Sunday, March 04, 2007
An Altered View of the Future
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter thinks Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani is the wrong man at the wrong time, referring to him as an "Urban Cowboy" in this week's cover story.
As he begins to make his argument, Alter succinctly (but simplistically) reminds us how the last several presidents were "antidotes" to the weaknesses or failures of their predecessors.
In 1960, young JFK was the antidote to dowdy Ike. In 1976, Jimmy ("I'll never lie to you") Carter campaigned to wipe away the stain left by Richard Nixon. In 1980, sunny Ronald Reagan tapped into disgust with the malaise of the Carter years. In 2000, George W. Bush took on not just Al Gore, but Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The reason the 2008 campaign favors Democrats—at least for now—is that Bush has failed so badly that the next president may be the one who resembles him least.
At least that's what Alter thinks.
But to build and extend on his argument, I would say that Giuliani may be exactly the antidote to Bush.
Bush is a poor communicator. Giuliani is more in Ronald Reagan's School of Great Communications.
Yes, Bush has been relentlessly consistent in his position on the war, and Giuliani is in the same camp (thankfully), but I don't believe the antidote to Bush is anti-war, though that is what the Democrats are banking on - I think the antidote, as it pertains to the war, is "anti-loose-the-war" and "anti-needless-deaths-to-brave-young-Americans."
Now I am not sure about Giuliani myself, as he is a bit slishy on the social issues near and dear to this senescent, old man; however, I note that the most highly conservative CPAC gave him the nod over many others, including McCain (except for Romney) this past week in Washington DC. That impresses me.
Newsweek's Alter forgets that there once was once a "Cowboy" who stole the hearts of the American people as President, and not that long ago. Maybe an Urban Cowboy is just what the doctor ordered.
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