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With Giuliani Aboard, Is Straight Talk Express Moving at Warp Speed?

It's a testament to how fast-moving this election cycle has become that even before former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is scheduled to end his campaign and endorse Sen. John McCain (R) later today, the development already feels like old news.

John McCain and Rudy Giuliani

Will Giuliani's endorsement help lure other GOP establishment types to get on board the Straight Talk Express? (Getty Images File Photo)

But it would be a mistake to gloss over the Giuliani endorsement without weighing the impact it will have on the race. And since we don't like to make mistakes here at The Fix, we've spent the last few hours talking to party operatives in an attempt to understand what Giuliani's support for McCain means and what it doesn't.

As with any high-profile endorsement, Giuliani's decision to back McCain works on both a symbolic and a practical level.

The symbolic is more important in the larger fight for the nomination, so let's start there.

Although it's easy to forget given the utter collapse of his campaign over the past month, Giuliani spent the majority of the Republican presidential race as its leader -- thanks to sky-high name recognition and favorability ratings due at least in part to his handling of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In the months and years leading up to his presidential bid, Giuliani was among the most coveted Republican surrogates on the campaign trail. Senate, gubernatorial and House candidates all clamored for an event with Hizzoner, knowing that not only would it bring in scads of campaign cash but also that it would identify them with Giuliani's sterling brand.

That brand has been tarnished somewhat by Giuliani's lackluster presidential bid, but for the average Republican he remains an American hero and a symbol of what is good about the Republican Party.

Thus, by scoring Giuliani's endorsement, McCain can bask in the goodwill that most GOP faithful still hold to Giuliani while also using Hizzoner's backing to suggest that the party is starting to rally behind him.

John Weaver, a longtime McCain aide who left the campaign over the summer, predicted that Giuliani's endorsement would be the "tip of the iceberg" in terms of establishment support coming home to McCain.

The next few days will be telling when it comes to whether Giuliani's move leads a flood of major figures in the party to endorse McCain. Our guess is many more endorsements will follow -- reaffirming the symbolic importance of Giuliani's nod.

On the practical level, Giuliani could not have timed his endorsement any better to benefit McCain. The endorsement is set to be announced at 6 p.m. ET at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.. It will comes just two hours before McCain is scheduled to debate the other GOP candidates, a debate being held at the same location and being sponsored by CNN, Politico and the Los Angeles Times.

That means that every one of the hundreds of reporters out in California to cover the debate will also be in attendance at the Giuliani-McCain endorsement fete -- ensuring wall-to-wall coverage in print and on television.

Giuliani's endorsement has another practical effect, as Hizzoner's popularity in the northeast could well make McCain close to unbeatable in a handful of states set to vote on Super Tuesday. McCain already leads in places like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but having Giuliani behind him -- and potentially out on the campaign trail with him -- should make McCain's position all the stronger.

Giuliani could also help as a surrogate in places like California and Illinois where moderate Republicans comprise a significant segment of the likely voters on the Super Tuesday.

"McCain has now locked [up] the center and center right," said Alex Vogel, a Republican lobbyist not affiliated with any campaign.

For all that Giuliani's endorsement can do, it will not likely endear conservatives in the party to McCain. Many conservatives have long been skeptical of the Arizona senator due to his support for campaign finance reform and, more recently, his advocacy for a comprehensive immigration bill that included a path to citizenship.

Giuliani's pro-choice and pro-gay rights positions never sat well with conservatives, and his endorsement may reinforce the doubts some within the party have about the Arizona senator.

Exit polling from Florida showed that six-in-10 voters described themselves as conservatives; among that bloc Romney beat McCain. But the other 40 percent of the electorate (self identifying moderates and liberals) went strongly for McCain, more than making up for his defeat among conservatives.

The traditional thinking about the Republican nomination is that no candidate can emerge as the standard-bearer of the party who is not embraced by the conservative wing. McCain, with an assist from Giuliani, appears well on his way to proving that conventional wisdom wrong.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 30, 2008; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Winners and Losers: Florida Primary Edition
Next: GOP Debate Preview: Clashing in the Shadow of Reagan

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Posted by: vqxzag esrbvnotl | April 16, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

As a moderate Republican (yes, there are some of us), I find it funny that many uber-conservatives say they will not vote for John McCain under any circumstances or that he needs to make concesssions to the far right. They threaten to sit out the election if McCain is nominated. I say fine, go ahead and sit out. You will find that you need us, more than we need you.

I would rather lose an election with honor than win an election that further polarizes this country. I can live with a Democratic President. But if a Democrat is elected because the conservatives sit out this election, they will be the first ones to whine about it. Moderates abandoned the Republicans in 2006, when people like me voted Democratic for the first time (You're welcome Webb). So if the far right wants to take their ball and go home because they cant get their way anymore, I say go. But dont complain if you cant handle a Democratic President.

Posted by: mikepcfl | January 31, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Telegram from Florida's Straight Talk Express. stop.... We're Sorry America.

Florida's blue-hair's and snow birds just had a tragic senior moment. They flocked to John McCain's pitiful lies and angry scare tactics... stop....

Governor Mitt Romney nearly beat McCain in Florida 35-31%, but the petty little old senator turned even uglier... stop.

Mitt Romney needs your help to bury McAmnesty on Super Tuesday... stop.

Conservatives every where have rejected John McCain, but with Huckabee splitting republican votes, well, here we are. stop.stop. stop voting for Huckster.

You must derail McCain's nomination next Tuesday. Please, GO Vote Mitt Romney!

Posted by: hallamb2001 | January 31, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Telegram from Florida's Straight Talk Express. stop....

Florida's blue-hair's and snow birds just had a tragic senior moment. They flocked to John McCain's pitiful lies and angry scare tactics... stop....

Governor Mitt Romney nearly beat McCain in Florida 35-31%, but the petty little old senator turned even uglier... stop.

Mitt Romney needs your help to bury McAmnesty on Super Tuesday... stop.

Conservatives every where have rejected John McCain, but with Huckabee splitting republican votes, well, here we are. stop.stop. stop voting for Huckster.

You must derail McCain's nomination next Tuesday. Please, GO Vote Mitt Romney!

Posted by: hallamb2001 | January 31, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

danram,
Be careful in what you wish for. The Bill's of this country are quite a significant number, so much so that Republicans probably can't win dog catcher without them. Most R's don't have a problem working with the other party, it's problematic however when they start becoming the other party.

Posted by: dave | January 31, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse


For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.


Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse


For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.


Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse


For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.


Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history to you Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse


For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.


Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history to you Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

McCain may be a vet, but he doesn't have the temperament to hold the highest office in the nation.

According to the Boston Globe, "Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.""

I'd be worried too. Imagine a cheeky, snarky McCain with nuclear missiles in his arsenal.

Posted by: hoops4lifer | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

For all the victims of police brutality under Giuliani, we should remember that today is their day of victory. I can not tell you how many times, after a questionable police beating or questionable police shooting, Giuliani would hold a press conference defending the police.


Giuliani is a disgrace to civil rights in this country.


It is a good thing for this nation that his people have no idea how to run a campaign. Also, let us today remember Donna Hanover, a well known news anchor, who ran across the lawn of the Mayor's Mansion in New York to tell reporters that they knew about her divorce before she did.


Giuliani really deserves the retelling of these stories.


Good Riddance, to the ashheap of history you go Giuliani, may you and the US Constitution never meet again.

Posted by: Miata7 | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

McCain may be a vet, but he doesn't have the temperament to hold the highest office in the nation.

According to the Boston Globe, "Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.""

I'd be worried too. Imagine a cheeky, snarky McCain with nuclear missiles in his arsenal.

Posted by: hoops4lifer | January 31, 2008 12:08 AM | Report abuse

McCain may be a vet, but he doesn't have the temperament to hold the highest office in the nation.

According to the Boston Globe, "Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, on Wednesday endorsed Mitt Romney for president.

Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.""

I'd be worried too. Imagine a cheeky, snarky McCain with nuclear missiles in his arsenal.

Posted by: hoops4lifer | January 31, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"This Reaganite will vote Constitution Party." --- Bill

Hey Bill, don't let the door hit ya in the a** on the way out, big boy. While you're at it, take all the rest of the right wing whack jobs with ya, OK? That way the rest of us can move the Republican Party back towards the center where it belongs so that A) we can start winning elections again, and B) we can start working with the folks in the other party to solve the nation's problems without the constant carping from people like you.

Sayonnara, sucker.

Posted by: danram | January 30, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

OOPS! Forget Martinez. Cuban born. Ineligible.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 30, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Colin - I admit to not knowing much about Martinez. I do know that he has cosponsored a lot of bills with Ds in the last year - not just with Nelson, but they are obviously a good tag team for their state and for coastal interests.

For '07, Thomas shows him cosponsoring with at least Feinstein, Salazar, Durbin, Lincoln, Mikulski, Landrieu, Levin, Dorgan, Dodd,Schumer, Reed, Webb, Lautenberg, Conrad, Rockefeller, and Akaka.

But he could be a hack who cosponsors stuff, I agree. I am not being a wiseass -
so tell me more.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 30, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It looks like smooth sailing for McCain. But, look out for sharks in the waters. The possibility of a Bush/Cheney endorsement of Romney seems quite possible.

Would make the Obama/Clinton sparring look like a schoolyard ruckus.

Posted by: Spectator | January 30, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who supports the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture should never be in the WH. Anyone who supports wasting a couple of trillion dollars of taxpayers funds in Illegal Invasions of Sovereign States should never be our leader. If one had any courage, one would call for the Axis of Evil to be indicted for War Crimes. People who support Mission Accomplished is equally guilty in the thousands of Murders. These Killers need to face Justice at the International Criminal Court. There is no Statue of Limitations on War Crimes.

Who Would Jesus Kill?

All of these Religious Psychos are Frauds. Only Ignorant Deluded Idiots would believe any of them.

http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/99_corr/2.htm
Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court

Posted by: mawt | January 30, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

As a long time Conservative Republican (not a "way out there" one, I admit) I cannot understand the pundits in the media constantly pointing out the hatred Limbaugh and his buddies have for Senator McCain. Who made Limbaugh and crew spokesmen for the Conservatives? It's like quoting Al Sharpton whenever there is a racial slight, making it seem he is the spokesman for the entire African-American community! These talk show people are just what they are - talk show people. Certainly "nobody died and left them boss" of Conservative ideas. I will cast my vote proudly for John McCain.

Posted by: Linda7 | January 30, 2008 7:19 PM | Report abuse

"The SOTU Came With A Signing Statement
By: Nicole Belle @ 2:18 PM - PST I've been receiving statements and videos from all sorts of progressive groups and individuals responding to Bush's 2008 State of the Union speech. Here are two reactions that I thought were particularly good:

DMI's Andrea Batista Schlesinger analyzes the SOTU and finds that once again, Bush fails the middle class:


And David Swanson caught something that no one else appears to have:

On the day of the State of the Union, apparently hoping nobody would notice, President George W. Bush posted a statement on the White House website announcing his intention to violate major sections of the Defense Authorization bill that he just signed into law.[..]

He's decided to close the office that handles Freedom of Information requests from Congress. He's left Blackwater free but jailed citizens who reenact its crimes. He's rewritten government reports on global warming. He's blocked his Justice Departments investigation of political hirings and firings, while the former governor of Alabama begins his eighth month as a political prisoner. He's delivered a State of the Union address packed with the same contemptuous lies as last year's, and announced the seizure of new powers (which Congress greeted with applause). And then there's the latest signing statement.

This statement announces in the by now familiar coded language of the "unitary executive" Bush's intention to violate four key sections of a bill he is simultaneously making "law."

CQ Today sums up these sections as follows:

"One such provision sets up a commission to probe contracting fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another expands protections for whistleblowers who work for government contractors. A third requires that U.S. intelligence agencies promptly respond to congressional requests for documents. And a fourth bars funding for permanent bases in Iraq and for any action that exercises U.S. control over Iraq's oil money."

See, Andrea, I don't think you carried it far enough. Bush didn't just fail the middle class. Bush has failed all of us.
"

do

not

fear

the

fascists.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | January 30, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

There was a battle between the Reaganites and the Moderate/Liberal RINO's within the GOP for the 2008 nomination. We discovered a majority of Republicans preferred the Reaganite Romney but when adding in Independents and Democrats the RINO McCain slightly came out ahead.

So the lesson here is the Reaganites with Romney have lost and the RINO's with John McCain as the GOP nominee have won controlling the party taking it left. Reaganite Conservatives have to decide whether to support RINO McCain, vote Constitution Party, or sit the election out. This Reaganite will vote Constitution Party.

Bill

Posted by: salemst | January 30, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope McCain makes Giuliani his Veep.

Giuliani is electoral poison.

Posted by: Bud0 | January 30, 2008 7:01 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republicans are realizing that if they nominate another Bush Republican they will surely loose the next election. Nominate John McCain and they may keep the White House.

Posted by: kenpasadena | January 30, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

Couple questions for you: (1) do you really think Martinez and Crist are moderates in any objective sense of the word; and (2) are you really comfortable with either of those two guys being a heartbeat away from the presidency when the president will be 72 in January, 2009?

From what I hear, Crist is very capable guy and a good governor, so maybe he's not a bad practical choice. But Martinez strikes me as a hack. Then again, I'm a progressive Democrat so what do I know about GOP politics...

Posted by: _Colin | January 30, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"And since we don't like to make mistakes here at The Fix"

So listing Romney as the front-runner for months just because of his $ even though it was clear he was damaged goods isn't a mistake?

More seriously, isn't this race really over? Romney is already behind in all the polls. Why are we even talking about a race anymore, besides for the media's desire to sell more news stories?

Posted by: freedom41 | January 30, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

It seems that everytime McCain is interviewed by reporters or when he's giving his victory speeches, his wife stands prominently behind him. I don't recall seeing her in his last race as much as I'm doing now. Makes me wonder if she's concerned that the stress and strain of the campaign on his health.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | January 30, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The Straight talk express may be moving at warp speed, but Rush Limbaugh is ready to throw his body in front of the bus.
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/rush-goes-ballistic/

Posted by: Trumbull | January 30, 2008 6:17 PM | Report abuse

McCain could use someone who could help him in the south... Rudy wouldn't seem to help in at all. But then, McCain's goes his own way.... isn't that why his supporters love him? Is the GOP setting themselves up for another Bob Dole candidacy?

Tonight's debate should be interesting.... it seems Chuckles is staying in mainly to siphon votes away from Romney. Will it be another love-fest debate, or a tag-team on Romney. Tune in to CNN at 8pm ET.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | January 30, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Romney's problem - most Florida Republicans did not support his deport-only strategy. Fifty-eight percent preferred either a path to citizenship or a temporary worker program. McCain had a 22 point lead with path to citizenship voters and a 7 point lead with those supporting a temporary worker program.

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1662

This will plague Romney in California.

.

Posted by: PollM | January 30, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

McCain has always been the "next in line" to the GOP machine's throne and it's no surprise that things are going down as they are.

When a party's core is called "conservative," which is by definition "resistant to change" how on earth would anyone expect someone fresh like Romney or Huckabee to get the nod? Republicans don't want change. They want to conserve their values - homophobia, bigotry, sexism and white supremacy. Keep gays out of the military, keep women out of the workplace, keep black people out of college and high-paying jobs and keep Hispanics out of their neighborhoods.

This is why I can only support Obama. He is the only true non-establishment candidate who still has the intelligence to not ruin this country. Look at what the last Republican presidents did - George Bush was a failure and George W. Bush did the best he could to ravage our military, destroy the economy, put the Bible in the Constitution and solidify decades of class warfare with his top-heavy tax cuts.

Obama is the candidate that we need to stop the fighting and abandon all of the toxicity that has taken over our political discourse over the past 20 years. He's looking forward while remembering his past, not relying on it, which cannot be said about any of the other candidates.

Romney relies on his economic successes in the past but has no optimism when it comes to the future of the country. He thinks the "religion" of secularism is taking over and homosexuals are going to somehow ruin our culture.

McCain relies on his reputation as a straight talker, even though he's been double-talking voters since the first day of his campaign so he can try to salvage independent support while maintaining a strong base with the homophobic conservative core.

Hillary is relying on Bill's presidency to evoke positive memories of a healthy economy, even though she had little to nothing to do with any of the successes of the 90s and under the Constitution, Bill would have no authority as the "first gentleman."

Obama is relying on nothing but hope and optimism, which Americans used to have back when the "greatest" generation was rising to the forefront. He is the only candidate that isn't talking about how the other party is going to destroy the country. He knows we're all Americans and we all love this country, no matter how liberal or conservative we are. And he's the only one who can help us find common ground so we can all share in the hope and optimism he's had for America since he entered politics.

Posted by: thecrisis | January 30, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Nick, If I were McCain I would go with Martinez or Crist. They are popular in FL and FL is a lynchpin state. They are capable and moderate, but well regarded in R circles.

Martinez is only a gutsy call if you think 2 Senators is a bad ticket.

Otherwise, it is stronger than either of the tix you suggest.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | January 30, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Giuliani Got What He Deserved In Florida

Rudy Giuliani put all his eggs in one basket, the basket was Florida and the eggs were Cuban-Americans. In his case it would have been wiser if he had filled the basket with Republican admirers of Janet Reno, that is, the anti-Cuban voters, a bloc at least as sizable in Florida as the Cubans. Unlike Cuban-Americans, who were featured in every story about the Florida vote, Cuban-haters were never mentioned although they are as much one-issue voters as Cuban exiles are reputed to be. Rudy's credentials as a persecutor of Cubans far exceeded those of the other candidates, whose xenophobia was generalized and, in some cases, even provided for exemptions for Cuban-Americans. Giuliani was anti-Cuban when Janet Reno was still wiping our collective arse.

As Assistant Attorney General in the Reagan administration, he was put in charge of the "clean-up" after the Mariel exodus and did his job with so much enthusiam that he even had to be called to task by the president for his ruthlessness. First, he ordered a freeze on all Cuban visas: 23,000 Cubans who had already been approved for admission to the U.S., including 1500 political prisoners and their families, were left stranded in Cuba. He refused to recognize the legal status granted to the Mariel refugees under the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 and kept them all in legal limbo for several years while he decided which to deport to Communist Cuba. If most had not already been processed by the time Carter left office he would probably have tried to deport them all.

Giuliani set up a special camp for social "undesirables" who were not criminals: these included unwed mothers and their children, the physically handicapped, the mentally defective and homosexuals. The so-called common criminals which Castro infiltrated into the boatlift, which numbered no more than 2000 out of a total of 135,000, Giuliani wanted to deport en masse without reviewing their individual cases. What is considered a "crime" in Cuba is not necessarily a crime here. For example, eating a steak in Cuba is considered theft of state property punishable by 10 years imprisonment, since all cattle in Cuba are owned by the state and Castro does not allocate any beef to the Cuban people. There is very little activity in Cuba that Castro has not criminalized in some form or another; in fact, Castro has so ordained it that all Cubans are "criminals" under Cuban law and can at any moment be transferred from the "big house" to the "little house." This did not matter to Giuliani who shared Castro's penchant for criminalizing as much human activity as possible.

Very few Cuban-Americans at the time objected to Giuliani's draconian treatment of their compatriots because they were emotionally-crippled, indeed, paralyzed, by the national smear-campaign which was unleashed against them by both government and media. We had always been the model "immigrants," the "most successful immigrants in the history of this nation of immigrants," as George Gilder called us. Overnight and everywhere we were portrayed as a social scourge, the new mafia, the flotsam of a corrupt and irredeemable society whose Augean stables Castro was right to have flushed out.

In such a hostile climate, which was fostered as much by Rudolph Giuliani as by Brian de Palma (did these Italian-Americans have a vested interest in portraying Cubans as the new mafiosi in order to whitewash their own image?), there was little Cubans could do but try to ride out the wave of ethnic hate which engulfed the entire nation for the first time since the 1930s. It was then that Newt Gingrich, a college history professor, realized that xenophobia was still as powerful a demon in the American psyche as it had ever been and decided to reintroduce it into the American political culture through the "Contract (On) America," which excluded even legal immigrants from the social contract. Gingrich was the agent but Giuliani the catalyst for the rebirth of xenophobia in this country.

It was Giuliani also who, in 1981, in clear violation of the law -- for the Cuban Adjustment Act is the law of the land, then as now -- deported for the first time since 1959 a Cuban refugee to Communist Cuba. He was not a Mariel refugee, but, rather, a Cuban who had hidden in a cargo container aboard a freighter. This was 15 years before the implementation by presidential fiat, contrary to existing law and precedent, of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy by President Clinton. There is even a connection between Clinton and Giuliani and her name is Doris Meissner. She was Giuliani's protegé at the Justice Department during the Reagan administration. Although Meissner was a Democrat, Giuliani sponsored her for acting director of INS, and when she was replaced by a Reagan appointee, secured for her the #3 spot in the department. It was Meissner, appointed director in her own right by Clinton, who oversaw the implementation of the "Wet Foot/Dry Foot" policy and the kidnapping at gunpoint and forcible return of Elián González to Cuba.

Giuliani was not through with us when he left the Justice Department to become U.S. Attorney in New York. He made a name for himself in his future fiefdom by prosecuting Omega-7, the anti-Castro resistance group. It is interesting that in a city where the IRA and its "civilian leaders" were inviolate, feted at Gracie Mansion and not just on St. Patrick's Day, Giuliani should have aimed his guns at the Cuban group, which, unlike the IRA, had never been responsible for the death of even one innocent bystander. Of course, criminal prosecution comes with the territory if you are going to wage a war of liberation from American soil against American interests.

What Giuliani did, however, went much beyond the limits of his authority or the law. He essentially set up a star chambre along the lines of the House Un-American Activities Committee 30 years earlier except that he was fishing for anti-communists rather than Communists. Many Cubans with no connection to Omega-7were sent to jail because they refused to "name names" before grand juries. Using Omega-7 as a pretext Giuliani inflicted greater damage to anti-Castro organizations in the U.S. than Castro's agents and infiltrators, who worked in close collaboration with Giuliani, ever managed to do by themselves. Again it was Giuliani's cultivation of Castro's moles in the prosecution of Omega-7 which provided the precedent for the FBI to use Castro double-agent Juan Pablo Roque to infiltate the "Brothers to the Rescue" organization nearly 20 years later, which resulted in the murder of four Cuban-American pilots in international waters at Castro's orders with the coordinates provided by FBI informant Roque.

Later, as mayor of New York, Giuliani would undergo a Pauline conversion and become a vocal critic of Castro and friend (?) of Cuban exiles. He even renamed the street in front of the U.N. Cuban Mission in honor of the "Brothers to the Rescue." A guilty conscience, perhaps. Political opportunism, more likely.

He came to Miami last year to reap the rewards of his trajectory of 30 years. And he did, yesterday.

Of course, this is not the end for Giuliani. He's already on the McCain bandwagon and will go as far as it does. Personally, I would favor his appointment as War Czar in Iraq. Granted, Giuliani was studying for the priesthood, or something, during the Vietnam War, before he married his cousin and forgot his vocation. But some men, even without military experience, are born to lay waste to lands and annihilate populations. I believe that Rudolph Giuliani is such a man. Really, I would support Giuliani for any position but Attorney General, because Cuba is about to implode and the last man to deal with that situation is our "friend" Giuliani.

http://reviewofcuban-americanblogs.blogspot.com

Posted by: manuel | January 30, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

He wants to put women in prison for getting abortions.

Americans love tough talk but we really don't like conservative ideas, and McCain is forthright with a whole palette of wildly unpopular ideas.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | January 30, 2008 05:39 PM

Moonbat alert. Keep your arms inside the car and watch your children

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 30, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

The reality of the Giuliani endorsement is that it doesn't do much as far as adding supporters. But it lends to the general consensus that McCain is the frontrunner.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl | January 30, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

George Bush got nominated in 2000 because he was able to combine support from GOP social conservatives and extreme tax cut supporters with establishment Republicans who backed Bush because he was his father's son.

No candidate in the race has that kind of advantage, and because that's true the conservatives who dislike McCain are just another faction. Another thing to keep in mind is that the influence of the most dedicated conservatives is greatest in low-turnout elections -- because they always vote, and less motivated Republicans don't. These Presidential primaries are relatively high turnout elections, and McCain should get more than his share of Republicans who don't vote in every election but will vote in this one.

Why? Mostly because they like the guy. Here is the anti-McCain Republicans' biggest problem -- to vote against McCain they have to persuade GOP voters to vote for Romney. And not as many people like Romney as like McCain. It isn't that they hate him, or dislike him the way many Democrats dislike Hillary Clinton. Romney is just a guy running to be the candidate Republicans will vote for so they don't have to vote for a Democrat, which is fine for the general election. We're not there yet -- and most people who don't have a specific reason to vote against McCain are pretty sure he's a good guy who is on the level more than most politicians, and certainly more than Romney.

You know, if Romney had emphasized his business experience right from the beginning, not hidden his disinterest in social issues or tried to present himself as Barry Goldwater reincarnated, he'd probably be in pretty good shape right now. GOP primary voters want an idea of what they are getting, and they think they have that with McCain. With Romney, not so much. How could they?

Posted by: jbritt3 | January 30, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh great, now Giulani gets picked for VP nod. No way would I vote for Rudy for President nor for Veep to an elderly president

Posted by: atlrichard | January 30, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

John McCain, let's face it, can not beat the Democrats, either one of them. You need a true patriot, heck maybe Romney, but Ron Paul is the one up for this challenge and his internet following helps exhibit this:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=44

Posted by: davidmwe | January 30, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I too am glad to see McCain emerge as the front-runner because he is so beatable. He wants to keep pouring American lives and limbs down the garbage disposal of Bush's vanity wars because he doesn't think we can survive having our feelings hurt. He wants to go on cutting taxes and deregulating. He wants to put women in prison for getting abortions.

Americans love tough talk but we really don't like conservative ideas, and McCain is forthright with a whole palette of wildly unpopular ideas.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | January 30, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm very happy that the Republican Party has final decided (at least it looks that way) to nominate the best and most electable person in the race.

I'm glad to see that the party is not completely controlled by one issue voters, but instead appears to be rallying around a man who, while solidly conservative, has shown the ability to compromise and make tough choices. This is exactly what America needs after the devisive presidency of George Bush.

Posted by: HokiePaul | January 30, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree, bsimon, but only from the standpoint of actually getting votes. I do think that his endorsement gives McCain a ground team in CA in time for Super Tuesday. Further, Giuliani has raised a lot of money from moderate Republicans here, and McC's camp desperately needs cash.

Posted by: femalenick | January 30, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I can't see a Giuliani endorsement counting for much. To whom did Giuliani appeal that do not like McCain? My perception is that their target markets overlap, with the possible exception of fiscal conservatives, who seem to believe what Giuliani says, rather than look at what he accomplished.

Posted by: bsimon | January 30, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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