Give Rudy credit, it takes balls to come out and say that he supports abortion rights.
After months of conflicting signals on abortion, Rudolph W. Giuliani is planning to offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days, despite the potential for bad consequences among some conservative voters already wary of his views, aides said yesterday.
This might seem like the most counterintuitive campaign move in history. In base politics terms I have a hard time seeing how it would be any worse if a Dem frontrunner announced that he could go one way or the other on privatizing Social Security. Kevin Drum thinks that Rudy doesn’t have any choice now that we know he donated to Planned Parenthood, but is that true? Mitt Romney clearly thinks he can get away with it. If I had to guess which would bring down more wrath from the base, flip-flopping to their side or sticking with a principled position that they hate, I would have picked (B). Everybody loves a good conversion story, whether it’s evangelicals (testify!) or the Kossacks pushing convert porn to the top of the rec list. Rudy could sit down for that come-to-Jesus chat with James Dobson if he wanted to badly enough.
Sure Rudy could do it, but the price would be pretty steep. He would have to stuff his true feelings into some deep place where no light gets in, apologize for them and lie about them every time he opens his mouth. That doesn’t seem to bother Mitt Romney much but instinct tells me that it just isn’t in Rudy’s character. He would rather lose as the man he is than grovel and win.