Whatever the opposite of “prescient” is, that’s Los Angeles Times reporter Maria L. La Ganga. Here’s the lede on her June 28th article about Rudy Giuliani’s core campaign message: “The world according to Rudolph W. Giuliani is a very, very scary place.”
The very next day two Mercedes cars rigged with IEDs made from gasoline, gas canisters and nails were found in the heart of London - one outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub near Piccadilly Circus, the other parked nearby – and the day after that, two men set fire to a Jeep Cherokee and tried to ram it through the entrance of the main terminal at Glasgow Airport in Scotland. One of the two terrorists was taken to the hospital after sustaining severe burns; the hospital was evacuated when a device thought to be a suicide belt was found on his body. British authorities say the thwarted London plot and the Glasgow terror attack are linked, according to The Associated Press.
Not for nothing in speech after speech and interview after interview, Rudy reminds us that “the terrorist war against us … [is] the overriding issue of our day.”
† Giuliani’s South Carolina chairman, state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, resigned after being indicted on federal cocaine charges;
† Giuliani was slammed for skipping Iraq Study Group meetings (he explained that the panel seemed unable to focus on “a bipartisan, nonpolitical resolution”); and
† Victims’ advocates demanded that Monsignor Alan Placa, suspended from his pastoral duties over abuse allegations, be fired from Giuliani’s security consulting firm.
But the latest Mason-Dixon poll of 625 likely general-election voters conducted June 23-25 suggests that none of these blows knocked him off balance:
† Rudy had the highest favorable recognition across the entire 2008 presidential field – both parties - at 43 percent. Hillary Clinton was a close second at 39 percent.
† However, Hillary led the pack in voter disapproval, with 42 percent saying they recognized her name and had an unfavorable opinion of her. More than half (52 percent) also said they wouldn’t consider voting for Clinton.
† Mitt Romney was the next most unpopular amongst voters, with 46 percent saying they wouldn’t consider voting for him; 50.9 percent of women are in that group.
† John McCain was viewed favorably by 33 percent of voters, unfavorably by 28 percent.
And conventional wisdom that Rudy’s going down for the count once social conservatives and fundamentalist Christians find out about his positions on abortion, gay rights, gun control and other hot-button issues notwithstanding, Rudy’s still standing.
Rudy went to Regent University, the Christian college founded by conservative televangelist Pat Robertson to deliver a 50-minute address to more than 650 students and business leaders last week. Robertson gave Rudy a warm introduction, reports the New York Daily News:
Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson praised the pro-choice, pro-gay rights Rudy Giuliani to the rafters yesterday - stopping just short of giving the former mayor his blessing for the presidency.
“This is supposed to be a nonpolitical thing,” Robertson said in introducing Giuliani at a lecture series at the preacher’s Regent University here. “But we would be remiss to forget the fact that he seems to be running for President.”
“And in point of fact,” added Robertson, a co-founder of the powerful Christian Coalition, “he may one day become not New York’s mayor, but America’s leader. So it’s a great pleasure to welcome a dear friend and a great leader.”
Robertson praised Giuliani as an “outstanding” mayor who cleaned up New York, then rallied the nation and the city through the horrors of Sept. 11.
The students gave Rudy a Standing O, says the New York Sun:
[H]e stuck to what has become his campaign’s mantra — plugging his record as mayor, pledging to prosecute the war on terrorism aggressively, and offering a none too subtle reminder of his role following the attacks of September 11, 2001.
He offered the crowd his standard, unspecific warning: “Don’t expect you’re going to agree with me on everything. Because that would be unrealistic.”
“It’s not about one issue. It’s about many issues,” Mr. Giuliani said of the campaign. But, he quickly added, if a person’s vote does come down to a single issue, there should be no question about which one.
“The one issue that dominates is the fact that Islamic terrorists are trying to kill us,” he said. …
And when given the opportunity to question the former mayor, attendees asked about Iran, Iraq, and immigration, not abortion, gay rights, or gun control.
Students and professors alike gave this round to Rudy.
“Most of us are aware of his positions on social issues,” Stephen Raper tells the Sun. Raper, who heads Regent’s student Republican group, adds that Rudy was right to omit mention of controversial topics because, “It could appear you’re trying to throw it in their face.”
According to the Daily News, Regent University political science Prof. Charles Dunn thinks Rudy “has the look of a winner” that appeals to pragmatists.
[Editorial Note: To read previous posts in the “How Resilient Is Rudy?” series, click here and here.]
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