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September 27, 2005

Have the Hurricanes Helped Guliani's Presidential Hopes?

Lorie Byrd contends in her column today over at Townhall that Hurricane Katrina (and the government's failures in response) have helped Rudy Guliani's presidential hopes:

Thanks to the blame-Bush media, it seems the public now believes that the first and ultimate responder to any kind of disaster, whether natural or man-made, should be the federal government, or more specifically, the President. Giuliani is the only potential 2008 candidate that has shown himself capable of handling a challenge of such historic proportions. Because issues of national security and war and peace in the Middle East will outlive the Bush presidency, the nation will be looking for a leader able to perform in a crisis.

Even more than his proven ability to perform under pressure, however, one thing that Giuliani may be able to do, that some other Republicans might not, is unite the country. If Bush, as amiable as he is, and with a reputation as a uniter as governor of Texas, could be painted as an extremist divider, it is reasonable to believe the same will be attempted with the next Republican candidate. Giuliani achieved giant stature in my eyes, and those of most other Americans, with his actions following 9/11. Because he is already known as a uniter and a strong leader, he will be resistant to attempts to portray him otherwise. He can also claim to have received a large number of votes from Democrats in past elections. Not many, if any, of the other potential Republican presidential candidates can say that.

One of the key questions that any presidential candidate must face is how he or she would respond in a crisis. Most candidates are untested on this question until after they are elected. Guliani is in a unique position in that the public has already seen the kind of leader he is when things are tough. Although social conservatives (myself included) would have a hard time reconciling themselves with Guliani's position on issues such as abortion it's difficult to argue against him if national security and/or crisis management is one of the key issues in 2008.

By the way, Patrick Ruffini has his latest straw poll of Republican candidates posted so you can stop by and vote for your favorite. It will be interesting to see what effect, if any, Hurricane Katrina will have on the poll results.

Posted by Tom at September 27, 2005 02:25 PM

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