Monday, September 18, 2006

Lightfoot sees Giuliani as strong candidate in 2008

WHITE OAK, Texas — Former Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Ross Lightfoot, a social conservative who represented large parts of Iowa in two districts over 12 years, said he thinks former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is a strong presidential candidate – and that the more liberal Republican’s mayoral leadership skills could help him transcend differences with the GOP right.

“The one person I think could probably get elected is Giuliani because of what he did in New York,” Lightfoot said. “I really think that governors and mayors of huge cities like New York, I think from the standpoint of demeanor, they are probably better suited for the presidency than a member of Congress or the U.S. Senate.”

Congressmen and senators are little more than CEOs of their own campaigns, Lightfoot said.
“The president is like the head of GM or IBM or any huge company,” Lightfoot said. “The governors have had that and Giuliani has had that in New York.”

Then Lightfoot posed this compelling question: “Pick any member of Congress and put them in New York on 9/11 and what would they have done?”

For his part, Lightfoot was elected in 1984 in western Iowa and saw his district change to include a long stretch of southern Iowa in 1990 after redistricting. He lost a senate race to Tom Harkin in 1996 and the governor's race to Tom Vilsack in 1998.

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