Henry Farrell pushes an analogy between Nicholas Sarkozy and Richard Nixon that he also floated during a diavlog with Mark Schmitt. A clearly analogy, in my mind, and also in that of this Jonah Goldberg reader, is between Nixon and Rudy Giuliani. Conservative affection for Giuliani seems to be grounded almost entirely in the sense that as mayor of New York City, Giuliani stuck it to liberals (which he did), rather than in a sense that anything in Giuliani’s record suggests he would cope with the issues facing the federal government in an effective-yet-conservative manner.
As with Nixon on race and the southern strategy, the basic issue with Giuliani, cultural issues, and the conservative base is whether or not the base will doom what’s transparently a cynical sell out as good enough. Last, but by no means least, as with Nixon important parts of Giuliani’s persona seem to be driven by personal and somewhat idiosyncratic resentments rather than anything substantive. Obviously, when the name “Nixon” comes up, one’s thoughts turn to Watergate and related crimes, and these parallels between the two figures don’t necessarily speak to that issue.