Vision Thing

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Rudy Giuliani spoke to the Hoover Institution's overseers and trustees in Washington on Monday and presented a vision that suggests he's preparing to respond to the complaint in my U.S. News column this week. It suggests that he's thinking in broad conceptual terms and that he's going to be providing some details as well. I think he's going to make school choice a big issue, going beyond George W. Bush's accountability law.

Cooper Union

Mario Cuomo and Newt Gingrich, as they explain in their article in the New York Sun, will be speaking at Cooper Union tonight, 147 years and one day after Abraham Lincoln's speech there in 1860. This occasion was the brainchild of Barry Casselman, columnist and Minneapolis-based sage, who will be there. Unfortunately, I've got a long-standing commitment in Washington, but we can watch the video here.

Can Rudy Be Nominated?

An interesting back-and-forth on the New Republic website between Michael Tomasky, who argues that Rudy can't be nominated, and Fred Siegel, who argues (as I do) that he can. Tomasky is one of the best, quite possibly the best, political commentator writing from the left. Siegel, who teaches at Cooper Union (see above post), has written brilliant books and commentary on Giuliani and urban politics in New York and elsewhere. Siegel pinpoints an interesting contrast in their views on what voters will want in 2008. Tomasky's position:

"Absent another attack on American soil between now and then, which would obviously alter this calculus dramatically, Americans seem more likely to want someone to harness a post-war spirit to attend to domestic needs."

Siegel argues that the jihadi threat will loom over the election even absent another attack on the United States:

"But the underlying phenomena behind the current wave of jihadism, the anguish of the Islamic world bewildered as to why it has been eclipsed, will not go away anytime soon. Jihad has been active for 13 centuries; it's unlikely to pass into history in our lifetime. That means a major attack not only in the United States, but in Canada, Europe, or Australia would have profound political repercussions here. But it's not only attacks that keep us focused on the issue of Islamism. Developments like the Danish cartoon affair and the recurring Ramadan riots in France keep the issue of Islamism at center stage."

I think Siegel's view will predominate among Republican primary voters. Tomasky's view may well predominate among Democratic voters, which means that in the general election there will be two competing views of what is at stake. But I would add this thought about Tomasky's view that voters will "want to harness a post-war spirit to attend to domestic needs." Just what are Democrats proposing to do to address domestic needs? I don't hear very much, as yet anyway.

The Electoral Vote Map

Take a look at this map from Polidata, which projects which states will gain and lose House seats, and therefore electoral votes, in the 2010 census. It's based on extrapolating population growth from 2000 to 2006 four years further out. Some interesting results. California, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850, will gain no seats. Texas will gain four, Florida and Arizona, two each.

To get an idea of the political effect, states carried by George W. Bush in 2004 will gain six seats and states carried by John Kerry will lose six seats. Only two Kerry states will gain seats (Washington and Oregon), while under that map Bush's 286–252 electoral vote victory would become 292–246. Even if he had lost Ohio (which loses two seats), he would still have the 270 electoral votes needed to win. But remember: These numbers (or something very much like them) won't be effective until 2012; we're operating with the current allocation of electoral votes in 2008.

Here's how the electoral votes of the big states would look, with current numbers and projected 2010 numbers.

California 55 55
Texas 34 38
New York 31 29
Florida 27 29
Illinois 21 20
Pennsylvania 21 20
California 55 55
Ohio 20 18
Michigan 17 16
Georgia 15 16
North Carolina 15 15
California 55 55
New Jersey 15 14
California 55 55
Bush 2004 big states 111 116
Kerry 2004 big states 160 154
Kerry Advantage 49 38

Not an earthshaking change but significant.