Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 13, 2007
POLITICS: Ted Olson Endorses Rudy Giuliani
The biggest obstacle for Rudy Giuliani in the GOP primaries is his stance on social issues, which in many cases diverges from the views of most GOP primary voters and the party's platform. And for the most part, Mayor Giuliani is not backing off those positions, most notably his belief that abortion should be legal.
For me and other socially conservative, pro-life voters who are inclined to support Mayor Giuliani, however, there is one bridge he can build to make him acceptable - appoint judicial conservatives to the federal bench, judges who are likely to leave divisive social issues to voters in the states rather than attempt to settle them through extra-textual and ahistorical readings of the Constitution.
In convincing voters that Mayor Giuliani is serious about appointing those kinds of judges, there are few endorsements better than the one he just picked up: former Bush Administration Solicitor General, Reagan Administration head of the Office of Legal Counsel and long time Federalist Society lawyer Ted Olson:
Olson and Giuliani have been longtime friends since serving in the Reagan Justice Department from 1981-1983, when Olson was assistant attorney general in charge of the office of legal counsel and Giuliani was associate attorney general. Olson said they met with Attorney General William French Smith every morning and worked closely on a number of issues.
The support of Olson should help Giuliani in his quest to win over social conservatives who remain skeptical of his pledge to appoint strict constructionist judges.
"I've known him for 26 years and we've talked about this many times," Olson said. "He feels very strongly that people like Justice Scalia, Chief Justice Roberts, Sam Alito, Clarence Thomas, are the type of people that he would put on the court . . .I'm quite convinced that this is a genuine viewpoint that he has."
I have to express some surprise here - I saw Olson give a rousing introduction to John McCain at the Federalist Society Convention and figured he was on the McCain bus; apparently he was just being hospitable. It's a long race, and there will be many more tests ahead for Rudy's courtship of social conservatives. But today is a good day for that endeavor. Ted Olson embodies the judicial conservative movement as well as anyone outside the judiciary itself, and Rudy could do much worse than to listen to his advice.
On a less optimistic note, Rudy seems to be buying into the global warming caucus here.