I guess my larger point is that in terms of real politics, "to believe that Giuliani will keep the pro-life base happy" one is required only to believe that he will appoint justices like scalia, and Giuliani has all but said he would do this.
but if the "pro-life base" petulantly insists on holding out for some candy rainbow scenario wherein a president outlaws abortion with the stroke of a pen, or if the "pro life base" petulantly insists on just having the right type of guy in the white house (like bush 41, who was pro life and appointed ridiculous judges) then the 'pro-life base" is childish and unrealistic and doesn't deserve to be kept happy.
I agree with this for the most part, but for the reasons stated by myself and Josiah previously we do not believe this to be the case regarding Giuliani. Part of my own reason for this is that we are not dealing with a relatively blank slate here or even an individual who was mildly pro-choice. Giuliani was vocally pro-choice (and socially liberal on other issues) and he deliberately stressed that both during his time in office and afterwards when asked about his views on these issues. To me, that establishes a track record and that is one of the criteria that I judge a politician on when considering whether or not to vote for him. You will note that I have been more than willing to accept Mitt Romney's shift in his views. Giuliani simply hasn't been persuasive in this regard given his past track record, and as such I think I'm justified to retain my skepticism.
i don't get why anyone disbelieves him (well, I do get it, they like to borrow trouble and feel aggrieved, but anyway...). Giuliani would not be a national candidate if he were not mayor of NY, and he would not have been mayor of NY if he hadn't given a sop to the ultra ultra liberal base there. It's 15 years later, and I don't care what he said to get elected mayor of NY, frankly.
in any case Giuliani could think abortion is the greatest thing since sliced bread but Roe is terrible law, given that he is a (smart) lawyer. whether someone likes the reasoning behind Roe and whether he likes abortion are 2 different questions. people don't seem to be understanding that.
Giuliani may think that Roe is bad law (most serious law people, even a lot of liberals, seem to), but whether or not he would want judges who would overturn it is another matter. As far as Giuliani not being a national candidate if he wasn't mayor of NYC and having to adopt his positions as a matter of political necessity, the same could be said for Mitt Romney. Yet conservatives have accepted him as one of their own whether or not he wins the primary, and I think that might tell you something about the two.
She concludes with:
I think the arguments that Giuliani can turn a blue state into a red state or that Giuliani is the only one who can beat Hillary clinton are facetious. the fact is this: people liked what they saw of the man on 9/11 and people have heard how effective he was as mayor in NY. frankly I think his 9/11 performance counts for more, and I think that alone could take him to the top.
not to mention that Giuliani arguably has a better, more visceral understanding than any other national candidate of the effects of terrorism. when he said 9/11 was beyond his worst nightmare, he wasn't kidding. someone like that is going to act in the face of a threat, not turn away from it and pretend it isn't real.
Actually, a lot of Giuliani supporters are pitching in conservative media and on conservative forums those two arguments. Didn't John Podhoretz basically write an entire book outlining the argument that Giuliani was the only candidate that could beat Hillary? As I said (and I think the polling data to date supports this), Giuliani is a strong candidate and a strong leader, which is why I think that many conservatives are drawn to him, especially given the political impotency that currently characterizes the Bush administration. However, they are quite unfamiliar with his views on other topics and at some point he (like his counterpart Obama on the Democratic side who has received similar adulatory praise on the basis of single speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention) is going to have to talk about them if he wants to become the GOP presidential nominee IMO.
As far as Giuliani having a better understanding of terrorism, I would in my partisanship for McCain dispute this. Of the GOP candidates, only McCain and Gingrich have offered substantive constructive criticism of the current administration's conduct of the war on terrorism, particularly regarding what I view as the disastrous policies pursued by Secretary Rumsfeld and others in Iraq. McCain's views on Iraq have basically been adopted by the Bush administration (and Giuliani, IIRC) as its own concerning the surge, which he has been advocating at least as far back as 2004-2005 and which is now producing practical real-world results on the ground in terms of reducing violence in Baghdad and having sufficient troops to fight al-Qaeda and Sadr. One of the reasons that I support McCain is that he ascertained what I see as a more correct strategy for Iraq and fought for it alongside Joe Lieberman long before it was popular with the White House.
My partisanship aside, I think that all of the current GOP candidates with the exception of Hagel would be acceptable for the purposes of the war on terrorism. Certainly they have all supported the Iraq war at a time when the short-term and politically expedient thing to do would be to come out against it, which speaks well of them. I hope this makes at least some sense to you.
As for Victor's thoughts:
Here's the other difference between Ronald Reagan and Giuliani -- electoral-strategery-wise. Reagan expanded the GOP *without alienating the then-existing base* and/or *without sacrificing a chunk of it to gain a larger chunk elsewhere.* The Reagan Democrats came to him.
Still, the comparison with Reagan is intriguing in the following way. Reagan was a divorced man with a partly-estranged family who, as governor of California, had signed both the nation's most-liberal abortion law and loosest no-fault divorce law. By 1980, he said he had come around on abortion. But there was still little reason beyond rhetoric that "the Religious Right" should have trusted him. Particularly since he was running against an evangelical.
I bolded the part that I think is most significant. And as far as Reagan having a turn around on abortion in 1980, this is basically what Mitt Romney argues has happened to him. If Giuliani made a sincere pitch to that regard, I think that he would be accepted by a lot of supporters as sincere for a variety of reasons ranging from pragmatism to a pious political myth. Thus far, he has made no indication of doing so and the idea that he is even open to the idea certainly isn't the message that his pundit supporters have been sending.