Thursday, January 31, 2008

Woulda Could Shoulda Rudy

I give Rudy an "A" for effort. He'll go down as the "woulda shoulda coulda" candidate on the Republican side. Too many weaknesses. Too little experience. Too narrow platforms. Too weak a PR campaign. It left us Rudy fans with little more than his general tenacity to bank on. If only he could have answered a single question without squeaking in 9/11.

Consider how it coulda been:

The year is 2000 and Rudy is beating Hill by a few points for a Senate seat. He's riding high on a wildly successful mayorality in NYC, having turned the city around against all odds. He finds out he has prostate cancer. His wife finds out he's been cheating on her. She files for divorce and (the nerve!) forces him to move out of the mayor's official residence (Gracie Mansion). The news vultures have a feeding frenzy and he has to drop out of the race. Hill waltzes to victory, the first time she is actually elected (or hired for that matter) to a job representing anyone. She learns how Congress actually works. She weasels her way onto a few influential committes. She builds a legislative record. She gains some international affairs experience.

That coulda been Rudy. Had he not dropped out, he would have won the race, taken the seat, learned the Washington ropes, gotten the necessary experience in foreign affairs, and build his own legislative record. Fast forward to 2008: he'd actually be a viable candidate for president. Those weaknesses I opened this blog with ... presto! gone! Every single one. Hillary would never have been legitimized by a vote. Instead, she'd still be flitting around the world on Bill's coattails pretending she was someone. Had she played her cards right, she might have become another Gore ... or not. Do we really need another hanger-on who can only talk, not act? True, Rudy wouldn't have had those wonderful PR coup soundbites on 9/11. But being at the locus of NYC and Washington, how could he have avoided personifying the moment just as he, in fact, did? Were he "lucky" enough, he might have been in the City on that day and gotten his photo-op anyway.

In short, for Prez, he'd be in and she'd be out.

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