The New York Daily News suggested Thursday that, according to one source, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani might use a run for Senate--if he wins--as a launching pad for taking another stab at the White House in 2012.
Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign went down in flames, more or less, but he remains a nationally recognized figure with a respectable support base. So, in light of this speculation, why not engage in some more, and ask what a Giuliani presidential campaign in 2012 would look like?
If Giuliani entered a Republican primary field, it would, unavoidably, introduce a very significant element into the campaign: he would be the only Republican presidential candidate not running hard to the right.
As conservatives have mobilized this year against President Obama's economic agenda--and against Obama himself--there is a tremendous amount of fiscal-conservative energy within the right's ranks, with a strong movement to purge centrists from the GOP. And 2012 contenders know it: the conservative grassroots provide a source of energy that candidates want (and will want) to tap.
Nor do they want that conservative energy to turn against them: they've seen how conservatives have mobilized, nationally, to attack Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in Florida, and no one wants to become the Charlie Crist of the national political scene. Tea Partiers and Freedom Works activists will look to mobilize across the country in 2010 races, and that could prove a test run for conservative grassroots influence in 2012.