I have not yet decided what the impact of the Partial Birth Abortion decision will be on 2008. I see two scenarios. Will the narrative that emerges be about abortion or about judges?
John McCain and Mitt Romney will want to talk about partial birth abortion and abortion. It is a 70% issue nationwide and higher among Republicans, and they are on the right side of it. Rudy Giuliani will not because of things like this:
So Rudy will probably try to frame this as about judges, which is his pivot on social issues anyways. Furthermore, none of the leading GOP candidates is on particularly strong ground here. Mitt Romney appointed plenty of gay rights and abortion activists to the Massachusetts courts. Rudy Giuliani has the same problem, and he quibbles with some conservatives about what "strict constructionist" means. And John McCain has the whole Gang of 14 thing, although he argues that he cut the deal that got Alito and Roberts on the court.
In fact, Romney and McCain probably want to talk about both because it traps Rudy even more. Romney and McCain can say "we are pro-life, and we want more strict constructionist judges to move the ball on the issue." Again, Rudy can’t go there.
A lot of Republicans are celebrating, and Rudy will have to play dodgeball. Tough day for Rudy.
Also, start your office pool. How much does Emily’s List raise online today?