Why neither Giuliani nor Perry will run

Texas Governor Rick Perry and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani both say that they are in the final stages of deciding whether to run for president in 2012.

Giuliani would challenge Mitt Romney from the left. He could be popular with Republican-leaning independents, who are likely to vote in large numbers in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Perry would challenge Romney from the right, galvanizing base voters who are currently splitting their allegiances between the former Bay State governor and Michele Bachmann.

The conventional wisdom among pundits is that conservatives are begging Perry to run and that the party faithful will flock to him if he does. But in truth, Perry’s appeal may be overstated. His bombastic rabble-rousing and mixed record on deficit-cutting could prove to be major political liabilities. And it’s been years since Perry has engaged in the kind of grassroots campaigning that the Iowa and New Hampshire contests demand — and that a congresswoman like Bachmann, who knows how to work a district, excels at.

Giuliani’s potential may also be overstated. His socially moderate policies still put him at a significant disadvantage, he’s been out of office for years and he’s not a terrific campaigner. Plus, some GOP funders are still upset about the way he handled his 2008 campaign. Still, Giuliani does well in the polls, and not just among independents.

Of course, there’s another huge variable that could shape the two men’s decisions: whether Sarah Palin decides to run.

If Palin runs, Perry probably won’t because of the enormous debt he owes her for helping rescue his re-election campaign last year.

But a Palin run would have the opposite effect on Giuliani. He’s made it clear in the past that a Palin run would increase the odds of him getting in, because it would allow him to position himself as the anti-Palin candidate.

In all likelihood, Palin won’t run, which means Giuliani probably won’t either.

That leaves Perry, who has spent much of this past week sounding out his prospective support in Iowa and New Hampshire. The news has been sobering. If he ran, given his late start, he probably wouldn’t be able to overtake Bachmann in Iowa or Romney in New Hampshire.

But he could weaken Bachmann and allow Romney to consolidate his position in New Hampshire, especially among moderates. That would leave a badly split three-way race, which is something Republicans don’t want.

My bet is that Perry won’t end up running. And once the fast-surging Bachmann sweeps to victory in the Ames straw poll next month, she and Romney will end up as the frontrunners.

So enjoy the current field. For better or worse, it’s the one we’re probably stuck with.

Stewart J. Lawrence is a Washington, D.C.-based public policy analyst who writes frequently on immigration and Latino affairs. He is also founder and managing director of Puentes & Associates, Inc., a bilingual survey research and communications firm.

  • stewlaw2009

    By the way, I probably do have a bias:

    I’m a native new Yorker, and I lived there, and under Rudy, and I would probably support him big-time. Yes, even with the cross-dressing. (Just kidding).

    He’s tough, but he’s a deal-maker. Of course, not strong on social issues, but strong in all the other areas, and he knows some thorny issues like immigration.

    Even though I don’t think he’s in, and there are real problems with him at the head of the ticket – no question.

    I think the big iussue is what going to happen to Palin’s residual support when she doesn’t run? Does it go to Bachmann, or say, to Perry? Or to Romney?

    In past polls, when she’s taken out, Romney actually gets a good share of her support – but this was before Bachmann surged and Perry was really a player.

    It’s very early, but basically, if that Palin support goes to Bachmann – then she’s going to be very strong, I think.

    But who knows, if Perry decides to run, as Palin may just up and endorse him. That’s what she did last year.

    Some people are speculating on a Perry-Palin ticket. That would be a disaster, and totally unnecessary.

    What do you think of a Perry-Giuliani ticket?

    The two men are very close, as you may or may not know, and the two could haul in an enormous amount of support across the board, even from some Democrats.

    If Giuliani were on the ticket, it would go a long way toward wooing indies who are going to be put off by Perry otherwise.

    The funny thing about Rudy? He’s a terrible campaigner for himself – he’s Hmalet after all – but he’s a terrific campaigner for others – Christie and Rubio and others found that out.

    He can help in key states (New York, NJ, California) and with key groups, including minorities,that Perry would have some trouble with.

    Two tough Governors – one from the Blue Northeeast, the other from the Red South. Frankly, it’s hard for me to imagine a better GOP ticket than that.

    • stevepolitik

      I do not think either Rudy or Perry add much to the cabal running in 2012. We need to win. Southern TX guy is not winning any states hard to win. Rudy on the other hand could not show himself well compared to others in 2008 and too much time has past for him to be a formidable candidate. It looks like Obama vs. Hillary republican style now. Oh well. I’m for Romney because he is a safe bet, independents like him to some level and knows how to play his cards. Bachmann is not a safe bet, it is a huge gable if she can win. Final prediction Romney as Pres Bachmann as VP. Romney will help with states like WI,MI,NH,ME,NV,CO and maybe MN with bachmann help most likely will go blue. Bachmann helps keep GOP engaged in VA,NC,IO,MO, and host of social conservative or southern states. That ticket wins the election without Florida and Ohio. Also the GOP needs to look at early voting. Early voting hurts republicans. MI doesn’t have this but the other states I mention do. This will be a hard fight and Romney is the only one who might be able to do this. If Christie ran it would have been a blowout be he is not going to run.

  • philF

    Everyone here can disagree, but I do believe Rick Perry will run. In both 1976 and 1980, Ronald Reagan entered later than people would prefer. Running later does NOT disable you from the nomination. It just means you have to work harder, which I believe Perry would do.

  • stewlaw2009

    Sandy, no thin skin here. I’m glad my pointed criticism prompted you to defend your views at greater length? I’m strictly an independent actually, and not in Bachmann’s “camp,” not at all. I do think, though, that she’s earning her spurs, by working her butt off, and not equivocating, while all these tough-talking guys, including Perry, are fast turning into poseurs.

    I do think Perry is very vulnerable – less in the prinmaries, than in the general, to the unfavorable Bush connection. I think I mentioned that I thought his political distance from the Bushes would actually help him, if he played on it. He’s disagreed with Bush in the past, certainly, and that’s partly why he got punished when he ran for re-election.

    But the idea of a second very Bush sounding and boyish smirking Governor from Texas, who was indeed groomed for his job by the same people who groomed Dubya, it’s going to lead to unfavorable comparison in the general.

    But the real issue I think is whether Perry or Giuliani are really prepared to do the work in the field – and I don’t think either is, in fact. The GOP leadership, or part of it, loving you isn’t going to be enough.

    And Perry would have to pivot to the center in ways he seems unprepared for. Right now there’s a national perception – and it’s growing – outside of GOP ranks that Perry is actually worse than Bush – a Sarah Palin clone practically.

    He’s polling worse than Bachmann is against Obama.

    As for Gingrich, what does polling poorly have to do with being chosen as the VP? Zero. Youy’re assuming you choose another top frtont runner as your running mate. hardly, usually just the opposite.

    Anyway, I hope you mkeep writing

    • Sandy E

      The chances of Perry getting into the race are high. The chances of Giuliani getting in are low, he is just making noises to remind people that he is still around.

      To counter your arguments-

      1. Perry has not been able to do much of anything until his state legislature session finished, which happened just recently.

      2. Every Republican candidate is vulnerable in the General, not just Perry. Heck, Obama and the libs tried to make McCain the “next Bush presidency.” I don’t care who wins the nom., they will be just another evil Bush type that destroyed the country, the libs will claim. Now, remember there was a poll at one time where Bush polled higher than Obama. Also, remember the “Miss me yet” ads going around. A majority would have taken Bush back in a heart beat over Obama. Bush allowed the libs and the MSM to beat him to a pulp, and never fought back. Perry has not allowed Obama and the MSM to destroy him, or the job he has been doing with his state. If anything Perry has displayed a steel spine against O and the libs with their attempts at state power grabs. Perry and the state legislature have fought for state rights, and have passed numerous pieces of legislation in an attempt to thwart the federal governments various intrusions, particularly the EPA. We both know that the libs will try to make Perry into Bush, when the only valid comparisons are they’ve both been Texas Governors, and they both have a Texas accent. Perry knows this also, and will take complete advantage in pointing out the great degree of acrimony between he and Bush, and the very different governing styles.

      3. As to Perry sounding like Bush, and having a “boyish smirk,” again, Perry and Bush are both from Texas, therefore they have the same accent. I personally have never seen Perry smirking, unless of course you consider his fight against Obama to be smirking. Bush was an Ivy League elite. Perry didn’t walk the halls of the Ivory Towers of academia, he went to a down home University. Perry wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth as Bush was. Perry is very charismatic, in a down to earth way. Where Bush apparently thought he was above fighting back to defend himself and his positions, because he was to classy for that, Perry has put on his boxing gloves, and has gone for the best for his state. Perry has been willing, able, and ready to take the fight back to Obama and the libs in a very public manner. In many ways, unlike many other Governors, he has been unwilling to ask how high when Obama tells him to jump.

      4. Again, as I have said above, Perry was unable to do much of anything until the legislature finished their session, which happened just recently. Who knows what Perry has been doing, quietly and behind the scenes to prepare for a run. Perry has been Governor of Texas for 10 years, so this isn’t his first time to the campaigning rodeo. From everything I’ve read Perry is a very avid and dedicated campaigner, and works hard for the elections he has won. He wouldn’t get into the race unless he was willing to go the extra miles required to be successful. I believe contrary to your idea that he has some GOP leadership support. You yourself have acknowledged that there is more than a little tension between the Bush camp and him. Also, the GOP leadership in Washington would not back someone who fought many of Bush’s positions, that they mostly went along with just to get along. Perry has very vocally fought back. Yes, that is why the RINO Kay Bailey Hutchison won their support for the Governor’s race. KBH was a good little RINO puppet, and she did ask how how when she was asked to jump. Perry held tight to his deep seated principles.

      5. Perry would not have to pivot to the center in order to gain votes. With no pivoting, Perry has been gaining momentum. See the headline article right here at the DC today showing his momentum surging. I do not believe that Perry will change any views or positions just to pick up the squishy middle, single issue, or agenda driven voters. Perry has strength in all three legs of the conservative stool. My local GOP leader had stated recently that in order for any candidate to win, they have to have at least some support from all three areas. They can be very strong in one area, and less strong in the other two. No one can win being strong in just one area, and have weak to no support in the other two. Perry may not have the strongest support with foreign policy, but there is no question that he loves this country, and will do all that is necessary to regain our position of strength throughout the world. Just this week he told the UN and Obama to mind their own business when it came to his states death penalty laws. One of Perry’s greatest strengths is his belief in states rights, and he is very much against federal intrusion into states issues. Not sure where you are getting the comparison of Perry to Palin, unless you are referring to their mutual respect, and friendship. Palin served a little more than 2 years of her first term. Perry is now a Governor for 10 years, and actually won re-election many times. Would it be because they are/were governors of big oil producing states, and both believe in drill here, drill now? Isn’t a majority of the country in support of those positions?

      6. The fact that he is polling worse than Bachmann in matchups against Obama means absolutely nothing. The only one that polled higher than Obama was Romney. Until fairly recently, Perry wasn’t even included in most of the polls. As soon as he was included, he immediately enters with double digit numbers, and they are growing. When Perry announces, which will be soon, every poll number will change for everyone. When Palin backs down, and supports Perry, and asks her many supporters to back Perry, he will be unstoppable. One of the greatest mistakes of the Bachmann campaign manager Rollins, was when he came out attacking Palin on the day after he was hired. I highly doubt any of Palin’s supporters will jump over to Bachmann, unless of course they just want to see the first female president, and there unfortunately are those out there.

      7. As to Gingrich, his poor polling performance is the least of his problems, though it does show a trend away from much if any support. I didn’t say that the eventual nominee needed to chose a front runner as his running mate. On the contrary. I believe history shows that most nominees go outside of the presidential field to choose a running mate. If the eventual nominee shows a lack of good judgment, and chooses Gingrich, who many believe to be a moderate squish, it would be a sever blow to their campaign. Unlike past presidential election years, 2012 will prove to be one of principled votes. I don’t agree with those that have promised to stay home if they don’t get their guy, but I am not naive enough to believe that it wouldn’t happen.

      Sorry for the long post, however, I do believe that you are simply not a Perry supporter, and that’s certainly your choice. I felt it necessary to counter what appears to be unfair, and mischaracterized views and opinions of Perry, but, these are my personal views and opinions as well.

      • stewlaw2009

        Sandy, no problem on the length. I am not a Perry supporter or detractor. I am not a Abachmann supporter either. I’m from neither state and have worked for neither. I just call them as I see them.

        I think Perry’s being over-hyped as a candidiate, because of GOP desperation, and Bachmann is still underrated. Frankly, if we’re going to lose, which we well might, I’d much rather lose with Michele.

        I’d love to see the GOP be the first of the two parties to run with a woman.

        Te difference here may or may not be that I also travel in Dem and indie circles, and not just GOP ones. It changes your views somewhat – perhaps – about how candidiates might be viewed broadly by voters and what might happen in the general.

        Perry’s just not going to play as well as everyone thinks. Romney. whom I do not like, is playing well – and polling well – because he appeals to the broader voters’ desire for stability – even boredom – rather than passion, hope and change.

        People are very very afraid out there right now, and they want to be reassured by a steady, fairly moderate presence, it appears. Obama is swinging to the center in a very astute way right now – and it’s going to kill the GOP even if unemployment is 9% next year.

        Just my view of it. In presidential politics, a lot depends on your ability to project a vision and your presence – as well as the policy substance.

        If the GOP thinks it can win simply by saying look how bad things are – it’s all OBaama’s fault, choose us now – it’s dreaming. That’sa a great way to win a solid 45% of the vote in November 2012, and to go back to the drawing board for 2016.

        • Sandy E

          When you said that you were a total independent, I did detect that you were probably not a reliable Republican vote. Your post now confirms to me that you really don’t have any real animosity, disgust or fear of the direction of the country under the Obama regime. For me you have taken a hike Stewart Lawrence. You are a Liberal plant at the DC. No wonder you have come out with some very weak, and shoddy comments against Perry, that are totally your personal opinion and nothing else. Good to know that Perry scares the heck out of you libs. He can and will wipe the floor with your boy, the amazing O.

  • stewlaw2009

    The only “wishful thinking” going on is that the GOP needs a man on a White Horse to save it – or that one even exists. There are fine candidiates working very hard in the field right now. Giuliani’s a great guy who constantly flirts with runs – the Senate, the Governorship, now twice for the presidency – and then always bails out. He’s the Hamlet of the GOP. Rick Perry isn’t even that well known up North, though from the way some GOP operatives talk, you’d think he was Julius Caesar.

  • stewlaw2009

    @J Baustian. It’s hard to say what’s worse. The pundit hype about the GOP prospects or the hype coming from the prospects and all the wannabes looking to work for them.

  • J Baustian

    99% of all predictions will end up being wrong. But that will not keep the pundits (or us mere mortals) from continuing to speculate about the future. That is what humans do.

  • Pingback: Morning Roundup for July 13th, 2011…Red Racing Horses….. - Politicaldog101.Com

  • MinneMike

    Giulani would run if Palin does? What a joke.

    This column shows the poor insight the author has about GOP politics.

    • Sandy E

      Agree MinneMike- This is wishful thinking on the author’s part, rather than an honest and intelligent analysis. He’s written other “take it to the bank” type articles that were just as off the wall.

      • stewlaw2009

        Happy to review those with you – any time. I love people who trash writers without offering anything other than their own dismissive attitude? It’s a sure sign of intellectual weakness.

        • Sandy E

          Mr. Lawrence- If you are going to write opinion articles for a website that allows comments, you should be prepared for dissenting views to your opinions, or in other words toughen up your apparent thin skin. It is a display of intellectual weakness when an author accuses those that comment of the same because they find the authors opinions to not be valid or credible for any number of reasons.

          You wrote another article about Rick Perry back in May, with all of the accomplishments Perry has achieved, but, then went on to spend just as much time painting a picture of Perry as being the next George Bush, knowing that many Republicans and every liberal hated Bush. I would expect to see the Bush/Perry comparison being shouted from the rooftops from every liberal, but it is unappealing to see those supposedly on our side doing the same. Of course it is a tactic being used by some who have already jumped on another candidates bandwagon. Here is what you said about Perry-

          “Of course, there’s a distinct irony here. The Perry road to the GOP nomination — a late draft by a deadlocked and under-performing party in need of a “dark horse” — resembles nothing less than the strategy that catapulted George W. Bush to the nomination in 2000. Bush never actively sought the nomination either, which allowed him to project an image of genial diffidence that helped endear him to Republicans. Perry, if he runs, is likely to position himself as a Bush-like compassionate Christian conservative who simply responded to his party’s “call to serve.””

          Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/23/rick-perry-and-the-gops-texas-option/#ixzz1S0vIwYQE

          As to my statement that you have written other “take it to the bank” articles, you wrote-

          “Bachmann-Gingrich in 2012, You heard it here first.”

          It seems obvious that you have gotten on Bachmann’s bandwagon, but at the same time you pair her with a candidate that can’t get out of single digits in the polls, and whose campaign is imploding and broke. When Gingrich sat on the couch with Pelosi, saying that we can tackle Global Warming together, he should have known that he was a has been in the political world. He has also gotten behind some other liberal positions, and began his campaign with a knock to Paul Ryan, who has earned widespread conservative support. To pair Bachmann with Gingrich is to ask many to really venture into their most wild imaginations.

          Sorry I have offended your very sensitive ego. I will simply not read your articles any longer.

    • stewlaw2009

      Rudy is on the record numerous times saying he would be far more likely to jump in the race if Palin entered. Here’s just one example:
      Maybe he doesn’t understand GOP politics any better than I do? He’s been
      accused of that.

  • Genius of Love

    To quote former (and maybe future) Rep. Allan Grayson of Florida: The Republican presidential candidates “seem to be in some kind of contest among themselves for the biggest, most callous tool. They all seem to be running for college class president at some fundamentalist Christian school that nobody has ever heard of, not for President of the United States.”