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Iowa 2008: Giuliani Leads

Should he decide to run for president in 2008, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani would start off as the frontrunner in the Iowa caucuses, according to a survey conducted in the state earlier this month.

Rudy Giuliani
Former New York City Maory Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani, who in the past several months has looked more and more like a candidate for president, received 30 percent of the vote in a survey conducted by Victory Enterprises -- a Republican consulting firm based in Davenport, Iowa. Arizona Sen. John McCain came in second with 17 percent -- the only other candidate to draw double-digit support. In fact, only Giuliani received more votes than the "undecided" option, which clocked in at 29 percent.

The poll was in the field on Aug. 14-15 and tested 400 people who ranged from "extremely likely" (39 percent) to "very likely" (35.8%) to "somewhat likely" (25.3 percent) to vote in the 2008 Iowa GOP presidential caucuses. Because of the small sample size, we should be careful about drawing too many conclusions from this survey. It does provide a first rough sketch of where the candidates stand in a crucial state, but is far from definitive about where they will end up.

Here's a look at the field top to bottom (raw votes in parentheses):

Rudy Giuliani 30% (120)
John McCain 17.3% (69)
Bill Frist 6.5% (26)
Mitt Romney 4.5% (18)
George Allen 3.5% (14)
George Pataki 3.3% (13)
Mike Huckabee 2.5% (10)
Sam Brownback 2.5% (10)
Undecided 28.7% (115)
Refused 1.3% (5)

These results aren't terribly surprising given that, aside from Giuliani and McCain, none of the other potential 2008 candidates are well known outside of their home states or regions. Although McCain skipped Iowa during his bid for the presidency, he was the best known candidate in the survey -- only seven percent said they had never heard of him. Ten percent said they'd never heard of Giuliani.

Among the other candidates, the biggest surprise may have been New York Gov. George Pataki, who was known by 76 percent of those tested. Pataki has worked Iowa hard (receiving rave reviews for his campaigning) and gained something of a national profile as the governor of the Empire State during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But all of that exposure adds up to just 3.3 percent support in the survey, a fact that should have the Pataki camp a little worried.

The poll gives Tennessee Sen. Bill Frist reason to be optimistic about Iowa -- he was the fourth-best known candidate and placed third (albeit a distant third) in the horserace. Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is constructing a large and influential Iowa network, has considerable room to grow as just more than half of the voters polled (51 percent) have heard of him.

The survey was bad news for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has worked the state relentlessly over the past year but was known by a meager 38 percent of voters polled. Virginia Sen. George Allen, who has curtailed all 2008 travel to focus on his re-election bid this fall, was also little known, with just 30 percent of voters recognizing his name.

When asked whether they viewed the candidates favorably or unfavorably, the sample gave Giuliani the most sterling response. Sixty-seven percent saw him in a favorable light compared to just 5 percent who viewed him unfavorably. McCain had the second-highest favorable rating (44 percent) but the highest unfavorable rating as well (25 percent) -- perhaps the result of his decision to bypass Iowa in 2000.

The poll was not all good news for Giuliani, however. The knock against him has long been that, despite his current high ratings among Republicans (largely the result of his deft handling of the aftermath 9-11), his popularity will quickly plummet once conservative caucus and primary voters are informed of his liberal position on several social issues -- most notably abortion.

Fully 45 percent of those tested said they were "very unlikely" to vote for a candidate who disagreed with their position on abortion, while 22 percent said they were "somewhat unlikely" to select a candidate with whom they differed on the issue.

Why is that number so important? Because the Iowa caucuses are traditionally dominated by socially conservatives voters -- witness the stronger than expected showings of Pat Robertson in 1988 and Pat Buchanan in 1996. In the Victory Enterprises poll, 70 percent of those tested identified themselves as "pro-life" as compared to 22 percent who called themselves "pro choice."

It remains to be seen whether the 9-11 political cocoon that has grown around Giuliani in the intervening five years can protect him from the attacks on his conservative credentials that are sure to come from his rivals. No Republican candidate since Gerald Ford has won a contested primary while supporting abortion rights. And, Ford -- the sitting president -- very nearly lost that race to Ronald Reagan who was anti-abortion rights and carried the strong support of conservatives.

If Giuliani runs, he will be confronting the heavy weight of that history. Of course, no single event since World War II has impacted the American consciousness as Sept. 11 did (49 percent of voters in the Iowa poll said "stopping terrorism" should be the nation's number one priority), so it is difficult to gauge just how much that will change the voting dynamic for Giuliani.

"If the Mayor decides to make a run at Iowa, he has an audience willing to listen," said Steve Grubbs, the founder of Victory Enterprises. "The challenge will be convincing conservative Iowa voters that his leadership skills can transcend his positions on social issues."

By Chris Cillizza  |  August 24, 2006; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Parsing the Polls: Terrorism and the Midterms
Next: The Friday Governors Line: And Then There were 15


George Allen is the best true Republican.

Posted by: Paul | September 25, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

"If there's anyone who can balance the budget amid spiraling entitlement costs, it's [Mitt]." Speaking of spiraling entitlement costs, have you seen the health care legislation Romney signed last spring? No wonder he is not going to run for re-election. I wouldn't want to be around in 2007 when it is enacted either. For a MA official, he has done a fantastic job though.

Posted by: Fiscal Conservative | September 1, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Before 2008 which has a Presidential race that has everyone excited, we have an 06' mid-term election that will determine the dynamics of this Presidential race. Who will be the majority party? Who will be in control the Republican party? John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi will be the House leaders, which will be majority and minority leader? Reid will hold the banner for the dems in the senate, Frist is retiring. Will Mitch McConnell automatically receive the leadership position? I doubt it. Were talking about a guy (McConnell) who will have to explain away his vote against "The flag defemation amendement". That's right, he voted against it and it failed by 1 vote. Who is going to step up and challenge McConnell, I believe someone will. Will it be a veteran like John Warner, senator of Virginia or someone like Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who excites many true conservatives? Whoever is in control of the senate will be able to push for their guy. Boehner certainly is one to vote on ideology rather than party line. With that in mind, noone has mentioned Colorodo Rep. Tom Tancredo. Is it possible house members will rally around him on the issue of immigration? It worked for the house to hand Bush and the senate a huge defeat on immigration this year. Immigration could certainly excite the conservative electorate. These are just issues that will have to be answered before moving to the 08' elections.

If we want a good estimate, though, of the 08' race at this point money is more important that polls. Think Dean vs. Kerry in Iwoa in 04'. Kerry wrote checks in the end to take down Dean in the polls and achieve victory. If you follow the money this soon, McCain and Romney have the advantage. But, as I say, watch the 06' elections first and the ensuing division of the Republican party for senate majority leader. Watch and see what happens!

Posted by: reason | August 29, 2006 9:16 PM | Report abuse

P Chase and Riley:

Please name one thing that George Pataki has done in the last four years as Governor, except prepare to run for President.

Darth Sidious does not discount his ability to move up in the polling, but the GOP does play to front runners, so they can focus on knocking down the Democrats' front runner (remember how quickly they went after Kerry in spring 2004).

As for Giuliani, it's not just the womanizing. Look at his political appointments; Kerik is the tip of the iceberg.

As for THAT WOMAN, she's played a very good game, almost as good a balancing act as John McCain. Instead of a general election between the two of them, let's set them up for a marathon vodka drinking contest on election day 2008.


Posted by: DarthSidious | August 29, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Fiscal Conservative,

Romney comes to mind as a fiscal conservative. If there's anyone who can balance the budget amid spiraling entitlement costs, it's him.

Posted by: murphy | August 29, 2006 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Most of the people who come in here are informed about issues on both sides, or even the third side. But the reality is that 2008's race for the White House started over 2 years ago, and numerous politicans on all sides started making calls and contacting people about their chance to run as president. Time magazine stuck Hillary on its cover, and their website asked people to express their views. Surprisely, out of 151,900 votes cast on shows that 60% of the participants would NOT vote for Hillary. It was 50% supporting her running, but winning is another matter. On the issue, is her husband an asset or not? And how could any woman run for president if her husband is seen as the "puppet master" standing behind her? If she is her own woman, she has to stand on her own two feet. Women's rights and being a leader for women is one matter, but Hillary will have as difficult a time explaining her votes in the Senate as Kerry or Edwards did in 2004.

Posted by: 2008 race | August 29, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

TJM is right about Jefferson. Great man, stinky President.

Murphy, "As soon as the GOP floats a nominee who is fiscally conservative" - Like who? Newt? There are no fiscal conservatives anymore or have you not noticed $400 Billion annual deficit spending? It's a social conservative that will win the GOP nod. Fiscal conservatives and moderate Republicans will split their votes between Rudy and McCain, leaving the door wide open for Frist or Romney.

Posted by: Fiscal Conservative | August 29, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The thread of conversation has moved on, I fear, but I couldn't let this one go.

An unidentified poster writes:
>>"I just want to add to the Skirtchasing/Good president thing.

Thomas Jefferson: One of our greatest presidents-- had plenty of affairs."

Jefferson, one of the greatest presidents? By what measure? He tried to have a Supreme Court Justice removed just because he didn't like his politics. He nearly destroyed the American foreign trading network with the Embargo Act. Sure, the Declaration of Independence is a very pretty speech, but that doesn't make Jefferson a capable leader.

Honestly. If you can get your face on the currency in this country you get a free pass.

Posted by: TJM | August 28, 2006 8:09 PM | Report abuse

What a BS poll. What kind of sample size is that?

Posted by: Bob | August 28, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey republican woman,

You really need to get a life. Maybe you can invite Ann Coulter on your motorcade across the country----should "THAT WOMAN" win the nomination.

Posted by: Amy | August 27, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I think P Chase was right when they talked about Pataki. While the bigger candidates duke it out, his hard work and determination to win over Iowa voters might just pay off. If he has enough time to convince voters of his credentials while avoiding attacks by the big wigs, he could place third or fourth, which in this 08 crowd, would be a big upset.

Posted by: Riley | August 25, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I went to Liz's website and nothing was there about Condi. Anyway, she is a remarkable woman and came from the middle class family of segregated Birmingham. Mother was a teacher, and father was teacher/football coach/preacher. Being an only child, Condi got the total devotion of her parents who saw education as the key to success in life. Condi is an inspiration to many young girls today, of all races and ethnic backgrounds. She is not from a political family, but is part of the Bush family because of her loyalty to President Bush. Her diplomatic success will be judged if the Middle East conflict can last longer than the 11 days so far. So far, a few thousands international troops are coming to Southern Lebanon to safeguard both sides from going back into conflict.
Rock on Condi

Posted by: Liz for Condi | August 25, 2006 4:18 PM | Report abuse

If an alternative to "THAT WOMAN" is to elected "HONESTLY" and FAIRLY", wouldn't that eliminate the present White House occupant?
angry in Florida

Posted by: Barb Doyle | August 25, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

According to the Republican Woman, she said she would do anything "HONESTLY"
and "FAIRLY" to elect a candidate other than "THAT WOMAN". Key words" HONESTLY and Fairly. Doesn't that eliminate the present White House occupant?
Angry in Florida

Posted by: bARBDOYLE | August 25, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I read Liz Mair's comment and she did not mention Condi. But anyway, if Liz wants to support her, that is great.

Condi is favored at 60% job approval and the Democrats are so angry at her, they would badmouth Condi as every chance. That just is the way it is. But with Condi tied in poll after poll with Guiliani and McCain, that means the people see her as a contender for 2008.

On the Sept 11 threats, does anyone have evidence of where those attacks would be or on what date? Should Condi have told the FAA to ground every plane for the months of September to protect our nation? How much screaming and complaining would be coming from the Democrats if she did that based on the report "Bin Laden plans to attack the USA". Hmmm? Any thought about what to do?

Here we are 5 years later, and the venom is leaking out of the Democrats. It oozes out of every fingertip as they snipe and argue but fail to show any evidence that Bush is not doing his job to protect our nation. Police and Homeland Security have arrested and stopped a few plots, but the Democrats still complain it was not done as they saw fit. As long as terrorism is a top issue, the Democrats will lose. Either Rudy or McCain would do fine as president, I just think Condi would be better.

Posted by: Tina | August 25, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Again the problem is...I would totally vote for him...but I'm not a Republican.

It's that simple.

Posted by: toby | August 25, 2006 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"My president needs to be someone I can look up to, and yes, that is George Bush."

Yeah, a guy who says 'g--damn' more than he uses the word 'the' is someone we can really look up to.

"He had to work to get the nomination in 2000..."

If you call smearing McCain in South Carolina by implying his adopted Vietnamese baby wasn't really adopted...then yeah, I guess that was work.

Posted by: Eric | August 25, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I have stated my opinion in here several times that Giuliani might be the most electable and the least nominatable (to coin a word). Once the attack ads start running highlighting his social issue stands and his marital history it would be all over in a state like Iowa.

I still see McCain as the most likely nominee. Despite his wrangling with the religious right in 2000, he was always a conservative on most every social issue. The social issues just were not his priorities. Keep in mind that the social conservatives cannot deliver the nomination all by themselves. Otherwise we would have had Robertson or Bauer as past nominees. McCain does not need to be the favorite of the social conservatives, he just needs to make some inroads into that group and avoid being the target of a "Stop McCain" movement by them. He has earned quite a few political IOUs campaigning for his party in 2002, 2004 and this year. He has name recognition, great fundraising and a hero's resume. Despite his support of Bush and rapprochement with Falwell, he is outspoken and independent enough on certain issues to retain a good deal of his reputation as a 'straight talker'. I simply do not see another candidate being able to challenge him very effectively. Allen might not even be re-elected and, in any event, has proven too gaffe prone (that's the most charitable interpretation). Frist is a feeble Senate leader and a boring campaigner. He alienated many social conservatives on stem cells and made a fool of himself "diagnosing" Terry Schiavo from a video. Pataki and Romney will have a hard time appealing to the GOP's Sun Belt center of gravity. Some of the positions they had to take to survive in New York and Massachussetts will come back to haunt them in attack ads during the primaries. So, I just do not see anyone being able to mount a real challenge to McCain at this point. Of course, there always seems to be a candidate who comes out of nowhere and strikes a deep chord with the electorate. I would also comment that most of the vituperation I have seen about McCain's supposed apostasy in cozying up to Falwell comes from people who were not going to vote for him anyway. If the situation in Iraq can be stabilized between now and 2008, McCain would be very hard to beat in the general election. His most vulnerable area is probably his support for the war in Iraq - which is now opposed by a significant majority of people. But, many swing voters proudly say "I vote the person, not the party" and are fairly non-ideological. Personal qualities weigh heavily with these voters. McCain scores well on leadership with such voters and I do not see any Democrat being able to match that - except possibly Wesley Clark.

Posted by: JimD in FL | August 25, 2006 9:57 AM | Report abuse

You should do a blog entry on the latest FEC fundraising numbers regarding the DNC/DSCC/DCCC vs the RNC/NRSC/NRCC.

Posted by: Adam | August 24, 2006 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm a supporter of a 'dark hourse' scenario. While McCain and the social conservatives batter Guliani over his social liberalism and the social conservatives batter McCain over his sudden shift to their side and the social conservatives batter each other over who is more conservative, don't count out someone like Pataki who has worked the state hard and is un-heard of enough to sit by and watch as the big-wigs knock each other senseless. I think he could surprise people. He came from behind and won in New York, both as an Assemblyman and then as Governor. Any Republican who can defeat Mario Cuomo in New York definately is a force to be reckoned with.

Posted by: P Chase | August 24, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

>>>I have less respect for THAT WOMAN

By THAT WOMAN do you mean Hillary Clinton? Just curious...

And btw, hoomes, I loved the Allen throw in there a while back. Im beginning to think you are more about the Red Meat than you are the Republican Party ;)

Posted by: F&B | August 24, 2006 9:39 PM | Report abuse


you're not really serious about condoleeza as a candidate, are you? she, as i recall, was the NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR in september of 2001. from a national security standpoint, you can't really have anything more negative on your resume. is she a better SOS? moot point, W has poisoned our relations with most of the world. but i haven't seen anything in her performance to get excited about. maybe henry kissinger is available...

Posted by: jt | August 24, 2006 8:34 PM | Report abuse


Are you comparing the degree to which Romney riles up republicans to that which McCain is capable of? Don't forget to factor in republicans who don't frequent your moderate blog (ie, likely GOP primary voters).

If I had a penny for every time I've heard a conservative proclaim that the world would freeze over before they voted for McCain...

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm really encouraged by the results of this poll. While I am a McCain supporter (have been since 2000, probably will be for life now), I like Rudy also. It would be helpful to have someone run against the Democratic nominee who actually has a hope in hell of beating them. I don't think that can possibly be anyone other than Rudy, McCain or Condi (if she runs, which she won't). Admittedly, because of their more liberal social views (Rudy being probably the most liberal, McCain probably being the least), it's going to be tougher than it should for any of them to get into a position to win.

Frist is a dead loss, Romney riles me up (and a lot of other Republicans, who don't even break on straight conservative/moderate lines), Allen is a dead duck now, and frankly, Brownback and Huckabee's social conservatism puts me right off them-- as it will most voters.

I'll be posting on this poll over at my site, WWW.GOPPROGRESS.COM shortly, for anyone who wants to take a look (it's an interactive, RedState-esque site for moderate and libertarian-leaning Republicans-- anyone can comment and post diaries, as long as they create a username first).

Posted by: Liz Mair | August 24, 2006 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I have no respect for Rudy or Bill Clinton. My president needs to be someone I can look up to, and yes, that is George Bush. He had to work to get the nomination in 2000, and few people accept the relationships which were created over many years as a governor and as a Texas businessman. The Democrats like to badmouth him, but he is a man I can respect and admire along with his wife Laura.
What a contrast between Laura and that other witch who will remain nameless. IF THAT WOMAN wins the nomination, I will quit my job and work full-time for whomever the GOP candidate is to keep her out of the White House. In fact, I have a motorhome and can drive anywhere in the nation to help build a strong GOP base in whatever state I was needed in. Making phone calls, handing out information, going door to door, whatever it takes to help HONESTLY and FAIRLY win.
As much as I don't respect Rudy, I have less respect for THAT WOMAN. So I would work to elect Rudy if I was given a choice between him or THAT WOMAN.

Posted by: Republican Woman | August 24, 2006 7:36 PM | Report abuse

"How about statistics that say the majority of Americans cannot name the three branches of government? A saw some scary stats on cnn or someplace recently...great thing to look into if you want to get depressed.

Americans (of all stripes) need to wise up."


Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 7:01 PM | Report abuse

my take on someone like Guliani is that he is a a greta candidate that would be very hard to beat in the general election.

I think that the Republican primary could be very divisive between people like Guliani and people like Romney and Allen. Guliani can win in the northern areas like Iowa New York and Massachusetts but he will lose big in the south and places like Utah.

Posted by: Rob Millette | August 24, 2006 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Oops, got my stats wrong. It seems a full 60% of americans can name the three branches of government, rest my heart.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 6:59 PM | Report abuse


"Out of curiosity, what does it mean when it says "over 750 by some estimates"? Is it actually arguable whether the president makes a signing statement or not? Is this subjective or objective?"

That I don't know for certain I suppose there is some subjectivity to determining what does and does not qualify as a signing statement.

And I do try and read a variety of material, both liberal and conservative. I'll read the New York Times and then surf over and read Andrew Sullivan's blog and so on and so forth. Granted, I tend to end up agreeing more often than not with the liberal folks, but I at least try and expose myself to both sides.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

jt and J. Crozier,

How about statistics that say the majority of Americans cannot name the three branches of government? A saw some scary stats on cnn or someplace recently...great thing to look into if you want to get depressed.

Americans (of all stripes) need to wise up.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani can win the Republican nomination for president, and, in fact, probably will surprise his absolutist naysayers by either a very close showing or total victory.

For one, who is running the country right now? Can the party who commands the executive branch, congress, the courts, the state governorships be so politically inept that they'd miss out on the fact that right now, in 2006, they are in a slump. Not a terrible, irreversable slump, but a slump.

Do you really think that the GOP will miss out on their most assured chance for victory, a chance to reverse the rising Democratic tide that will no doubt chip away at their hold this November?

This, if anything, is a party that knows how to win elections. Getting elected, some might say, is their chief skill. Do you think this same party will sit on its hands and not run Giuliani, not even consider it?

That Giuliani's tough-guy stances won't appeal to Catholic voters? That he can't finesse the issues that separate him from the GOP base? The man is adored, even in South Carolina.

Posted by: The Moderate | August 24, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse


I actually find it very disturbing. Not as disturbing as the number of people in the country who still believe that Saddam had WMD or an extensive relationship with Al Qaeda (almost half to both), but disturbing nonetheless.

J. Crozier

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 6:42 PM | Report abuse

am i the only one that finds it a little disturbing that in the state we use to launch the presidential election process, 10% of likely voters have never heard of Giuliani? how can you be a likely voter and the name Giuliani doesn't ring any bells?

as an indendent i am encouraged that Giuliani and McCain are at the top of the list; despite my contempt for republicans in their current configuration i think i could live with either one as president. but that ignores the fact that after another two years in Iraq the democrats would have to really come up with an astonishingly ugly nominee to lose. like maybe John Kerry again (thank you very much Iowa voters).

the sad thing is that a loss in 2008 would effectively end the political career of either Giuliani or McCain, and politicians of that caliber are in very short supply. maybe the republicans can do us a favor and nominate george "macaca" allen, sacrificing a political flyweight in an election they cannot win.

Posted by: jt | August 24, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier,

Thanks for the link, and it appears you are right. Thanks also for the bipartisan links from both the Boston Globe (liberal) and that Mickey guy at Heritage Foundation(conservative).

Out of curiosity, what does it mean when it says "over 750 by some estimates"? Is it actually arguable whether the president makes a signing statement or not? Is this subjective or objective?

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 6:40 PM | Report abuse

dear nameless person who is an expert on skirt-chasing presidents,

Do you find it depressing that so many of our leaders are womanizers? I sure do. How great it would be if the president's personal life could be an example for the rest of America, instead of an eyesore. If you show me a candidate who has Rudy's positives plus moral fiber, it's a no-brainer between the two.

FYI, I put a LOT more weight in abortion views than in marital views.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Here's one source that makes that claim.

"But there are at least two causes for concern about the way George W. Bush has used this presidential tool. One is the unprecedented frequency with which he has issued such statements; in less than six years he has issued more signing statements (over 750 by some estimates) than all other Presidents in history combined. This is a President who routinely challenges the decisions even of a Congress dominated by his own party. "

The article was written by

Mickey Edwards, a former Congressman, was a member of the House Republican leadership, national chair of the American Conservative Union and a founding trustee of the Heritage Foundation.

Seems like a pretty conservative type to me.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 6:33 PM | Report abuse


'If you can provide a factual link to show that Bush has used signing statements (a cute little political toy indeed) more than all previous presidents combined, I'll buy it. '

You are a reasonable guy, as was said, kudos. I have seen several definitive statements about the frequency of Bush's signing statements against the record of other presidents, One, I'm pretty sure was by the American Bar Association.

I'll see if I can find thatl link... it's probably googleable...

Posted by: Drindl | August 24, 2006 6:22 PM | Report abuse


I'm still looking for the link that shows the signing statements of every president since the concept was introduced. It will verify my point about how Bush has used more than all previous U.S. presidents combined. While I am looking, you can have this link to look over if you wish.

The Boston Globe is a subsidiary of the Washington Post. A brief little factoid out of that article:

"George H.W. Bush challenged 232 statutes over four years in office, and Bill Clinton objected to 140 laws over his eight years, according to Kelley, the Miami University of Ohio professor"

George W. Bush...over 750. I'll keep looking for my other link. It was a Washington Post one,

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I just want to add to the Skirtchasing/Good president thing.

Thomas Jefferson: One of our greatest presidents-- had plenty of affairs.

Franklin Roosevelt: Served four terms and got us through a depression and the biggest war the world has ever seen. Had an affair, and was with his mistress when he died.

John F. Kennedy: was a big fan of the ladies, and yet he still managed to face down the Soviet Union and avoid what was expected to be a devastating nuclear war.

Lyndon Johnson: While often though of as the Vietnam president, he signed historic Civil Rights legislation into law, made the US stronger at home and certainly got the country back on track domestically after JFK's tragic death. Oh, and he also did other women.

Ike Eisenhower: Made the world respect America and was a source of inspiration for many Americans who sought a strong leader and a sympathetic president. Also, he was into some chick.

Bill Clinton: Turned a deficit into a surplus, put the country back to work, locked down on criminals and used diplomacy to solve world problems, while hooking up with an intern.

Also added to this list are James Garfield and Warren Harding (and others are suspected). The point is that you can be a good president and a strong leader while having a less-than-clean personal life. But then, you all know that-- you just use these "moral issues" to deny competent men the presidency. "ooh, lets give it to the alcoholic former coke addict; he's never had an affair!"

Yeah, Bravo, guys-- way to pick a winner.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2006 6:15 PM | Report abuse


Exactly my point. Rudy rides high only as long as he doesn't run. As soon as every church down south hears about his views on abortion, marriage, etc, he'll be the most popular guy that nobody votes for.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 5:59 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier,

If you can provide a factual link to show that Bush has used signing statements (a cute little political toy indeed) more than all previous presidents combined, I'll buy it. Otherwise, all I have is hear-say from both sides of the isle. With the whole thing about warrents, I'll just admit up front that this isn't a big issue for me. I make libertarians scream all the time, but that's that.

Hitler and Kennedy is a bit of an extreem example, but I agree with your point. Marital fidelity is not the end-all of presidential qualifications, and I never claimed that it was. My initial point was that given a choice between Rudy-the-adulterer-extraodinaire and another GOP candidate like Rudy except socially conservative, Rudy doesn't have much going for him in the republican primary.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Forget Giuliani being pro-choice.

All an opponent has to do is discuss his moving out of Gracie Mansion to have an extra-marital affair while he was still Mayor. And then, for a time, staying with a gay friend and his lover.

Oh yeah, that'll fly in today's GOP.

Just wait til the right-wing hatchetmen get their claws sharpened.

For now, he is riding high as Mr. 9/11

Posted by: scootmandubious | August 24, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Murphy -
nice to have somebody who has a view and listens to others. I try and do the same. Kudos to you.

Posted by: Will | August 24, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Technical correction for the sake of historical accuracy: Eva Braun

Posted by: Nor'Easter | August 24, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

'On the other hand, Adolf Hitler supposedly never even looked at another woman once he met Eva Brahm but I doubt many of us would want him as president.'

Hey J. Crozier, I think you'd be surprised. I think zouk and bhoomes would LOVE to have a 'strong guy' who despised liberals, like hitler, as president. H's just their guy. Curtailed civil liberties, cut immigration, invaded a country illegally. what's not for them to like?

Posted by: Drindl | August 24, 2006 5:31 PM | Report abuse

This Iowa poll is not a suprise at all. Rudy or McCain will both poll high in the early going, and, in my opinion, for a completely different reason. Rudy--His showing after 9/11. McCain--his apparent opposition to GW, although this is hard to figure taking the last few days, he has been all over the place about GW. I have noticed in about the last month or less that Gringrich, yes, Newtie has been all over the cable news channels. We must give him some thought also. Having these three almost surely eliminated for different reasons. Add Allen who is also gone, leaves Hagel the front runner after the Nov. elections. Seem logical?

Posted by: lylepink | August 24, 2006 5:27 PM | Report abuse


First off, it is refreshing to have a give and take dialogue of this kind. Thanks!

Returning to the issues at hand...

Bush has utilized signing statements more often than all the previous presidents of the United States COMBINED. It is a nifty way he is able to essentially avoid vetoing a bill (and therefore having to deal with the political fallout of vetoing a bill to, for example, ban torture while still reservin the right to torture) without actually vetoing it.

I'm willing to grant you that some civil liberties might need to suffer in the course of prosecuting a war on terror. However, the manner in which this president has chosen to conduct that has left a lot to be desired. Rather than presenting his case as to why, for example, warrantless surveillance on U.S. citizens might be needed he instead just goes right ahead and DOES it, and then, if he is caught, he blames the people who catch him. A better way might be to present his case for the added powers to Congress and the American people and see if they agree with him or not. One way is to act like a king without legal checks. The other is to act like a President acts when he is leading a Democracy.

Considering the special court that actually issues warrants for spying on American citizens has only denied said warrants less than 10 times in all the time it has been in existance, it might be argued that the additional power for the president to spy on whomever he chooses is a blank check that he doesn't actually need. But by not even bothering to ask permission he doesn't give either Congress or the American people a chance to decide if the president needs this added power during the war on terror or if it is just a power grab.

With regards to the skirt chasing, I believe that a person can be an effective president even if he isn't exactly a loyal husband, and vice versa. Kennedy reportedly spread the legs of pretty much every pretty woman he came across, but that didn't stop him from facing down the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis. On the other hand, Adolf Hitler supposedly never even looked at another woman once he met Eva Brahm but I doubt many of us would want him as president.

Ultimately, I look back at the Clinton presidency and see a time of job expansion unequaled during any point in U.S. history, an incredible boom in wages, a decrease in the amount of people on welfare or living in poverty, and a substantial decrease in crime. I see record budget surpluses. The guy had to be doing something right. I'd rather have Clinton in the White House lifting intern skirts than Bush in the White House running deficits as far as the eye can see, viciously curtailing my civil liberties, and running hugely expensive and unsuccessful wars.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't really matter. After King George's eight years of failure, no American voter will even bother about who the Red is running for the RNC slot.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 24, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier,

PS. In recent years, we also have a "war on terror"...if this is what you're talking about with Bush's pissing on the constitution (survaillance, civil liberties, etc), it may not be fair to compare Bush's civil liberty track record to Clinton's, as all things were clearly not equal. Any president would be increasing intelligence efforts at the expense of civil liberties, republican or democrat.

If you're talking about Bush's "signing statements" to laws that he passes, didn't Clinton use them more frequently than Bush?

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

J. Crozier,

Anybody who looks the other way with Rudy's skirt chasing shows exactly how they feel about it. We agree on what hypocracy is. I find a candidate's adultery to be more objectionable than you do because it's an excellent guage of a person's moral fiber and trustworthiness. If his wife can't trust him, who can?

I'd imagine that republicans are more egregious in recent years of "look the other way when our guy does it" because its "our guy" who's been in office in recent years. Nothing too surprising there.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Joe Lieberman. I believe he finished in a three-way tie for third place.

Posted by: Berkshires | August 24, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse


I won't argue that a certain amount of "look the other way when our guy does it" syndrome exists within both parties. However, I would argue that the Republicans have been the far more egregious offenders in recent years. The Bush Administration has practically pissed on the Constitution and the Seperation of Powers doctrine in recent years with not a single peep from Congress.

Oh sure, Arlen Specter and John Warner and others act all outraged every time some new thing, like torture and indefinite detention or attempts to spy on Americans without a warrant, is found out. Then, as soon as the cameras are off, they quietly sweep it all under the rug.

A big parallel exists with Rudy Giulani. The guy could be Clinton's fraternity buddy when it comes to skirt chasing, but he's somehow acceptable to a great many Republicans just because he is a Republican doing it? It just seems odd.

My position is that I don't think either Clinton or Rudy should be cheating or womanizing, but it is a crime a lot less important to me personally than many of the crimes Bush has committed because their womanizing has zero impact on me personally while Bush's crimes do.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Rudy Guiliani? Oh Dear. What has become of the Grand Old Party?

If a legitimate medal winner can get swift boated for actually being a hero, what will happen to a guy whose political provenance comes from running a big "Machine" city.

Big City folks know what's what and how things are done. On the Streets of New York, I'm sure that's appreciated.

But running for president is a larger kettle of fish. The 'truth seekers' will have a field day. Besides, when was the last time a big-city mayor, much less one who was a regular on Saturday Night Live, ran for president.

Ladies should not be an issue. A number of presidents have had that in their closets.

Politically though big city mayors collect too many skeletons. The bright lights of the national spotlight can be very cruel.

Posted by: poor richard | August 24, 2006 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Speaking as a republican, I see nothing ok with either Rudy or Clinton being womanizers.

If you're speaking about the double standard with a republican congress, those kinds of partisan standards sadly exist in both parties.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Am I trying to argue that Clinton is a good guy? Certainly not.

I am arguing that a HUGE double standard exists with Republicans. It is okay when Rudy is a womanizer, but not when Clinton is. When Clinton is president, the Republican congress launched investigations pretty much every week. With Bush as president, flagrantly violating the law over and over again, Republicans say nothing at all and point to executive privlidge.(Spelling wrong I know. I'm in a hurry.)

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse


Get your facts straight. Clinton's perjury was during an investigation of his completely consensual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, not Paula Jones - whom, I might add, settled out of court for $850,000 and no admission of wrongdoing.

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman, [Monica Lewinksy]."

Case Closed
By Dan Froomkin Staff
Updated December 3, 1998

Paula Jones agreed to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton on Nov. 13 in return for $850,000 - but no apology or admission of guilt from the president.

Two weeks later, when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit, it marked the conclusive end of Clinton's battle against Jones and her conservative backers. Seven months earlier, the case was dismissed by a district-court judge as having no merit, but Jones appealed.
The battle was immensely costly, inflicting considerable and potentially lasting damage on the president.

Most obviously, without Jones, Monica Lewinsky might never emerged as a national figure. Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr might never have started investigating Clinton's sex life. And the president might not now be facing the possibility of impeachment.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse


Just because over half of americans can identify with a vice, does not make it an electable vice. And there's a big difference between a regular divorce (a la Reagan) and a juicy one like Rudy's.

As for the number of 2008 hopefuls with less than 2 marriages, I can name Romney and Hillary for starters.

Drindl salivating at the thought of the skeletons in Rudy's closet ought to be a good indication. I can't think of an easier way to hand the moral high ground to the democrats.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

right KOZ, marriage is so unimportant to conservatives now that they have no interest in getting a gay marriage amendment passed. You are just so smart!

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 24, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

'you poor vapid sheep' Omigod what excellent projection' zouk the mindless dittohead, the parrot, the tool, is calling us 'sheep.' I can't take it, it's too funny. I'm laughing my ass off, I'm rolling on the floor.

Really rich zouk. Can you come up with another kne--slapper like that?

Posted by: Drindl | August 24, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Womanizing is encouraged by Dems and frowned upon by Rs. curious. How quickly the values flip. you poor vapid sheep.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 24, 2006 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Neither Rudy G nor "Macaca" Allen will be the GOP nominee in 2008. Allen might not even be a senator as of January 2007.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | August 24, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

How many pols have been married less than twice? I think this issue has been left in the dust. Over half of americans can identify.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 24, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, baby -- bring Rudy on! I personally know a lot of dish about him that I would just love to go public with, from a woman I know who was a city employee of his. He's got more skeletons in his closet than -- oh, say George Allen.

Would be delicious. You think Clinton was a womanizer? Rudy has him beat hands down.

Posted by: Drindl | August 24, 2006 4:02 PM | Report abuse

There is a much larger ability to "hold your nose and vote" for someoone who you may not like all that much if you think they can win and if the opponent is clearly worse. this is what propelled Bush and Kerry into their leading positions. I would not pick Guiliani as my first choice but if the other option is McCain or Hillary, he gets my vote. I can trust him not to run out of the war and that is the primary concern these days. without that, all else pales in importance. I can't spend my tax cut if I'm dead.

Posted by: kingofzouk | August 24, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Rudy would have all the chance that I would to win the GOP nomination considering his really liberal position on many social issues and the fact that he has been married three times. Personally, I am open enough to support him but I fear that many of the people who vote in these early contests are not. The GOP race is McCain's to lose even if he decides to bypass Iowa once again.

Posted by: Dave, Portland, Oregon | August 24, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Ridiculous speculation. Giuliani's front runner status is based on name ID only. Wait until the REAL politicos get involved. He will be tarred for his moderate views and end up dropping out of the race.

Posted by: dave | August 24, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ok, who is running in 2008?
Huckabee said he will not decide until he leaves office in January 2007. He said it on Road to the White House this past Sunday while it played a tape of his appearance at a New Hampshire picnic.

Newt Gingrich was also taped at the Iowa State Fair saying, "I could spend the next 2 years asking for's up to the American people (about running).....
I'll spend by time on ideas and solutions (during the book signing at the event)

He also said it is not good to have the nomination locked up one year out.

Frist is running, but he is low in the polls after a few trips to Iowa. His speaking style is a key reason for low support and his advisors have told him he has got to make a few changes.

George Allen is on the ropes right now with only a 3% lead over his challenger for the Senate re-election. If he loses, he is toast in 2008 (and I agree with Cillizza when he also reported the same view)

So until we all get past the November 2006 election cycle, shake out a few wins and lost seats on both sides, then we can focus on 2008. The offical start of the primary season fundraising and poll taking is January 2007, I believe. When the FEC matching funds starts. And if Hillary has $10 million to carry over into the 2008 campaign, can she also get matching funds? That would be a good question to research for the FIX. Also for Kerry and Edwards if they have any leftover funds from 2004.
Would McCain be able to transfer any money from his Straight Talk Express funds?
Any rich guys on the horizon to self-fund a race like Forbes in 2000? or Ross Perot in 1992?
We shall see what happens soon enough.

Posted by: Kate | August 24, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Self destruct mode is the perfect word for it. Why anyone in the GOP would want to nominate Allen after he managed to turn a 20-point lead into a nail-biter is beyond me. Even assuming he doesn't snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory in November, does our nation really need a big old magnifying glass on Senator Macaca's personal history with race relations?

Brownback and Huckabee may satisfy some SoCons, but they're too one-sided...they'll never be able to money-up to this race.

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Okay, first of all, there was nothing apolitical about the Paula Jones lawsuit.

Now, as to Rudy. He has no chance. As a former New Yorker, I know what a bully and head case he is. The first time someone questions him sternly, he will explode. He is the Joe Lieberman of the Republicans; the more you see of him, the less you like him.

Finally, my guess is the GOP candidate is going to be a wingnut. With Geogre Felix Allen Jr in self destruct mode, my guess is Brownback or Huckabee.

Posted by: Greg in LA | August 24, 2006 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Someone said that George Allen will be the nominee if he is reelected. That seems less likely all the time.

Posted by: thv | August 24, 2006 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani's got two big things in his court from 9/11: the right rhetoric, and demonstrated disaster response...but he's not the only one. Once name recognition equalizes, and Iowans realize that Giuliani doesn't have a monopoly on the GWOT, his socially liberal views will kill his chances.

Wouldn't Iowa's 70% pro-life voters (who dominate more than 70% of the caucus) prefer a pro-life candidate who also had the right stance on the GWOT? Why would they support a presidential candidate who dresses in drag, supports partial-birth abortions, favors same-sex marriage, has a public history of adultury and multiple marriages, etc etc etc? I for one do not planning on returning the Oval Office to the days of Zippergate.

As soon as the GOP floats a nominee who is fiscally conservative (like Rudy), capable of disaster management (like Rudy), AND socially conservative, what is there left to the Rudy platform?

Posted by: murphy | August 24, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

J.Crozier: I have to think maybe you are just pulling my leg and shouldn't take your comments serioulsy. But in case you were serious lets set the record straight once: It was perjury in conjuction with a sexual harrassment lawsuit that was brought by an apolitcal woman not from the republicans. Are you suggesting it is okay to commit perjury if it only concerns sexual harrassment?

Posted by: bhoomes | August 24, 2006 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Chris you talk about how the fact that Guiliani is pro-choice is an anchor for him. Well if we figure that 25% of the GOP electorate is pro-choice too, and that at least 25% of the rest doesn't think it is a deal breaker then he can dodge that bullet.

Posted by: Andy R | August 24, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Although, personally, if Rudy was nominated he'd certainly be among the most palatable candidates that the Republicans could put forth to my side of the political spectrum.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The rest of the story by Ed Tibbetts of the Quad City Times in Iowa stated that Condi Rice got top rantings of 30% in this same poll last year. Did you all hear that report? Probably not.

Steve Grubbs was also quoted by reporter Ed Tibbetts that since Condi has stated she is not running, that she was not included in this months poll.

So in my opinion, those 29% undecided voters might have been swayed if Condi was on the list. Yes?

Did you hear about the CAST YOUR KERNEL poll taken at the Iowa State Fair? 839 people selected kernels of field corn with the names of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats written on them. When they were counted, on the Republican side:
McCain 24%
Condi 20%
Rudy 20%

Democrats were
Edwards 33%
Clinton 33%
Gov Vilsack third place

It was reported by WHO TV in Des Moines.

Add to this, another bit of news:
The September issue of Reader's Digest has an interview with Condi titled "WOMAN OF THE WORLD". (a very powerful statement)

Then this from the Salt Lake Tribune today:
Condi will be speaking at the American Legion Convention on August 31.

The reporter also mentioned the possible 2008 race in the context of Condi.

Did any of you here in FIX WORLD ever see the cover of American Legion magazine earlier this year with Condi on the cover? So this speaking engagement fits right into some plan by the President to showcase Condi to the veterans group in Utah. Yes?

Finally, in the August 28 Time magazine, with Hillary Clinton on its cover, the story includes this statement (???) from a source near Bill Clinton, "the first woman to make it (as president) is more likely to be a Republican in the Margaret Thatcher mold." (Can anyone think of a Republican woman who fits that mold?) Come on, you can take a few gulps of breathe and say it without fainting.

Add all of these factors as I have presented, and I make my case that something is brewing in the GOP about Condi. And in my opinion, she is already getting more face time on TV and newspapers than any VP in recent history.

Fred Barnes wrote recently in the Wall Street Journal that something might force VP Cheney to step aside, clearing the way for Condi to become VP and HEIR APPARENT. If that really happens, 2008 is a whole new ballgame.

Posted by: Tina | August 24, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse


Pretty thin distinction considering the perjury in question was during questioning about....having an affair. If Republicans weren't wasting the nation's time trying to figure out which skirts Clinton had lifted in his off-time, then no perjury would have taken place. In other words, Clinton was impeached for having an affair.

Seems even a Republican should be smart enough to follow that logic.

Posted by: J. Crozier | August 24, 2006 3:08 PM | Report abuse

sec: Clinton was impeached for perjury, not having an affair. Come on, pay attention.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 24, 2006 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, interesting that with Guiliani's proclivity to having extra-marital affairs -- say, maybe he could be the "acceptable Clinton" for the hypocritical Repubs out there. Because if you cheat as a Republican,it's much more palatable than cheating as a Democrat.


Posted by: sec | August 24, 2006 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I would love Rudy to get our nomination but I just can't see that happening unless he can somehow satify the social conservatives. If he can do that, he is one hell of a politician and would have no trouble beating whoever the dems nominate. But it will be George Allen as long as he wins his senate seat. McCain has no chance, his love affair with the mainstream media dooms any chance he has. Conservatives loath the liberal media elites. Not me, I like you Chris.

Posted by: bhoomes | August 24, 2006 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree with John. Among other things Guilani is also an ethnic and tolerant of homosexuals. If he did manage to get any traction the other candidates would tar Guilani with the corruption scandal of his former police commissioner. As 9/11 recedes the full record of Guilani as Mayor is quite mixed.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | August 24, 2006 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani could never get the Republican nomination. He's pro-life and a "Yanky," among many other faults that would be ascribed by the party's base. The facts that he is well known and that Iowa is much more progressive than many southern and mountain states probably explain a lot about Giulian's strong performance there at this point. Giulian will use results like this to boost fundraising, and political junkies like us will talk, but it's all just a bunch of hand-waving: Giuliani can't win in 2008.

Posted by: John | August 24, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

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