THE PLANK APRIL 5, 2007
Rudy Giuliani's recent blunder on the subject of public funding for abortions is certainly making waves.
Here's Ross Douthat on the subject:
Giuliani's campaign has "thus far been able to shield him from the sort of mild media scrutiny that even your typical Republican endures." Which is impressive, I suppose, but "thus far" is only a month or so, and shielding their candidate from media scrutiny can't really be the Giuliani campaign's only strategy--or can it? This, I think, is the most alarming possibility for Rudy's many friends on the right: That their candidate, who can be a potent contender if he works out smart answers to the various inconvenient questions awaiting him, has instead decided that he's Rudy Giuliani, damn it, and the GOP can bloody well change to suit him rather than the other way around.
In short, Rudy's gaffe may have had a lot to do with Rudy's ego. When the former mayor jumped into the race, one of my TNR colleagues said that he didn't think Giuliani could win because the electorate would tire of his authoritarian tendencies. The corollary to this is that if you are imperious and domineering, you end up ignoring smart advisors and resisting necessary tweaks to your philosophy.