Giuliani or Romney?
The conventional wisdom has Rudy Giuliani leading the Republican pack. Mitt Romney, with his strong early leads in Iowa and New Hampshire, is seen as number two. Most of these people see Fred Thompson as somehow inadequate.
I won't disagree with anyone who says that Fred Thompson isn't exactly bursting with energy. It is undeniable that his many of his policies are poorly defined. But he far better than Rudy Giuliani or Mitt Romney.
Rudy Giuliani did a very good job as major of New York. He slashed crime and made the city livable. Many New Yorkers revere him. But he is not a good presidential candidate.
His deviations from the conservative line are well documented. He is pro-abortion, and anti-gun. In addition, New York under his leadership was a sanctuary city for illegals.
In addition, Hillary Clinton's supporters have to be salivating over a Giuliani-Clinton race. Rudy Giuliani has been married three times. His kids don't speak to him. There is his infamous crossdressing skit on Saturday Night Live. The Clintons, who are masters at this game, will use all of these mistakes with devastatingly skill.
Giuliani's social positions will also hurt him. Although a possible third party doesn't seem to be on the horizon, Giuliani will almost certainly lose a significant number of votes because of his support for abortion. Given the Republicans precarious position, any loss of votes would be disastrous.
Mitt Romney is not the answer either. His conservative credentials are pretty strong, if you ignore the fact that he seems to have picked them up two years ago. However, he has won one election in his entire political career. Furthermore, his governorship of Massachusetts, while solid, was not exactly a rousing conservative success. He didn't make any mistakes in Massachusetts, but he didn't have many stirring victories either.
Romney's image may also be a problem. While he is handsome, and articulate, he seems very scripted and artificial. During the debates, he looks positively robotic. While Hillary isn't exactly cuddley, the GOP still would be wise to nominate someone who doesn't look and act like a robot.
If Mitt Romney is nominated, I will vote for him with a light, if not enthusiastic, heart. If Rudy is nominated, I will vote for him on the theory that half a loaf is better than none. However, if either Rudy or Mitt is elected, the Republicans will stand a good chance of losing the White House. I don't know if Fred Thompson is the answer. But I am almost sure that Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney aren't.
UPDATE: Ann Coulter has just written a column attacking Fred Thompson. Her critism:
That's it. That is Ann Coulter's entire case against Fred Thompson. If one mistake is enough to sink someone's campaign, why not go after Rudy on abortion rights?
In 1999, Sen. Fred Thompson... vote[d] against removing Bill Clinton from office