Robert Novak … that font of the most conventional of conventional wisdom … tells us today what almost everybody has known for a year or three – Rudy Giuliani is running for President. [Hey, wasn’t Novak the first to write that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent?-ed. That was even more conventional wisdom.] As almost everybody also knows, Giuliani has been leading the polls for the Republican nomination virtually since they started. But continuing in his preferred mode of CW, Novak goes on to write: Republican insiders respond to these numbers by saying rank-and-file GOP voters will abandon Giuliani once they realize his position on abortion, gay rights and gun control. Party strategists calculate that if he actually runs, he must change on at least one of these issues.
But suppose he doesn’t. Suppose Giuliani actually stands by his views and the Republican Party – enough of it anyway – moves toward him and he actually gets the nomination without altering those positions. [I just saw Novak reaching for his beta blockers.-ed. Make sure he gets proper attention.] It would certainly make things easier for the Republicans in the general election with a candidate (the hero of 9/11) outflanking the Dems in almost every important direction. And the public would get what it seems to want – someone socially liberal but strong on defense. That would constitute a sea change in American politics. Of course, I could be a dreamer, as someone once said. But I’m not the only one. (via Glenn)