Running From Their Records

McClatchey continues its revolutionary journalism efforts by looking at the records in office of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, as compared to their current rhetoric:

Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney share a big problem as barnstorm across American trying to act like tough guys on immigration: their past.

Each ran a jurisdiction that's arguably among the nation's most tolerant, where cracking down on illegal immigrants wasn't good politics.

But now, Giuliani, the mayor of New York from 1994 to 2001, and Romney, the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 through January, are battling for the Republican presidential nomination amid an uproar over illegal immigration. So they're gritting their teeth, squaring their shoulders and vowing to throw the bums out and keep them out.

The whole piece is pretty strong, except for the unfortunate decision to quote the embarrassingly-in-the-tank Fred Siegel defending the consistency of Giuliani's views as if he's a neutral source. The question that remains, though, is what does this spell for their likely future policies as president. More broadly, however, the 2008 elections shake out, we're likely to see a majority in congress that secretly favors a comprehensive reform approach along Bush/Kennedy/McCain lines and we're likely to see a president who thinks the same way. But at the same time, it seems exceedingly unlikely that we'll get such an approach, since politicians of both parties have pretty firmly decided that the politics of the issue require ever-growing boasts of toughness.