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Rudy, the Surprise

(...) He leads among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents because they believe he's their most electable candidate. (Coincidentally, Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents also think Giuliani's the GOP's best hope.) And he offers what Republicans polled said they prize most in a candidate: strong leadership, something they apparently associate with his role in New York in reducing crime and handling the city's post-9/11 trauma.

(...) Giuliani has been, without question, the surprise of the race. He's managed this with a smart and energetic campaign that has let him put a discreet distance between himself and Bush while burnishing his own anti-terrorism credentials. As he insisted to Republicans in Manchester, N.H., "Democrats don't understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us." A Democratic president, he said, would "wave the white flag ... put us back on defense." W could not have said it better.

John Farmer, sul Newark Star-Ledger.


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