Wednesday, November 22, 2006

NY Times: Giuliani Files to Explore Run for President

On Nov. 15, Mr. Giuliani met in Manhattan with supporters who could form the core of a national fund-raising effort, including Thomas O. Hicks, the owner of the Texas Rangers; Mel M. Immergut, the chairman of the New York law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; and William E. Simon Jr., an investor who ran for governor of California in 2002.

Mr. Giuliani crisscrossed the country this year, visiting 25 states to campaign with or raise money for Republican candidates, according to his political action committee, Solutions America. But political analysts say his liberal views on social issues like abortion and gay rights could be a liability in a Republican primary.

“Everyone I’ve talked to keeps dismissing him for one reason or another: that he’s from New York, that he’s moderate, that he’s wrong on one social issue or another,” said Frank I. Luntz, a Republican pollster who worked for Mr. Giuliani in his 1993 and 1997 mayoral campaigns. “They don’t know Rudy Giuliani, and they don’t understand the electorate. The public is demanding intelligent leadership and is far more focused on personal attributes of the candidates than on specific policy issues.”

Mr. Luntz said he believed that the midterm elections, which cost Republicans control of Congress, would lead party members to consider an unorthodox candidate like Mr. Giuliani.

“There’s a great fear among the G.O.P. — and it’s a legitimate fear — that they could end up losing everything,” he said. “In times of genuine crisis, leadership matters a heck of a lot more than anything else.”


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