This is a huge development. On This Week with
Rudy is a very good friend of mine, and he did a super job running the City of New York. And I think he'd make a good president. I like him a lot. Although he doesn't share all of my particular points of view on social issues, he's a very dedicated Catholic. And he's a great guy.
Don't underestimate the importance of that endorsement. As Avlon notes,
Make no mistake: There are some folks on the far right who have been marshaling their forces to stop a centrist Republican from getting elected president. Rev. Robertson's comments about Mr. Giuliani must be making them howl.
This is even more important to two other groups: centrist Republicans who have been grumbling about various Bush policies and any Hillary doubters in the middle of the political spectrum. Avlon shows why:
Upon closer examination, Mr. Giuliani's conservative record on crime, taxes, and the war on terror has rallied many party faithful to his camp, while his alleged liberalism on social issues has been intentionally overstated. He is in favor of gay rights but opposed to gay marriage; he is personally opposed to abortion but supports a woman's right to choose. These are mainstream positions - consistent with a belief in individual freedom - even if they fall outside the far right of the Republican Party or the far left of the Democratic Party.
Any honest conservative or libertarian knows that Hillary would be a disaster for the country. That same person knows that to beat her in 2008, the Republicans need to nominate someone who is not a useless hack and who will get conservatives to the polls. Bill Frist embodies the worst of Republican Senatorial character -- flaccid, indecisive, spineless and uninspiring. Rick Santorum is a useless git who can easily be derided for a lack of mental capacity. John McCain is a free speech-hating loose cannon who is despised by the Right (Robertson: "McCain I'd vote against under any circumstance") who will be older in 2008 than Reagan was in 1980. In other words, if the Right can support Giuliani, and he can play in the South (early returns are that he can -- he's stumping for Ralph Reed in Georgia's Lt. Governor race), he'd be the best candidate for the Republicans if they want to keep the White House through 2012.