Baseball Crank
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:

"I admire his character, his capacity for leadership, his instincts, and his principles," Olson said over the phone this afternoon. He said he will help Giuliani raise money as well as offer advice on legal issues and domestic policy matters that involve constitutional questions.

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.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:07 PM | Law 2006-08 • | Politics 2008 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Crank, no matter how you look at it, when you say Rudy should appoint "...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." it will create divisivness. Big time divisivness.

Let me ask you this: You want the voters in the states to vote on abortion rights. In fact, I agree. What doi you say if and when such rights are passed in, say California, Vermont and New York, but not so in Utah. You would then live in a state where Pro Choice has become law as a result of voter wish. What do you do then?

I would vote for the rights of course. But I would also insist (as I do now) on widespread availability of contraceptives, and full instructions on how to use them. I've had all sorts of discussions with my kids regarding sex. I was probably more embarrassed than they at first. All they wanted was straight answers. All people want to give them are curved ones.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at February 13, 2007 10:25 PM


I believe people are misreading this race. Everyone is saying Rudy can win the general but not the Republican primary. I disagree. If he won the primary I strongly doubt he would win in the general. As soon as the nomination was sewn up you would see an endless stream of ugly articles detailing the various baggage that Rudy carries.

Every couple elections Republicans get it in their heads that the way to win is to run a "moderate" that will draw crossover votes from the Dems. Doesn't happen. The Dems that would like Rudy's liberal positions will just buy the real thing. Rudy has repeatedly said he thinks we should win the war which further kills any chance of getting any Dems to to vote for him.

Rudy may have been a good mayor but he has no chance of winning the presidency.

Posted by: largebill at February 14, 2007 11:26 AM
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