Thanks to some of Giuliani’s scandals beginning to surface in the press, and particularly Tim Russert’s devastating interview on “Meet the Press” last Sunday, Rudy’s star is falling. Baptist Minister and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (or Hackabee, as I call him), who I have thought for a long time is the only true choice for the right-wing evangelicals that make up the largest voting bloc in the primaries, is now leading in Florida.
As many thought, this idea that Rudy could ignore the “early” states where Romney and Hack were leading and begin his sweeping, inevitable victory from the Sunshine State, would never fly.
Numbers like this have to really hurt Rudy Giuliani’s strategy, as Florida has been one of the few January contests where he was polling well recently. In addition, it says a lot about Huckabee’s fellow Southern candidate, Fred Thompson — he used to lead or come in a close second here, but is now down to 9%.
For a long time, the press has completely ignored the fact that despite his strong national poll numbers, Rudy simply is not a good fit for today’s Republic party. Granted, his authoritarianism is attractive to people who still support Bush, and certainly he is a foreign policy neocon like Cheney who would love to bomb something just to watch it die. But clearly, he fails the religious test. Giuliani is on the wrong side of the issues where the evangelicals are concerned; Gays, God and Guns are where he is the most liberal. Ditto for Mitt Romney, who was the governor of liberal Taxachussetts, tortured his dog, and is more of a flip-flopper than a dolphin at Sea World on the triple G’s.
Hackabee has genuine conservative credentials. He is a True Believer from the evangelical point of view, and always has been “right” on Gays, God and Guns. He also appears to care about ordinary people, which the modern GOP has completely stopped even pretending to do – decrying “No Child Left Behind” and advocating for adding the arts back into curricula, for example. When it comes to the war, he is an advocate for “The Surge” and staying in Iraq until the Iraqis and their neighbors in the region “step up.” Hackabee’s scandals, although they too are starting to come to light, won’t matter. They are insignificant compared to the fact that he is The One.
Personally, I have never thought that Giuliani would survive the Republic primaries. The only person who can do that has to fully represent the 25% of Americans who still believe in George Bush. And that means that when the Republic nominee is selected, 75% of Americans will not want to vote for him.
If that person is in fact Hackabee, it’s going to be a Democratic tsunami in 2008. I cannot wait for this country to see what it will be like to have Democrats fully in charge of all three branches again. I hope we will finally realize that Fascism has no place in America, and we can never again let the Fascists take away the values of truth, justice, liberty and peace that our Founding Fathers put in our beloved Constitution.