be telling them what to do or not to do with their property. If you opposed slaves, they said, don’t have any! Eventually the conscience of a nation recognized the plain and simple truth that each was a human being, endowed by God with rights that no man could take from them.

    See if you can find any parallels here…

    When abortion is argued, there are those who say that no sane person could look at the baby in the womb and find that he or she is not a human being. Yet our Supreme Court managed to find that they weren’t human beings until an entirely arbitrary date in their development and that until then they were less than 100% of a person. Mothers who desire abortions and pro-abortion advocates say that they are merely property, their property to be specific, and that others have no right to be telling them what to do or not to do with their property. If you oppose abortion, they say, don’t have one!

    Eventually the conscience of a nation will recognize the plain and simple truth that these small lifes are each a human being, endowed by God with rights that no man can or should take from them.

    The argument wasn’t unfortunate, it was precisely correct.

    Keep up the good work Sonoran Alliance!

  11. Villanova says

    CQ misses my point entirely. Conservatives not voting enable Liberals to win. We harm no one but ourselves and our progeny.
    Winners, not whiners, craft and enact laws, declare war and appoint judges. This is precisely what presidential elections are all about.

  12. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Villanova, I’m not sure that he missed your point. He simply responded to your posting and “slavery” as a parallel. Surely when you said that the election wasn’t going to be about slavery you weren’t suggesting that I said that the election WAS going to be about slavery? I used it to draw a parallel that you found incorrect and unfortunate. I think CQ made it quite clear why it was a correct analogy. Pointing out that some people will not support a strongly pro-abortion politician doesn’t mean we disagree with your points. It is simply pointing a truth that warrants consideration.

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