I have changed my mind several times about who would be the best GOP presidential nominee and will probably change it a few more over the coming weeks. In my column at Townhall today I talk about some of the reasons for my indecision.
The strangest thing happened on the way to the Presidential primaries. I changed my mind about almost every candidate – and in some cases even changed it back again. I never had completely made my mind up about who I thought the best GOP nominee would be, but I had some strong opinions. Many of those have changed after watching the candidates perform for the past year.
I have been a fan of Rudy Giuliani for many years and even wrote about the strengths he would bring to the Presidency on two separate occasions over the past two years. Those strengths are still there, but as I wrote over a year ago, he also brings some negatives. Rudy’s strengths are being able to lead in a time of crisis, being tough on law and order, having a track record of doing what most said couldn’t be done in New York City, fiscal conservatism and being able to communicate effectively. The “communication thing” is incredibly important to me because if George Bush had better communicated the situation in Iraq, public opinion of the war would never have reached the lows it did. If Bush’s approval numbers had been higher he would have been able to accomplish much more on a variety of issues. If anything, the presidency of George Bush taught us that a President in this age of media must possess strong communication skills to be effective. Rudy was not only a good communicator during 9/11, but he has consistently spoken forcefully on the issue of terrorism and the war since then. Then I get to the negatives for Rudy, and go into some of the positives and negatives for the other candidates including Fred Thompson, who has impressed me lately.
[updated to add link – jra]