A Gothamite woos Iowa pig farmers
Matt Yglesias writes:
Given what happened to John McCain, I can’t help but think that as the Republican electorate learns more and more about what Rudy Giuliani really thinks about immigration, he’s going to be in big trouble. He managed to somehow pass himself off as an opponent of the comprehensive immigration measure, but the reality is that as mayor he turned New York City into a giant “sanctuary city” and sought vigorously through the courts to preserve that status. This was all unremarkable in what’s probably the most pro-immigration jurisdiction in the country, but it’s really, really, really not where the GOP base is.
I’m not so sure Matt is right that Rudy is going to be called to account for his past ideological, er, peculiarities. GOP primary voters are more hawkish than the electorate in general (duh!) and Giuliani has a story that can be readily adapted to tap into hawkish sentiment. This is a big advantage, and to a considerable degree can overcome past transgressions like friendliness to gay people and lack of immigrant bashing.
But I’ve come to the conclusion Rudy’s single biggest advantage may be his media savvy: the guy’s smooth and articulate in front of a camera, and I think in large part that’s simply the result of where he happened to cut his political teeth. You can’t thrive in the hothouse environment of the world’s media capital without developing a pretty keen sense of how to spin, how to bullshit, how to make answers sound plausible in middle class living rooms, and how to perform in front of a camera.
It has been said that hailing from New York City is a big disadvantage in American politics. Maybe we’re all about to learn how false this notion is.