A couple of weeks ago, cable TV talk show host Jeff Berkowitz cajoled me into giving a prediction in the GOP primary for president. I said any of the threeâ€”Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani or John McCain could win, but my instinct said Rudy. I also said that considering that national polls are showing a 10 to 15 point generic preference for Democrats, and that the GOP front runners are even with the top Democrats in head-to-head trials, it shows that the country believes the GOP candidates are stronger leaders.
Fred Thompson is a strong addition to the race and he could win, also. His entrance might blunt Romney's momentum as the traditional conservative alternative to Giuliani.
Back to Rudy. I told Berkowitz that one of Giuliani's secret weapons was his unique ability to stand toe-to-toe with adversaries in and out of the media and rebut them crisply, while maintaining a likable manner. That's an important attribute for a presidential candidate; not so much in the candidate debates but in the day to day jousting with the press on the campaign trail. Rudy perfected the art with the New York press corps while he was mayor. Below is a video this week of Rudy answering questions from 9/11 conspiracy whack jobs. Notice the smile on his face the entire time. You can find a partial transcript and video of my interview with Berkowitz here.