Interview with Brian Anderson by Alessandro M. Gisotti
As all the polls show, Rudy Giuliani is now the frontrunner, but someone says that his descent will begin when he ceases to be a celebrity star and become a more regular candidate. Do you agree?
There is no question that things will get tougher for Giuliani as the campaign gets underway in earnest; he is benefiting from his courageous and calm public stance during 9/11, which is all many Americans know of him. But one interesting detail has come to light recently--wherever Giuliani has campaigned and spoken to conservative groups, his poll ratings tend to go up. So people are responding to him positively.
Giuliani´s personal life could be an obstacle for the former mayor of New York, on the road to Pennsylvania Avenue?
Yes--especially during the Republican primaries. Many primary voters might be willing to forgive his recent divorce, as ugly as it was. But few yet know he was married a third time. He is also somewhat estranged from his son, and perhaps his daughter, as a result of affair with, and his marriage to, Judith Nathan.
Giuliani is pro choice and supports gay civil union. How can he win the conservative vote in the primary election?
By emphasizing his conservative achievments as mayor of a very liberal city--he pushed personal responsibility through welfare reform and slashed crime in the city by a remarkable, city-saving amount. He cut taxes. He can also argue that he will appoint justices to the federal judicary who will not creatively interpret the constitution to create "rights" to gay marriage and who might even overturn Roe v. Wade and return the issue of abortion to voters.
What´s the key message Giuliani is working on to win the nomination?
That he's going to be tough on terror, a Reaganite in economics, and--above all--a competent, can-do executive.
It´s Giuliani vs Clinton the 2008 presidential contest or it´s too early to call?
I would say it is too early to call. Hillary is a terrible candidate, who will have little chance, in my view, of winning a national election. One leading Democratic pollster put it to me this way: she'll turn the "Red" (conservative) neon and the "Blue" (Democrat-leaning) states purple--that is, put them in play. I think the Dems will come up with a different candidate, despite her fund-raising prowess. Giuliani can win a general election, but will have a hard time getting through the primaries. What he has going for his is the dislike for John McCain among the Republican "base," which runs very deep, and evangelical distrust of Mitt Romney's Morman faith.