Run, Rudy, Run!
I voted in Patrick Ruffini's straw poll for Rudy Giuliani last month - and was surprised to see that George Allen was beating him (and everyone else) at the time. Ruffini has now closed his latest straw poll, and Giuliani has surged to take the lead with 30% of the votes.
Why vote for Giuliani? The guy has demonstrated that he can get the job done under pressure, and unfortunately I think the odds will be fifty-fifty that our next president will be called upon to display just such fortitude.
He is not ideologically pure. Far from being a detriment in his case, I think it makes him a pragmatist. He breaks with Republican ranks on issues when necessary, and not for the purpose of sucking up to the press as does John McCain.
He will win. I don't care who the dems put up against Giuliani - Rudy will beat them with natural charm, charisma, quick wit and well-tuned political ear. He was on his way to drubbing Hillary Clinton in the New York senate race when he had to pull out, and he will trounce her again if they face off in a presidential run.
As for Giuliani's 'baggage' - please. We live in the post-Clinton era, and Democrats have lost any right to harp on anyone's personal failings.
Rudy Giuliani is a candidate that will really get the Republicans fired up in a way none of the other candidates can, save Condoleeza Rice (Ruffini's 'fantasy candidate' winner) but - I believe Condi when she says she does not want to run. I don't think she will.
In the end though, choosing Rudy is really a gut thing for me. I just trust the guy.