Thursday, May 10, 2007


I actually thought he might survive the news that he and his wife had given repeatedly to Planned Parenthood. When the dust settled, I assumed that Republican voters would go back to asking themselves (a) which candidate hates liberals the most, (b) whose authoritarianism makes them squirm pleasurably the most, and (c) who can win. And it still seemed quite possible that their answer would be Rudy.

But (assuming this New York Times story is accurate) I don't understand why on earth Giuliani's going to try to put this issue in the foreground:

After months of conflicting signals on abortion, Rudolph W. Giuliani is planning to offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days....

Mr. Giuliani hinted at what aides said would be his uncompromising position on abortion rights yesterday in Huntsville, Ala., where he was besieged with questions about abortion and his donations to Planned Parenthood. "Ultimately, there has to be a right to chose," he said....

Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that his stance on abortion alone might disqualify him with some voters, but he said, "I am at peace with that."...

It's a problem for him because he looks as if he's been forced to acknowledge a deviation from Correct Thinking, which makes him look weak -- and what's the point of voting for Giuliani if he looks weak? He was doing much better when he was saying (I'm paraphrasing), If you don't want to stick with me because of one of two issues, that's you're funeral, because I'm the nastiest sonofabitch you have running and you know that's what you really want.

But Giuliani's still going to run fairly strong, especially given the number of non-Bible Belt states that are voting early in primary season. I think he's in trouble, though, because he's letting this issue, rather than 9/11, define his candidacy -- and that's another sign of weakness.


A FURTHER THOUGHT: Why is he doing this? It occurs to me that this may have set off the "You want a piece of me?" center in his brain. Faced with the choice of deftly dodging a fight or mixing it up, Giuliani may be psychologically incapable of taking the avoidant course. Oh well, at least America may be learning that about him before electing him, which is not how it worked out with the guy who's in there now.

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