Category Archives: 9/11

Giuliani Dirt Having Effect Amongst Dems?

I thought it was more interesting that the Quinnipiac poll I posted about yesterday indicated an endorsement from a gay rights group or abortion rights group appears to hurt more than help a presidential candidate.  So I missed the fact that the recent scurrilous Giuliani mudslinging– his wife is an alleged gold-digger, and he cared more about a bank’s gold than firefighters at Ground Zero– has had an effect on his numbers with Democrats.

While these charges range from the irrelevant to the insane, it does appear they have significantly driven up his unfavorability ratings, at least amongst democrats.  See Josh’s analysis in the Morning Call here.

One would assume those voters swayed by these sort of sensational and vapid attacks are pretty easily swayed.  Their analytical thinking skills are obviously compromised.  So one would also assume once they get a dose of the real Giuliani they will change their minds again.  So this analyst doesn’t see a problem.

As I said yesterday, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the bigger problem will be with labor unions…

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Why Rudy is so Boffo in PA

This news may be more appropriate for my Bloggers for Rudy platform, but I think it goes a long way towards explaining why Giuliani is so popular in Pennsylvania.

Here are the results of a Wall Street Journal poll on what matters to GOP voters:  The question asked was “Let me list some issues that have been proposed for the federal government to address. Please tell me which one of these items you think should be the top priority for the federal government.”

  Top Priority (6/07)
The war in Iraq 24
Health care 11
Illegal immigration 19
Terrorism 22
Job creation and economic growth 9
Energy and the cost of gas 7
The environment and global warming 3
Reducing the federal budget deficit 5

Now, we all know huge swaths of Pennsylvania– swaths I adore, mind you– more resemble Wyoming than what people think of as the Northeastern US.  But most of the voters are in more developed parts of the state.

There are a number of issues you DON’T see as self-selected priorities in that poll:  Stem cells, abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc.  To be charitable, many republicans of a libertarian stripe– or rich, urban business people– don’t feel all that strongly about these “social” issues.

These same issues are also seen as Giuliani’s Achilles heel.

But, as reflected in poll after poll, PA republicans don’t care much about those things, and they definitely don’t care as much when they believe the War on Terror is a real war that needs to be won.  Not some bogeyman born in Leo Strauss’ lab for Karl Rove to use to make money for Halliburton on the backs of poor suckers tricked into joining the Army.

More importantly, even most social conservatives don’t care as much about these issues in this situation.*  They know that Abdullah really does want to kill Westerners to effect the coming of the 13th Imam who will bring us all sharia law as enforced by the world Caliphate.  In fact, Evangelical Christians understand this better than most of the elite in this country.  Evangelicals know about the book of Revelation.  They accept stories about the Rapture.  The opposing radical Islamic view fits nicely into their eschatology.  The editors of the New York Times, though, can’t believe that Muslims really think such things because it all seems so preposterous to them.

This explains why Giuliani is popular in Pennsylvania:  Most of PA’s republicans are of the more libertarian, urbane type.  They don’t feel strongly about social issues.  Furthermore, PA’s rural republicans are like social conservatives elsewhere, in that they will stop placing stem cell research top of mind as soon as they can be sure they are not likely to see the missus forced into a burkha.*

It also explains why pundits seem perpetually confused about Hizzoner’s popularity:  They find it absurd to imagine people really think congregants in the Religion of Peace want to kill heretics, and denigrate women to virtual slavery.

* I do note in passing that in Pennsylvania specifically I would expect gun-control to place higher than it does nationally.  But it sure didn’t seem to cause a hitch in Casey’s giddyup, recently, did it?

Gingrich Endorses Giuliani at PALC

Well, he didn’t explicitly endorse Giuliani.  But Hizzoner was the only presidential candidate mentioned by Gingrich in a positive way.  And the thrust of his remarks at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference seemed, to me, like a list of reasons to elect Rudolph Giuliani president.

Newt made two broad sets of points.  First, he claimed American politicians need to concentrate on three areas if they expect to be successful:

1)  Concentrating on “red, white, and blue” issues rather than “red state vs. blue state” issues; the types of issues 80% of Americans can agree on.  “Find an issue everyone agrees with, stand next to it, and smile.”  Obvious examples included making English our government’s official language, and allowing “under God” to stay in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Opposition to partial birth abortion, it seems to me, would be another.

2)  Transformation of government.  Our government needs to be as efficient as our private sector.  The ’06 cycle, he claimed, was about competence, not ideology.

3)  Vigorously defending ourselves against the Islamo-nutters.

On these issues, Giuliani is clearly your man.  For example, I have said over and over again that Giuliani is exactly with the bulk of Americans on social issues:  Personally conservative, but extending charity to those that disagree.  When it comes to executive competence, Giuliani’s record as mayor is unmatched by any other presidential aspirant.  Finally, on defence, Giuliani clearly states that the jihadis have declared war on us, not the other way ’round, and we need to act accordingly.  What bigger bird could we flip at Al Qaeda and their psychotically ignorant sympathizers than electing as president the mayor of the City most prominently attacked by them?

Gingrich also spoke about some tactics the GOP needs to employ to fashion a near-permanent governing majority.  These included an embrace of “green conservatism”, and reachout to Latino and African American voters.  Hizzoner has a great record on the environment, as detailed here by Deroy Murdock.  He also takes energy independence seriously.  As for reaching out to Latino and African American voters, the decline in crime during Giuliani’s tenure as mayor saved lives and property regardless of race or creed.  As more blacks get murdered than whites– per capita– one could probably make the case the Mayor did more for people of color than for white folks in that respect.  Let’s also remember Hizzoner was able to be elected– twice– as mayor in perhaps the most multicultural city on the planet while simultaneously engaged in constant combat with the race baiters and mau-mauers the hometown pundits had annointed as representatives of the “minority” community.

So all you people who would like to vote for Newt in a presidential election should seriously consider becoming Giuliani supporters.  Hizzoner fits iron-fist-in-velvet-glove with Newt’s own agenda.  And I don’t think anyone would argue Newt is more electable in a general election.  Keep in mind this is coming from a cat who places Newt only behind Reagan in the late 20th pantheon of conservative politicans.  But if you think Giuliani’s life history is a problem, wait and see what Peoria thinks about serving divorce papers to your wife while she’s on her death bed.  Peoria may want to try to avoid thinking about it.  But the MSM– the one that thinks Clarence Thomas is beyond the pale but Bill Clinton is a lovable scamp– is not going to let them.

Does Bob Asher = Alwaleed bin Talal? [UPDATE: Not Really]

I just had coffee with a gentleman named Bob Guzzardi.  He is a very influential conservative activist in Pennsylvania, most active in the southeast, but he also travels all over the state speaking to fellow activists.  He is financially influential as well.  He was a big part of the Pat Toomey movement that almost overthrew Arlen Specter in the GOP primary, and also one of the conservative influences behind the recent anti-corruption and anti-incumbent movement locally.

Bob is not unreceptive to Mayor Giuliani’s campaign.  Actually, to me he seemed very receptive.  There was one thing that gave him a great deal of pause, though, and that involves Bob Asher.  He is our national GOP state committeeman.  He also happens to be a convicted felon.

Some of you may remember Bud Dwyer.  He made national news when during a press conference he shot himself through the mouth– on TV!– after being convicted of a panapoly of corruption crimes.  An unintended consquence of that tragedy was the release of “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by the band Filter, although they claim it’s a song about any public suicide, not Mr. Dwyer’s specifically.

What many of you may not remember is there was another man convicted in that corruption conspiracy, which involved a scheme to elicit hundreds of thousands of dollars of illegal political contributions from a California company attempting to secure a no-bid contract to perform accounting and account recovery services for the Commonwealth.  That man was Bob Asher.

Now, I will not debate here the wisdom of the jury’s conviction of Mr. Asher on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud, racketeering, and perjury.  Asher claims he did nothing wrong to this day.

Mr. Guzzardi, though, feels that any presidential candidate who consorts with a man convicted of these charges will instantly lose the support of the politically active conservative grassroots here in Pennsylvania.  Those activistists are indeed conservative, but they are virulently opposed to corruption and cronyism in the state GOP as well.  Former GOP speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate Robert Jubelirer lost his primary race in 2006, and that was at least in part effected by Mr. Guzzardi and this conservative grassroots network.

Do I agree with Mr. Guzzardi here?  Well, I aspire to consistency in matters such as this.  So I would encourage the Giuliani campaign to take a step back from Bob Asher.  Besides, Asher is merely representing a shadow movement within the Ridge machine that now wants to try and play all sides.  So I would recommend in future that Mayor Giuliani decline Asher money much like he declined Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s ten million dollars in the wake of 9/11.  In both cases the money could end up doing some good.  But you do not want to be indebted in any way to people like that.

UPDATE:  After reading this post, it occurs to me I did not do a very good job of putting myself in Mayor Giuliani’s shoes.  Clearly, I have a personal antipathy for Bob Asher.  Equally clearly, though, the Giuliani campaign is in no position to decline the support of the PA GOP national committeeman.  In fact, it would be outright foolish for them to do so, and they are lucky to have his support as he is rather influential.  After all, were he to choose to support one of the other leading candidates, would they say “No thanks”?

Prominent Republicans from all over our big tent coalition are going to need to express a preference for the GOP nomination eventually.  Individually, they may differ on a range of issues, and come from a wide range of backgrounds, from connected insiders like Asher to insurgent outsiders like Guzzardi.  You can probably guess which side of that debate I am on.  That does not mean, though, they cannot support the same candidate.  In fact, that is the precise sort of unifying influence we hope a candidate with leadership will have.

For example, would it be impossible for Arlen Specter and Pat Toomey to endorse the same GOP candidate?  Of course not.  Does that mean Arlen and Pat have changed in any significant way?   Not necessarily.  Although you could probably speculate they have different reasons for coming to the decisions that they do.  So, upon relflection, I can say I would very much rather have Asher in my corner than bin Talal.

Firefighters in PA, A Call to Arms

I was thinking about posting here– or at Bloggers for Rudy— about some of the issues surrounding Mayor Giuliani and the NYC firefighters.  Some have made the case his relationship with that proud constituency is not as strong as it could be, and this case erodes the Mayor’s reputation for leadership he earned on September 11th.

Turns out I don’t need to.  The blogosphere is a midwife for specialization, and we now have someone covering that beat in the monomaniacal way I am endeavoring to cover the Mayor’s progress in Pennsylvania.  So for issues surrounding the Giuliani campaign and his relationships with first responders go directly to Rudy’s Firefighters.  And if you’re a first responder in PA supporting the mayor’s campaign, or wondering if you should, get in touch with him.