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.