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What Was Rudy Thinking?

By Richard Cohen

Jeez, what the hell am I doing here? Can't say I wasn't warned -- former mayor of New York, a moderate Republican, pro-choice, married more than once, OK, more than twice, and a 'vowel' at that. They said I was never going to get the Republican presidential nomination, but Judy said don't listen to them. 'Listen to me, honey, when I see you, I see president, chief executive, commander in chief. Pucker up, Mr. President, and put it right here.' Got to admit it's fun. Uh-oh, here comes another abortion question. Here I go.

"I think abortion ought to be illegal and legal, depending on the choice of the people involved and the state they live in. I would appoint judges who are strict constructionists to make sure all of that would happen. These were exactly my thoughts on 9/11 when I met the challenge and prevailed."

Look at these guys. I mean, where'd they get them? Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo don't even believe in evolution. Madonna mia! These guys are running for president? Do they also think the world is flat and babies come from storks? Whoa! Gotta think they're playing to their constituency. Jeez, this is the party I'm in. This is the business I've chosen. Can't say that. Never say that. Uh-oh, here comes another abortion question.

"Good question, Chris. I would appoint strict constructionist Supreme Court judges who would -- and I would insist on this -- strictly construct the Constitution of the United States as amended. Because those amendments, particularly the first 10 which we call, appropriately I maintain, the Bill of Rights, are to me fundamental and protect a woman's choice to choose or not to choose, that is the question. Which is what 9/11 was all about, when you think about it."

I think I did pretty good. Judy's smiling. But did you listen to that Romney and his ``altered nuclear transfer"? What the hell is that? He was asked about stem cells and he starts talking like the Discovery Channel. This guy's some piece of work. Look at that jaw and those dimples. I never saw anyone like him in my entire life. Smooth. He wouldn't tell you if your pants were on fire. If I don't make it, this guy could be president. He's got what it takes -- great looks, golden tongue. A winner. Oh my God, here it comes again.

"I'm for stem cell research but I am not pro-choice, although I used to be, and I don't think the government should fund abortions or anything else, but I would make an exception for stem cells, but not gay rights or gay marriage -- Yuck! Yuck! This is what I was thinking on 9/11, as a matter of fact."

I hope the "yuck, yuck" worked. Jeez, I don't know who I am anymore. When I became a Republican, the party in New York had Nelson Rockefeller and Jake Javits and Ken Keating and even Louis Lefkowitz, not that anyone remembers Louie anymore. Now I look around and it's all these holy rollers. Celibacy until marriage. They got it wrong. It's celibacy after marriage. Heh, heh. Got to be careful here. No jokes. I'm not in the Big Apple anymore. I told Judith this would happen. What am I gonna say about being married three times? What am I gonna say about loving opera and good food and being Italian. Eyetalian, is what they say in this party. I roomed with gay guys, for crying out loud. Wonderful people. Stand-up guys. Uh-oh, here it comes.

"I am opposed to abortion in any case but with some exceptions that have to do with pregnancy and such. And I think that John McCain is right about seeing God in the Grand Canyon because this is the way I feel when the sun sets over Flatbush. A woman who chooses to have no right to choose would be chosen in my administration for the Supreme Court. I am opposed to illegal immigration and amnesty and stem cell research and sex education and condoms to fight AIDS, and I think we should just say no to anything that makes sense. I'm for the war, 'cause if we don't fight them there we will have to fight them here, just don't ask where 'there' is and who 'they' are. Have I mentioned 9/11?"

Judy's not smiling. What did I say? Gotta remember that song she sings to me about New York. "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere." Maybe not in the Republican Party, though. Start spreading the news.

cohenr@washpost.com

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