Monday, November 19, 2007

Rudy Vroom Vroom

Unabashed plagarism, shameless pandering, staggering disingenuous BS from a megalomaniac, or the the epitome of irony... You decide:

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — As pit crews made last-minute inspections to their cars Sunday at NASCAR's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stressed the need for America to break its dependence on foreign oil.
Giuliani likened the pursuit of energy independence and the development of alternative energy sources to the race to put a man on the moon several decades ago.
"Now it's a matter truly of national security," Giuliani said. "We have to pursue all of those alternatives that exist."
In the meantime, Giuliani said, the U.S. needs to focus on domestic sources of oil, as well as oil from friendly countries like Mexico and Canada. He said conservation also will have to play a role.
Clearly, Rudy is no Al Gore, who for years, has repeatedly "likened" the challenge of solving global warming, fostering energy alternatives, and reducing oil dependency to the incredible feat of putting "a man on the moon."

Unlike Al, however, the press will probably forgive Rudy for "corny invocations of America's can-do, put-a-man-on-the-moon spirit" and continue to hype Giuliani as America's mayor and hero of 9/11. Will the media notice that Rudy borrowed from Al Gore? Nah. When did the press treat Al fairly?

Also unlike Al Gore, Rudy chose a sports event to deliver his energy message where gas-guzzling racing cars speed along at 100+ MPH for hours. Essentially, Rudy communicated, "Listen up, NASCAR fans. We need to quit suckling off the Mideast oil teat for the sake of national security, innovate other fuel sources, and conserve. But what the hell. Start your engines after I take a few laps in the official pace car."

Meanwhile, Rudy has pocketed "more money from the energy industry — $477,208 through the first half of 2007 — than any other presidential candidate" and he remains partners with a DC energy industry lobbying firm that successfully thwarted a tax on oil company windfall profits. The relationship has translated into millions for Giuliani's growing fortune.

So what gives? [Keep reading...]

My local newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote that Rudy's gone NASCAR, "hoping for a Southern hug":
...some folks in the land of y'all have cottoned to a GOP presidential candidate from the land of youse guys....
...For Giuliani, like an anthropologist currying favor in another culture, it's another day of mingling at a tribal ritual.
"No question about it," Barry Wynn, a South Carolina banker and chairman of Giuliani's campaign in that early-primary state. "There are a lot of NASCAR followers in South Carolina. Whether it translates into votes I'm not sure, but it certainly translates into some common interests."...
...Fundraising reports also show southern financial support for the New Yorker. Giuliani is the top GOP fundraiser in six of the 12 southern states, including the big two (Texas and Florida) as well as Alabama, Louisiana and both Carolinas.
And he has supporters among the NASCAR elite. Top drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Casey Mears each have given him $2,300, the maximum allowed by law. Other donors include NASCAR Chairman Brian France and Rick Hendrick, head of Hendrick Motorsports, a top NASCAR team.
Some of Giuliani's fund-raising prowess in Dixie flows from his deep business ties in the region through his affiliation with the Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani law firm. Pat Oxford, the firm's managing partner, is in charge of Giuliani's fundraising operation.
The firm's client list includes or has included several major utility companies in the South, including TXU, Florida Power and Light, the Southern Company and Duke Energy.
According to a recent Survey USA poll, Rudy outpaces Mitt Romney by six points and Fred Thompson by eight in South Carolina. He also leads "the GOP field in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, and [runs] a close second to Thompson in Alabama." He trails Thompson in Georgia by 19 points but his favorability rating runs higher than Fred's.

When southern conservatives get wind of Rudy's pro-gay, pro-choice social positions, will they bolt? If Giuliani clinches the GOP nomination, I suspect a majority of southern rubes will line up for Rudy in the general election. A Democrat in the WH elicits more fear than a social liberal Republican, even if he's a flip-flopper with a pathological tendency to lie about exaggerate his credentials and tough guy record. Remember George W. Bush? Uh-huh. The Deep South's kinda quaint and prone to tribal overtures, something Rudy hopes to exploit.