Jonah Goldberg has a great article at NRO about how Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are two different strategies for handling coming from a liberal, northeastern state. Romney’s strategy is basically to change his position on every issue in sight to come in line with the conservative base. Goldberg doesn’t totally buy it, and regularly readers can see that I don’t either. Rudy Giuliani’s strategy is based on another strategy. His campaign is based on the proposition:

Taken together, terrorism, Iraq and Islam have become the No. 1 social issue for conservative base of the party.

Conservatives will decide that winning the war on terrorism is so important that the rest doesn’t matter or is secondary. Furthermore, Romney’s campaign is based on the idea that domestic issues will dominate the election, and Rudy that security and terrorism will. (although Republicans seem to think that he would do fine running the government)

Which will it be? Time will tell. And what if McCain wins? I think that his campaign is a hybrid. He can credibly claim to be a conservative whose strength is foreign policy. In other words, he could credibly claim to be the best conservative at fighting the war on terror. But, Goldberg would probably argue that a McCain win tells us more about McCain than the Republican Party. I think that’s probably right.

All of these candidates have different theories for where the party is. We will see.

3 Comments » Southern Baptist leaders weigh in on candidates (update) · February 16, 2007 at 1:53 PM

[…] Watching the 2008 pre-election « Elections are experiments Murdock on Romney: Better actor than President » […] » Giuliani and the evangelicals · April 23, 2007 at 8:04 AM

[…] In the end, we don’t know. Rudy is betting one way. Romney, as Jonah Goldberg pointed out, is betting another way. We shall see. As I said, elections are experiments. […] » Rudy, the conservative movement, their constitutents, and power · October 1, 2007 at 9:26 AM

[…] Note that this is a statement about priorities. Jonah Goldberg at NRO had earlier tried to rationalize exactly this position. The Giuliani campaign responded by wheeling out conservative Rep. Pete Sessions. Sessions talks about elections: "Conservatives are rallying around the one candidate with the executive experience and proven leadership our country needs. Mayor Giuliani will be successful in the primary and the general elections because Republicans want a candidate who is strong on the Terrorists’ War on Us, gets fiscal discipline and can beat the Democratic nominee." […]

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