Will the "Weirdness Factor" Sink Rudy G?
Jacob Sullum writes of Rudy Giuliani's squirrelly abortion position(s) earlier today, but that sort of flip-floppery may be the least of his troubles in beating a path to the White House. The Smoking Gun reprints 27 pages of a "remarkable 'vulnerability study' that was commissioned by Giuliani's campaign prior to his successful 1993 City Hall run."
The document is indeed remarkable, both for its specific content about Guiliani and the insight it gives more generally how campaigns strategize. TSG intros the stuff:
As he tried to win election in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Giuliani needed "inoculating against" the "Reagan Republican moniker," the vulnerability study reported. "The Giuliani campaign should emphasize its candidate's independence from traditional national Republican policies." The final six words of that sentence are underlined in the study. Additionally, the Giuliani report noted that the candidate needed to make it clear to voters that he was "pretty good on most issues of concern to gay and lesbian New Yorkers" and was pro-choice and supported public funding for abortion. "He will continue city funding for abortions at city hospitals. Nothing more, nothing less." Giuliani's stance on these issues, of course, may leave him vulnerable today with an entirely different electorate….[The study states that Guiliani's] "personal life raises questions about a 'weirdness factor.'" That weirdness, aides reported, stemmed from Giuliani's 14-year marriage to his second cousin….The internal study also addresses prospective charges that Giuliani dodged the Vietnam draft and was a "man without convictions" because of his transformation from George McGovern voter to a Reagan-era Justice Department appointee. "In many ways Rudy Giuliani is a political contradiction…He doesn't really fit with the Republicans. Too liberal. Giuliani has troubles with the Democrats, too." On the following pages, you'll find the vulnerability report's cover and preface and sections on Reagan Republicanism, women and abortion, Giuliani's first marriage and divorce, draft dodging, gay issues, racial polarization, and his party registration "flip-flop."
Former Big Apple resident and Reasoner Tim Cavanaugh gave Rudy's tenure as Fun City's mayor a reality check here.