The real GOP frontrunner might have some problems with one of his party's loudest constituencies, the socially conservative/religious right types, and this New York Observer piece is a good summation of the potential battlefield, and how Rudy is trying to slyly navigate it. Excerpts:
The trick is that Mr. Giuliani's newly articulated, conservative-sounding positions have been carefully calibrated to appeal to a conservative base without definitively contradicting any of his past statements, which would run the risk of undercutting his iconic image as the unwavering leader of Sept. 11.The result has been a somewhat dizzying dose of coded talk and footnoted arguments from Mr. Giuliani and his political surrogates.On Feb. 14, Mr. Giuliani conceded to Larry King on CNN, "I am pro-choice, yes," but he quickly added that he would only appoint strict constructionist judges to the federal courts.His campaign invited national reporters onto a conference call earlier this month with Representative Candice S. Miller of Michigan, who, despite Mr. Giuliani's strong record on gun control as Mayor, said he assured her that "he is a very strong supporter of the Second Amendment."Mr. Giuliani, who signed something called the Domestic Partnership Law when he was Mayor, now stresses the notion that marriage is sacred and should be between a man and a woman.
"The hard-right conservatives are a very small percentage of the electorate today," said Barron Thomas, a Giuliani supporter and former "Pioneer" fund-raiser for George W. Bush.
"He's definitely not a social conservative," said Tom Minnery, senior vice president for public policy for Focus on the Family. "He is pro-abortion; he is friendly to same-sex marriage; and his personal life is a problem. I have seen photos of him in drag."When reminded that Mr. Giuliani had appeared in drag as part of a comic performance for an audience of reporters and political insiders, Mr. Minnery said, "That gag may work on Manhattan Island, not on the mainland."