Towards A Good Samaritan World

Friday, September 02, 2005


As far as I'm concerned, the GOP has three champions for president in 2008: John McCain, Rudy Giuiliani, and Condoleeza Rice. McCain is a symbol of the most admirable side of what the Bush administration has unexpectedly become: a brave hawk in foreign policy, supportive of immigration, a soldier's ethos of honor and patriotism. Rudy Giuliani has an odd and unique background as Republicans go: thanks to his New York roots, he not only symbolizes America's response to 9/11, but he breaks the mold of red-state Republicanism and represents the hope for a broader, majority party. As for Condi, one obvious qualification is that she's a black woman, and thus if she won the election, she would achieve the spectacular feat of breaking the gender and the racial glass ceiling for the US presidency at the same time. But she's also talented, extremely highly educated and intelligent for a Republican presidential candidate, and closely identified with Bush's signature contribution to foreign policy, the war on terror.

I mention these three more for what they symbolize than for any actual leadership or managerial capacities they have that I'm aware of. Which is okay. I think the president's symbolic role is as important as any. However, the policies with which these three are identified are also admirable, and in particular, liberal: in Rudy's case, urban renewal (in an unduly suburban country, not to say Party); in McCain's case, on immigration; in Condi's case, liberation. It would be nice if "liberal Republican" were neither an oxymoron, nor a term of scorn, nor an allusion to appeasement of Great Society paleoliberalism, but instead connoted a different, and more faithful to history, interpretation of the word "liberal," referring to a belief in free-market capitalism and spreading freedom and democracy. Giuliani, McCain and Rice are all liberal Republicans in this, the best sense of the term.

Any of them would be likely to attract a large number of Democratic votes and win in a landslide, thus serving to provide the "national unity" that has eluded the Bush administration. If the Republicans nominate anyone other than McCain, Guiliani, or Rice, it will be a missed opportunity and I for one will be disappointed. (But I could change my mind. There's a long time yet for good candidates to appear.)

So I was disappointed to read about this.


  • I agree with you, those are all excellent presidential candidates as far as Republicans go. If I personally had to choose between the three, I would vote for McCain, because he seems the most committed to work for bipartisan solutions. Rice is the most educated and the most intelligent of the three, and that's a big plus in my book, but I don't respect her unequivocal support of the Bush administration. She plays politics more than I'd like, similar to Hilary Clinton. Giuliani is the hardest one for me to figure out, and if it hadn't been for 9/11, we might not even be talking about him. But he's still infinitely more preferable than a candidate like Frist or Santorum.

    By Blogger Thomas Reasoner, at 1:43 PM  

  • McCain is too old. End of story. Condoleeza Rice would never make it through a Republican primary battle and I doubt she'd even have the stomach for it. Ditto for Rudy. Truth be told, I'd love to see any one of those three as Presidents, perhaps more than any potential Democratic candidates, but they're just not realistic. The smart money, I think, is on Jeb Bush. He's more electable than his brother and, with the name recognition and the weight of the South, would have a virtual lock on the election. He says now he doesn't want to run, but we've all heard that before. Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised if the likes of Chuck Hegel or Bill Frist take a stab. On the D-side, I think Joe Biden probably has the best run. Whatever one may think of her, Hillary don't hasn't a snowball's . ..

    By Anonymous Andrew, at 10:26 PM  

  • I like those picks. I guess out of the 3, Condi would be my preference, but probably not the most realistic choice. I just don't think the country's ready to make that move. Next I'd go for McCain because he's just an all around good guy, and you'd have to be a snake in the grass to attack him. But yea, as Andrew said, he is getting up there in years, so we'll have to see what's up with him when election time rolls around. Guiliani's a cool guy, but a little too liberal for the Republican party's nomination, I think. Let's not forget about Frist; he seems to be emerging on the scene more every day. Who knows, maybe we'll end up with a dark horse when all is said and done.

    By Blogger therightchoice05, at 12:26 AM  

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