Aide: Terrorist Act Will Make Giuliani President

Monday, March 5, 2007

Rudy Giuliani told Larry King last month that he was running for president before setting off on a series of carefully staged campaign events around the country to prove the point. Just showing that he meant it gave Giuliani a serious bump in the polls and worried his rivals. After a slow start, Giuliani's candidacy has gained ground in recent weeks. In the new Newsweek Poll, Giuliani leads Sen. John McCain by 25 points (59 to 34 percent) as the choice of registered Republicans and voters leaning Republican for the party's nomination, while former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney trails both men by more than 30 points.

"I have thought for the longest time that [Giuliani] had zero chance," an aide to another Republican candidate who asked for anonymity talking up the chances of his boss's rival, tells Newsweek. "But he's got real momentum. And if there's a terrorist attack between now and the election, he could be the next president of the United States."

In the March 12 Newsweek cover, "The Real Rudy," (on newsstands Monday, March 5), Senior Writer and Political Correspondent Jonathan Darman profiles Giuliani, the man who came to be known as "America's Mayor" following 9/11. Darman reports that the former mayor's life story is that of a man with a righteous sense of right and wrong and who excels when the world presents him with a crisis, and, when left to his own devices, creates crises for himself.

Darman examines what America will make of the real Giuliani, who still may need to win over social conservatives as he begins his campaign. "I can guarantee you that the majority of Southern Baptists will not vote for Giuliani," says Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. "President Truman said he would never hire someone who cheated on his wife, because if a person breaks his marriage oath he could also break his oath of office."

"Giuliani is highly respected by lots of Americans because of his leadership after 9/11," says Gary Bauer, president of the conservative nonprofit organization American Values. "In fact, there is evidence that it might be the only thing people could tell you about him." A particular weakness for Giuliani may be gun control, a cause he advocated again and again as part of his crimefighting plan in New York. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, asks: "The question is, do you need someone who is 100 percent on these issues, or someone who reaches a threshold? He wouldn't be polling so well if he wasn't coming close to a

certain threshold."



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