Giuliani Blog Tracking the likely Presidential candidacy of Rudy Giuliani

Monday, December 25, 2006

Rudy Rising

His 9/11 legacy and 2008 prospects

America’s still-vivid memories of that miserable morning five Septembers ago may be brightened by recollections of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani’s focused, confident performance on 9/11. The ongoing goodwill his leadership generated may explain why he outpaces his potential rivals for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Recent polls show Giuliani waxing on the right, regardless of any misgivings conservative GOP voters may have with him on abortion, gay rights, or gun control.

  • Among 432 registered Republicans and pro-GOP independents who CNN and Opinion Research Corp. surveyed from August 30 to September 2, 31 percent favored Giuliani for the nomination, while 20 percent backed Sen. John McCain. (Error margin: +/- 5 percent.)
  • Of the 6,926 participants thus far in an ongoing Internet survey for the very conservative, 45.1 percent endorsed Giuliani, 28.3 percent backed Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and only 5.3 percent picked McCain.
  • An August 14–15 Victory Enterprises poll found 30 percent of Iowa Republicans for Giuliani, while 17.3 percent wanted McCain (+/- 4.9 percent). Among these 400 likely caucus voters, 70 percent called themselves pro-life.
  • Strategic Vision’s August polls of Republican voters discovered these results — Washington State: Giuliani 40 percent, McCain 28; Florida: Giuliani 42 percent, McCain 28; Pennsylvania: Giuliani 44 percent, McCain 24 percent.

In a July 31 through August 3 survey of 623 New York state registered voters, the Siena Research Institute saw McCain beat Hillary Rodham Clinton in New York state by 46–42 percent (+/- 3.9 percent). Giuliani, however, would stomp Clinton even harder, 48–42 percent, and capture the Empire State’s 31 electoral votes.

In a world where Islamofascists plot to use baby-formula bottles to blow up tourist-filled jets, GOP voters understand how vital it is to assign someone tough and talented to confront this life-and-death challenge. Giuliani looks like that man.

Giuliani’s formidable stature seems to make liberals nervous. Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins, authors of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, have attempted to rain fresh rubble on Rudy. While they praise Giuliani for his on-camera comments that day, they mainly criticize him for what else they believe he should have done then and, indeed, throughout his mayoralty to cope with such a major terrorist attack.

Barrett and Collins are a two-man Hubble Telescope of hindsight. Yes, in retrospect, the Emergency Operations Center might have survived were it not situated at 7 World Trade Center, where it went unused that morning and then collapsed along with the entire building at 5:20 P.M. Besides, as Vincent J. Cannato recalls in his September 3 Washington Post review of this book, Barrett never embraced this “bunker in the sky.” In 2000, he called it “a symbol of Giuliani’s weakness for gadgetry, secrecy, and militarist overkill.”

These authors complain that Giuliani and his top aides kept moving around on September 11. Let’s see: Giuliani’s advisors considered 7 WTC too dangerous, as was the fire department’s impromptu command post at Vesey and West streets. The next stop, a basement at 75 Barclay Street, became uninhabitable after Lower Manhattan choked in dust and smoke. After phoning in a reassuring radio message to New Yorkers from a Houston Street firehouse, Giuliani finally settled in at the Police Academy on East 20th Street in Gramercy Park. Giuliani had little choice but to stay mobile that morning.

Barrett and Collins chide the Office of Emergency Management for not conducting a drill involving a major skyscraper fire. Yes, OEM should have. However, it stayed busy rehearsing for chemical-weapons attacks, securing Times Square’s millennium celebrations (a feared terror target), and guarding against immediate threats, such as a West Nile virus outbreak.

Could New York have prepared for and responded even better to 9/11? Naturally. Still, Giuliani and city employees helped some 15,000 WTC inhabitants flee to safety. While President Bush understandably remained a moving target, Giuliani restored city government, then calmly and firmly reassured Americans and the world that we had endured a serious blow, but bounced back up off the mat.

While Giuliani’s critics try to paint him as someone who first leapt on the antiterror bandwagon on 9/11, he actually has fought Islamofascists since the mid-1970s.

Barrett and Collins blow it big time when they write: “Giuliani had behaved from the outset of his mayoralty as if the 1993 [WTC] bombing had never happened.” In fact, just moments after becoming mayor, Giuliani said in his first inaugural address on January 2, 1994: “Your strength was demonstrated within sight of this place, last year, at the World Trade Center . . . those who work for our city are the most professional and best in the nation.” He praised New Yorkers, in and out of government, for emerging from that terrorist assault, and argued that Gothamites could accomplish great things under pressure.

As mayor, Giuliani had then-PLO leader Yasser Arafat ejected from an October 1995 Lincoln Center concert to which he was not invited. “Maybe we should wake people up to the way this terrorist is being romanticized,” Giuliani said. While a U.S. attorney under President Reagan, Giuliani investigated the 1985 PLO hijacking of the luxury liner Achille Lauro. Four terrorists fired on and wounded ship passengers and fatally shot Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound retired New Yorker who was selected for being Jewish.

As President Gerald Ford’s associate deputy attorney general, Giuliani was a member of the Cabinet Committee to Combat Terrorism. According to a declassified June 10, 1976, State Department memorandum, this panel addressed the “increased danger of major terrorist attacks in the US requiring urgent preventive and preparatory action.” Among other things, this memo reveals that, at a meeting that May 27, “Mr. Giuliani said that it would be important to have the USG [U.S. government] respond to press queries during an IT [international terrorist] incident with a single voice. He suggested that a model plan be worked out.”

As Barrett and Collins aim their lances at Giuliani’s post-9/11 armor, they largely miss what GOP primary voters clearly see: a dedicated and relentless patriot who has been fighting terrorists for 30 years. Facing an unprecedented crisis, Giuliani stayed remarkably cool, maintained order, and helped evacuate the financial district’s dangerous streets. “Just keep going north,” he told those still in Lower Manhattan.

To amplify his enduring post-9/11 reputation, Giuliani should educate Republicans on his Reaganesque tax-reducing, budget-restraining, crime-cutting mayoral record. Somehow, Giuliani also needs to make peace with pro-life and Second Amendment activists. But for now, “America’s Mayor” — previously caricatured as “too liberal for the nomination” — looks like 2008’s Republican to beat.

-Deroy Murdock

This article originally appeared in The National Review Online on September 12th, 2006. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission.

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At 9:06 AM, Blogger Urthmover said...

It is really not for us to judge Rudy's character. Oh well, yes it is actually. He put it out there on the stocks, we might as well flog it to see if any withches emerge.

Rudy's on his third wife. Many of us are on our second spouse (me included). I think that most of us felt like we could do better the second time around.In reality, we do. We've mostly outgrown teenagerism, we mostly don't think our spouse will be queen of the ball, and we've learned that it's not all sweetness and light. But two reasonably adult people with low expectations can, in fact, put together a very workable relationship, which will occasionally bring a smile to one partner or another.

Rudy's done this thrice. Three times he has located a woman, squired her sufficiently to make some sort of character assessment, and married her. Unlike John Kerry, he has maintained his position in the Catholic church throughout this.
I wish the current Mrs. Guliani all the best, and I wish their marraige the best. There are few things better than a boring old marraige, where you know that you wife will pay the bill (or whatever) and that she will always override your objections to donning your tux for that annual formal dinner / dance / event. Where would we be without them? Well, actually, we'd probably be mayor of New York. While we can hold out (lots) of hope for number 3, we also have to wonder what character defect Mr. Guiliani failed to recognize in
Mrs. G #1 and Mrs G #2. We're rooting for #3 - and hope that she is the woman who can help RG with whatever is missing from his life.

But then we come to the bizarre case of Bernard Kerik. What in the world happened here??? Maybe New Yorkers have a good handle on all these events, but the only thing us out landers know is that RG nominated some thug to be head of homeland security.
GW bought the scam for a while, but that's like saying he was surprised at his 50th birthday party.

Let's face it - Kerik apprears to be a crook of the first order (pending resolution of his myriad cases)Without knowing the details, we could say that RG selects his loyal assistants the same way he picks his wives - with a fairly superficial study, followed by an intense political acceptability trial.

I have maintained for years that the US is capable of electing one worse presedent after another. Rudy represents the continuation of a chain that goes back to at least G H W Bush.I wish we could figure out a way to get the race focused back on people who will actully bring a program of service to the presidency.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Dean Gould said...

I believe Rudy is the only hope for the Republicans to win the White House. When I take the survey based on issues, Mitt Romney ends up my #1 choice with Rudy #2; however, when I pull away from such a survey and think about the man, then Rudy is my #1 choice. Dennis Miller summed it up, "Who would the terrorists fear most in the White House? Rudy".

I do not trust Romney and if he did state untruths about Huckelbee then he is just another muckraking politician. I also don't like Huckelbee tactical response. No, Rudy has the class and stature I am looking for in a leader.

I also think he is the only candidate period that can unite the American People. Do you think Republicans will ever support Hillary or Obama in anything? Absolutely not. However, a very close friend of mine, a very staunch Democrat and Bush hater told me yesterday that if he had to vote tomorrow, it would be for Rudy. I was shocked, surprised, and hopeful that finally we might have a candidate that everyone can rally behind.

My only concern is whether his campaign is blowing it and will he get the nomination. Thompson seems too out of touch; you look at Huckelbee and you just don't see "Presidential Material"; Romney I don't trust; Rudy seems like the clear choice yet he isn't leading.

He needs to take control, don't fall into the bashing that Romney is using, keep his wife from making stupid or antisemetic remarks, take the high road, state what he is going to do if elected and not worry about what the rest of the field is saying about each other.

Good luck Rudy, we are pulling for you and the country needs you to win!

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