Campaigns/Elections

Giuliani=Libertarian Reagan?

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WSJ Giuliani

Those teases at The Wall Street Journal see libertarianism in the bold Giuliani-led Republican future:

Mr. Giuliani's lead in the polls -- and in the latest round of fund raising, according to new reports Tuesday -- may hint at the declining clout of those voters and their issues within the Republican party, and perhaps a shift back toward a more libertarian emphasis….

He also disarmingly gives audiences permission to disagree with him on some issues -- a trait rarely evinced during his mayoral terms -- but still support his campaign. "I don't agree with us on everything," he regularly adds. That message appeals to Republicans who fear a 2008 drubbing if the party focuses too narrowly on family-values issues, as it did in the past two presidential races.

The article also gives Giuliani the much-coveted Reagan comparison:

Mr. Giuliani's candidacy could be helping to redefine the Republican party, just as Ronald Reagan's did in 1980, when pundits initially dismissed Mr. Reagan as too conservative for his party's mainstream.

Stay tuned for the definitive Giuliani treatment from Dave Weigel in an upcoming issue.