Roger L. Simon

Rudy on the Move

It’s obvious after Katrina that the presidential stock of “America’s Mayor” would be on the rise and Rudolph Giuliani put his toe in for that office – if not his hat – in a speech to business leaders today.

The business event, hosted by Visa USA, brought together corporate leaders, anti-fraud experts, and government officials to discuss credit card security. But the first question from audience members was about Giuliani’s possible return to public office.

Asked if he had any “political visions,” Giuliani laughed and rubbed his forehead.

“I have some political visions. I don’t know what they are yet, they’re a little foggy,” he said.

Okay, just “foggy” visions, no toe or hat…. but we all know what he means. Giuliani is in the lead in the latest polls for the Republican nomination. Of course, the Conventional Wisdom says that, although he might win the election, the Base will never let him get nominated. “Conventional Wisdom,” “Base”…. these are dull terms of political “art” we have had drummed into us for decades by minds that are indeed conventional themselves. It’s a form of hypnosis, I suppose, mixed with self-fulfilling prophecy. But I suspect that deep down a large part of the electorate is fed up with people telling them what to think or how to be pigeon-holed. It’s obvious that, out here in the Land of Arnold, Giuliani would stand a great chance in the primary and the election itself – but I also think it’s an insult to Texans and Georgians (etc.) to assume that their minds aren’t free enough to back a gutsy politician with whom they might not agree about everything. No, on this one, I’d bet heavily against the Conventional Wisdom (and, yes, once in a while, I’m a betting man).