Pat Hynes over at the Ankle Biters says it would be a mistake for Rudy Giuliani to try and redefine Conservativism and instead he should stick to his beliefs and run on his strong record as an anti-liberal. I very much agree and think this approach (which he seems to be taking) will serve him well in the long run. Rush Limbaugh touched on this too. Bottom line, there's no Reagan Conservative in the race for president in '08. Romney is claiming to be, but his about-face on a lot of issues hearkens back to Joe Lieberman in 2000. It's gonna tough for him to fight off the criticism of being a Johnny-come-lately.
Giuliani isn't a Reagan Conservative either. He's a Libertarian Popinjay. He's strong on defense and foreign policy. He's a law and order guy and knows how to clean up big messes. However, he is "liberal" on social issues, but says he'll appoint strict-constructionist judges to the Supreme Court. Thus far he's played it smart. He's trying to convince the Conservative base of the Republican Party that while they have differences, there's a lot of common ground. The GOP has to say to themselves, there's no Ronald Reagan here, he was a once in a lifetime guy. Now, in the post-Reagan era, we need to pick the best guy that's out there even if he doesn't fit out text-book definition of what a conservative should be.
I agree with Rush that trying to redefine a candidate to fit definition of Conservatism is a fool's game and I certainly don't intend to do that with Giuliani. I'm a pro-war libertarian (i.e., I'm not a Ron Paul nutjob) and Giuliani is a great candidate for what I believe in (though I'd be content with Romney). I have some disagreements with him (immigration, global warming), but they're outweighed by bigger issues and my belief in his integrity.
But just for the record, I would like to point out this quote from Ronald Reagan: