Sunday, February 25, 2007


Kevin Drum fears for our very existence.

Still, it's faintly unnerving to see just how far ahead of the field Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are right now.

That would be a hell of a campaign, wouldn't it? Two New Yorkers, playing out the unfinished grudge match of their 2000 Senate race. A mayor vs. a senator. The first major party female candidate in history. And just possibly the two toughest, most polarizing, most single-mindedly ambitious politicians on the national stage today. I hope we all survive.

I have no problem with half of his assertion. Hillary is polarizing. Partly that is of no fault of her own, but stems from her involvement in her husband's administration.

But Rudy is one of the most polarizing? How exactly? This is a moderate-to-liberal Republican. I suspect the only reason that liberals find him to be polarizing is because he succeeded as a Republican in the most liberal city outside of San Francisco and Washington D.C.

This is a man who has a three to one difference between his favorable and unfavorable opinion ratings in public opinion polls. Polarizing to an underwhelming minority of voters, I'd say.

I know, I know. They will come back and scream Amadou Diallo and make hay over his approach to law and order. I think this is a mistake both on the idea and in impact. Probably no other Republican candidate would work more with Democrats (if they are willing) and would meet them half way more often than Giuliani. Further, do the Democrats really want to try to make the case that his proven, successful, tough-on-crime approach is what makes him polarizing? Do liberals have a compulsion for trying to prove true every stereotype about them that the right has claimed for the past several decades, so that they must eagerly and aggressively promote a soft-on-criminals mentality?

This is what it would have been like if Republicans had lamented Joe Lieberman's 2004 Presidential bid by saying he is one of the most polarizing candidates in the nation. The only ones who are driven batty by Lieberman, or by Giuliani, are strident liberals.

No comments: