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A McCain-Giuliani Ticket? It's Not So Far Fetched

Apr 12, 2008
I am not on the inside of any presidential campaign, but I consider myself to be a good student of politics. And as a writer, I have the luxury of going against the grain on campaigns and issues. I am also not a Republican -- so I don't expect the leaders of the Grand Old Party to take my advice. But as a political writer, I have an obligation to inform, and hopefully entertain my readers.

And plenty of readers will find the idea of a McCain-Giuliani ticket entertaining, if nothing else.

It's not news that John McCain has locked up the Republican nomination and deservedly so. He was the most credible candidate on defense and national security and the best at making the case for long-term involvement in Iraq. He also holds no past shame in his votes on these issues. A debate between McCain and either of the likely Democratic nominees will undoubtedly be spirited. I cannot see either opponent taking cheap shots at McCain on military or foreign affairs; his credibility is far too strong.

However, McCain has proven to be weaker than either Democratic candidate on domestic policy. He merely espouses the usual Republican agenda: less regulation, lower taxes and limited government. He appears uncomfortable answering questions on, for instance, education and health care, than either Clinton or Obama.

I disagree with Republican pundits who say that Senator McCain should choose a running mate who is considerably younger and to the right of his views on social issues. For McCain to win, he will need to bring independents and Reagan Democrats into his corner. He will need swing states or to turn a large Democratic stronghold -- like New York -- into a swing state. He needs someone who could be entrusted on domestic policy, as defense and national security will be the first priorities of a McCain administration. He also needs an "attack dog" to confront Democratic positions on domestic policy.

Under these circumstances his best choice for a running mate is Rudy Giuliani.

I understand that Giuliani's so-called conservative credentials could be questioned; his social issue positions were far more moderate during his two terms as Mayor of New York. He shepherded legislation granted gays and lesbians domestic partnership rights. There are also the "moral" concerns: he has been married three times and an affair contributed to the break-up of his second marriage. But I cannot see conservatives deserting the Republican Party or raising sufficient funds for a third-party candidate. McCain has inherited the Bush fundraising apparatus as well as the Rolodex. Conservative Republicans will not fracture their own party at the risk of seeing a Democratic opponent elected with less than a majority vote as Bill Clinton was in 1992.

Giuliani has the perfect resume to be McCain's running mate. Giuliani has been:

* Chief executive of a culturally diverse city of over 8 million people, larger than 39 U.S states, including Massachusetts.

* The only Republican presidential candidate who has successfully defeated an African America opponent and a woman opponent in major elections.

* Credited with dramatic reductions in crime in the city he governed.

* Recognized as a hero on terrorism and national security.

* Connected to the Reagan revolution; in 1981 he was appointed by former president Reagan, to be Associate Attorney General, the third-highest position in the Department of Justice, overseeing the U.S. Attorney Offices' federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service.

* U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York where his office amassed over 4,000 convictions, with heavy focus on insider trading, drug dealing, organized crime and corruption; his reputation as a crusader made him a mayor.

* Prepared to campaign against Senator Clinton; he was committed to run against her until he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer.

* Endorsed by Pat Robertson, who conservative credentials have been unquestioned; as I mentioned before, it's foolish for conservatives to bite a hand that feeds them.

* An early opponent to endorse Senator McCain for the nomination; there is no animosity between the two men, as there is between McCain and Governor Romney.

Giuliani is certainly flawed and he has a record that a good Democratic "oppo-man" would love to sink his teeth into. Then again, Giuliani lost his first mayoral race by less than 50,000 votes and won his second by approximately 53,000 votes. No doubt the "oppo men" worked overtime back then to keep a Republican from becoming mayor of a Democratic stronghold.

Rudy Giuliani is the only Republican who could turn New York into a swing state, regardless of whether Clinton or Obama is the nominee. And nothing wins a presidential run like electoral votes.
About the Author
Stuart Nachbar has been involved with education politics, policy and technology as a student, urban planner, government affairs manager, software executive, and now as author of The Sex Ed Chronicles. Visit his blog, Educated Quest.
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