Republican presidential front-runner Rudy Giuliani on Wednesday compared Sen. Hillary Clinton to George McGovern—the Democrat trounced by Richard Nixon in 1972—as he stepped up direct attacks on the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. Giuliani said Clinton’s idea of giving every American baby a $5,000 savings bond was like something taken from McGovern’s “playbook.” A Clinton spokesman Giuliani’s “entire campaign” was to attack others “instead of talking about what he would do if elected.”
There go the baby boomers again, diving back into “exhausted squabbles they’ve exhausted since Vietnam,” said Andrew Sullivan in his blog on TheAtlantic.com. “Bush vs Gore and Bush vs Kerry were really re-matches of 1968 all over again. If you want one more round of boomer conflict, you couldn't do better than a Clinton-Giuliani match-up, could you?” It’s Nixon vs. McGovern, the rematch.
There’s a reason Rudy’s coming out swinging, said Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin in ThePolitico.com. The Democrats are ahead in fundraising, and Giuliani is worried. Giuliani is already in the dog house with conservatives for his liberal social views, so he has to avoid “antagonizing social conservatives” by attacking his GOP rivals. But by attacking Clinton, Giuliani makes a Clinton-Giuliani contest seem inevitable, and shifts attention away from his own “deviations from conservative orthodoxy” by reminding conservatives “who their true adversaries are.”
Giuliani can’t wish away his differences with religious conservatives, said Kenneth Blackwell in The New York Sun. Christian leaders, including James Dobson of Focus on the Family, have threatened to back a third-party candidate if the Republicans nominate a candidate who supports abortion rights—and that means Giuliani. The former New York mayor “has a responsibility to reach out and talk” with Dobson and other social conservative leaders. “Millions rely on them to benchmark candidates. Ignoring them will cost Mr. Giuliani millions of votes and the White House.”