Riding Rudy's Right-Wing Wave

GOP Hero Giuliani Stumps for Himself and America's Party

Giuliani also hit the stump for four other new pro-life senators who succeeded outgoing pro-life incumbents—John Sununu in New Hampshire, Liddy Dole in North Carolina, Lindsey Graham in South Carolina, and Lamar Alexander in Tennessee. Finally, he endorsed three pro-life incumbents: Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Wayne Allard of Colorado, who won, and Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas, the only GOP senator to lose. Susan Collins of Maine was the solitary pro-choice senator backed by Giuliani. He also campaigned for a new pro-life congressman in Nevada, Jon Porter, as well as helping to re-elect lifers like Pete Sessions in Texas and Tom Davis in Virginia, on top of his headlining of a March fundraiser in Washington that raised $7.5 million for the House GOP campaign committee.

Giuliani's gubernatorial palmcard across the country included pro-life Bill Simon in California, whose pro-choice primary opponent Richard Riordan was backed by both George Pataki and Mike Bloomberg, as well as Bob Ehrlich (Maryland), Mike Fisher (Pennsylvania), Van Hilleary (Tennessee), Rick Perry (Texas), Bob Taft (Ohio), and Jeb Bush (Florida). While Giuliani's preference in California for the far more conservative Simon was attributed to his longstanding relationship with his fellow federal prosecutor, he did the same in New Hampshire, endorsing hard-right incumbent Bob Smith in the primary over soft-right challenger Sununu (switching to Sununu in the general).

A gun-control advocate who even differed with the Reagan administration when he worked in its Justice Department, Giuliani appeared for many of the same pro-gun warriors as the NRA's Charlton Heston—from Simon to Hutchinson. He stumped for David Dewhurst, the party's candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, despite Dewhurst's $84,000 in personal contributions to FreePAC, which did a mass mailing four days after Dewhurst gave it $25,000 that assailed moderate GOP legislators for allegedly supporting a "radical homosexual" agenda. The mailing, which opposed same-sex marriages, included pictures of two men in tuxedos cutting a wedding cake and kissing.

While Giuliani's explanation for all this barnstorming is simply that he's being a good Republican, he said precisely the opposite when he last faced voters himself—in 1997. He sidestepped the GOP's 1996 convention and waited until the last moment to nominally endorse its presidential candidate, Bob Dole, telling reporters that "most of Bill Clinton's policies are very similar to most of mine." He claimed that he "rarely thinks about partisan politics" and that the "country would be in very good hands" with either Dole or Clinton.

Once certain that as a term-limited mayor he would never again face city voters, he quickly began singing a partisan song, at first in preparation for the senate race that never happened, and now, for the ride to Washington that he believes his 9-11 fame may one day bring him.

Research: Sandy Amos, Yi Chen, Will St. John, Bobby Smiley, and Clementine Wallace

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