Anti-Romney Bias?

In response to the Prowler item below, a reader writes:

I find it a bit curious that magazines of conservative opinion are so critical of Governor Romney's blatant switch on the life issue, but simultaneously tout Rudy Giuliani as a viable candidate who is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and an advocate of gun control. Why is it that the former Mayor gets a pass from The Spectator and National Review, while Governor Romney gets savaged? Besides the crime issue, how is Rudy Giuliani even a Republican? He might very well be considered a conservative to moderate Democrat.

 

Me: I don't think it's true to say that Giuliani has been given better treatment than Romney in the conservative media. Very early on, Romney was treated to favorable profiles in cover stories for the Weekly Standard, National Review, and for the Spectator (under the headline "Romney Rocks!")

As for Rudy, I've actually found myself in the minority over the past few years for thinking that a) Giuliani will run and b) he can win. The conventional wisdom in conservative circles has been that Giuliani can't win because of his liberal social views and most people inside the Beltway have been skeptical that he will run given how much more aggressive Romney and McCain have been at hiring talent and building national organizations. Last fall, the National Review savaged Rudy in a cover story featuring him in drag with the headline "But will it Play in Peoria?" To whatever extent his liberal social views haven't gotten even more attention, it's because people routinely dismiss that he's a serious candidate in the first place.    

Romney has come under fire for his past statements on abortion because he has aggressively pitched himself as the best choice for social issues voters, so conservatives are asking questions about whether he is actually one of them or if he's just saying the right things to win the nomination. Giuliani clearly won't be the choice of voters who decide primarily on the basis of social issues, but he isn't selling himself that way. His emphasis is on economic issues and the War on Terror.  If he were to come out now and say he changed his mind, and he's pro-life and a supports of a Federal Marriage Amendment, he'd be a laughingstock, and rightly so. And those who believe he's only a Republican on crime should read this piece by Steven Malanga, which outlines Giuliani's record as mayor, during which time he cut taxes, slashed welfare rolls and fought racial preferences among other conservative policies.  

We have a long way to go, and  the backgrounds of all candidates will be put under the microscope.      

r r