2007-03-07 / Political Page

Bumps In Road Don't Seem To Deter Giuliani

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani continues to draw very respectable support in 2008 presidential polls and even did well at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, where some political mavens had predicted his liberal stance on some issues would trip him up.

One of his several weak points- his past marital breakups- hit the headlines last week as the Conservative PAC was coming to a close, so what effect it might have had with the PAC delegates, who are part of the Conservative political forces that will play a major role in primaries next year that will select the Republican presidential candidate, is not immediately evident.

The unexpected development that came in the form of some comments made by his son, Andrew, 17, which revealed a rift between father and son going back to his divorce from Donna Hanover and his marriage to Judith Nathan, his third and present wife.

But the comments by Andrew Giuliani, a Duke University sophomore who is training to become a professional golfer, were not as damaging as they might have been.

The young man acknowledged that he and his dad "are both working on our relationship and we love each other". Andrew also opined that despite their problems, which are improving, he felt his father would "make a great president".

Although the strongly family-oriented conservatives might not view Giuliani's family problems as the ideal situation for a candidate, their overall judgment of candidate Giuliani as a father and family man wasn't a total bust when all of Andrew's comments are taken into consideration.

According to press accounts on Giuliani's appearance before the delegates, and comments from several of them afterwards, he was fairly well received by the group, whose members might look askance at Giuliani because of his prochoice, pro-gun control and pro-gay rights positions.

Some of the delegates indicated in their remarks that Giuliani's positions on cutting taxes and pursuing terrorists as well as the national prominence he gained from his post 9/11 leadership, make him the strongest Republican candidate for the 2008 election.

Bottom line, this must be the major consideration for conservatives to support Giuliani, they said.

Certainly, this line of reasoning is supported by the former mayor's consistence in emerging as the winner in most polls

pitting him against United States

Senator John McCain, his

closest Republican

opponent, and other

GOP hopefuls, as

well as

Democratic frontrunner

Hillary

Rodham Clinton.

As we see it, Giuliani has

a far better chance than any other Republican of defeating a Democrat in the presidential election, and this will persuade Republicans and Conservatives- and even some Democrats- to overlook whatever of Giuliani's faults might emerge in the campaign and lead them to join the Giuliani cause.

The Republicans' overriding concern is to win the presidency and deal with the minor issues afterward.

HILLARY'S PROBLEM: Senator Hillary Clinton's road to winning her party's presidential nomination, once seen as a smooth, clear path, has suddenly developed some bumps and minor delays since the entry of U.S. Senator Barack Obama on the scene.

Certainly the Iraq War was not a serious issue for Clinton before Obama, nor the black vote or early primaries or defections of once loyal and true big bucks campaign contributors.

Now these are all conditions the onetime all but anointed Democratic presidential candidate must deal with. None taken alone is earth shattering. Clinton can easily afford the loss of several campaign contributions or some support from the black community, even though it's somewhat embarrassing to be forced to give these matters her attention.

It's also embarrassing as well as frustrating and terribly annoying when a big name Democrat, such as New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, holds back on giving her his endorsement, which one of his aides reportedly says it will be forthcoming in a couple of months.

It's also disconcerting that the country's first woman presidential prospect is losing a poll here and there, and her numbers are eroding.

Most everyone would agree, we'd say, that Clinton is still the favorite and frontrunner, but somehow we all have to wait and see just how far this Obama campaign is going to go.

But the first primaries won't be held for about 10 months, and that's a long time to hold your breath.

WEINER'S 'GLOBAL WARMING' TOWN HALL: Congressmember Anthony Weiner (D- Queens/Brooklyn) held a screening of "An Inconvenient Truth", which won former Vice President Al Gore an Academy Award for Best Documentary, at a global warming panel discussion hosted by the lawmaker last Sunday at Queens College.

"The global warming emergency is one of the greatest troubles we face in our time," Weiner, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said. "it is important for the public to understand that there are steps we can take every day to guard the future of Planet Earth."

QUINN IN DUBLIN'S ST. PAT'S PARADE: After year's of boycotting the St. Patrick's Day Parade up Fifth Avenue because gay and lesbian groups are not allowed to march under their own banners in it, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn will be in Dublin to celebrate the holiday later this month.

Quinn, who is Irish and openly gay, will be accompanied at the four-day St. Patrick's Festival by several other councilmembers and her father.

"Irish-Americans and Irish people in Ireland are incredibly open and inclusive," Quinn (D- Manhattan) said. "The discriminatory stance of the Fifth Avenue parade is really a thing of the past."

Quinn has already marched in St. Patrick's Day parades this year in Woodside and on Staten Island, where there are no restrictions.

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