After trying to pin Giuliani down about whether he's definitely running, Hannity asks the dopey question "Are you in it to win it?" Giuliani turns that into a chance to make the case for himself succinctly and -- I think -- brilliantly. The "only reason to do it" is to try to win it and:
The first thing you have to do is say to yourself: What can I bring to it? What can I do that's different or... And how can I make the country better? How can I prove it? And I think that the experiences that I've had Mayor of New York City, United States Attorney, all of them very, very strongly kind of...Don't know why he went soft with the "kind of"...
... in the executive area where you have to have leadership and organization and focus...Unlike the Senate!
... and having dealt with a city that was in really bad shape when I, when I took over and that had to kind of turn around...I think he throws in "kind of" when his inner voice warns him not to sound like a braggart.
I think it gives you the background to approach it and to feel pretty comfortable that you can make a difference.I wrote that I thought this part was brilliant before I transcribed it and got the chance to see the imperfections and the rambling structure. But I think this is not inarticulateness. I think it's intentionally pulling back from a stronger, more glib way of speaking that people might find off-putting. In addition to those two "kind ofs," he uses the word "you" instead of the more precise "I," and he breaks up the core statement -- that he's the experienced, strong, successful executive -- with softening material about "mak[ing] a difference" and "feel[ing] pretty comfortable." What I remembered before taking the time to transcribe this, was, in fact, that core statement, and all that extra material that surprised me when I did the transcription is the lubrication that let the message get through without irritation. So I'm sticking with my opinion that it was brilliant.
Hannity grills Giuliani about all the social conservative issues. This is important. Hannity represents the sector of voters that Giuliani needs to reach. The first big question is about abortion: "Where does Rudy Giuliani stand on abortion, and do you think Roe v. Wade is good law/bad law?" Rudy:
Where I stand on abortion is: I oppose it. I don't like it. I hate it. I think abortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that, and I think, ultimately, you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience, and you have to respect the choice that somebody makes.Hannity asks him if he'd look for someone like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito. (I note the non-mention of Thomas.)
So what I do say to conservatives because then you want to look at, well, okay, what can we look to that is similar to the way you think. I think the appointment of judges that I would make would be very similar to if not exactly the same as the last two judges that were appointed. Chief Judge, uh, Justice Roberts is somebody I work with, somebody I admire. Justice Alito, someone I knew when he was U.S . Attorney, also admire. If I had been president over the last four years, I can't think of any, you know, that I'd do anything different than that. I guess the key to it is -- and I appointed over 100 judges when I was the mayor so it's something I take very, very seriously -- I would appoint judges that interpreted the Constitution rather than invented it, understood the difference of being a judge and being a legislator -- and having argued a case before the Supreme Court, having argued in many, many courts -- is something I would take very seriously.
Scalia is another former colleague of mine and somebody I consider to be a really great judge. You're never going to get somebody exactly the same, and I don't think you have a litmus test, but I do think you have sort of a general philosophical approach that you want from a justice, and I think a strict constructionist would be probably the way I'd describe it.Hannity gets back to the part of his abortion question that Rudy never answered: "Is Roe bad law?"
I think that's up to the Court to decide. It's been precedent for a very, very long time. There're questions about the way it was decided, the basis for it. At this point, it's precedent. It's going to be very interesting to see, what Chief Justice Roberts and what Justice Scalia, um, Justices Scalia and Alito do with it.Why does he throw in Scalia and not mention Thomas? Because he knows Scalia? Because they share an ethnic identity? It's not going to be "very interesting to see" what Scalia does. We've seen it! Actually, I think he meant to just name the two new justices, but said Scalia for Alito, in the usual "Scalito" fashion.
I think probably they're going to limit [Roe], rather than overturn it...He goes on, with various details about different sorts of statutes regulating abortion, but see what he's done? He still hasn't said that he thinks Roe was rightly or wrongly decided. It's a matter for the justices, he'll be interested to see what they do, and he's got predictions that go right down the middle, offering something to both sides. He won't talk about his own legal opinion, but he does then make the subject himself -- himself as that strong, experienced executive he wants everyone to think about. When he was mayor:
Abortions went down. Adoptions went way up. Because we worked on adoptions as an alternative, so that there'd be a real choice. So that, ultimately, you respect a woman's choice, but it should be a real choice. Adoption or, if they make that choice, I don't think the criminal law can interfere with it.Hannity says conservatives will like what he's said about appointing justices like Roberts, Scalia, and Alito, and asks him if he's concerned about the disagreement over abortion. Giuliani goes into his perky political mode -- with a marked change of diction ("ya gotta"):
There'll be disagreement on a lot of things. There are always disagreements. People... and then some people just won't be able to vote for ya. Ya gotta live with that. I mean, the reality is ya gotta be yourself. Ya gotta be who you are, be honest with people. If you've changed on something, you've gotta be willing to express it.At this point, he shifts us off the abortion topic and onto how, as mayor, he changed his mind about education and came to believe in school choice and vouchers. That's some substance for you conservatives -- and another reminder that he's the experienced, strong, successful executive.
Very well done!
And here's a classic Hannity expression for you to interpret:
Do you see smugness or a kindly, good man?
And how about that "ALERT"? You can't tell from the still, but the red splotch behind the letters was pulsating. Okay, I'm alert. Now, what?