T Nation

Rudy Has Lost It

my respect, that is. I listened to him use the graphic tragedy of 9/11 itself as a reason for needing GWB in office. There was no logical link in his statements other than we were attacked so GWB is a great president.

He even gave Cheney kudos for his brilliant smarts and experience.

Gone. He’s merely popular.

Still the same guy as I’ve always known. He’s a republican. What did you expect? For him to get up there and say I am voting for Kerry? He’s there to support Bush.

The most interesting speech was Ron Silver. This guy is one of the biggest liberals in hollywood. I couldn’t believe he was there.

Even after his speech in interviews he said he’s against Bush on almost everything except the war on terror. Kind of bizarre to see him there after watching him on Bill Maher.

[quote]Right Side Up wrote:
my respect, that is. I listened to him use the graphic tragedy of 9/11 itself as a reason for needing GWB in office. There was no logical link in his statements other than we were attacked so GWB is a great president.

He even gave Cheney kudos for his brilliant smarts and experience.

Gone. He’s merely popular.[/quote]

I’d like to ammend this post without editing it. I was hasty in my remarks. By this, I mean in overall tone, not in criticism of his specific association.

I like Rudy, I do. He’s a great speaker and an awfully likable guy. That said, I disagree with his interpretation of a lot.

Man, do I run hot and cold or what?!

RSU,

Rudy said, “I turned to the guy next to me and said Thank God George Bush is our President.”

I remember my Democratic friends saying the same thing.

I said the same thing and still do.

There is a crystal clear choice this year. It’s between offense and defense. It’s between destroying the terrorists’ will or being “sensitive” and “nuanced.”

I’ll stick with the straight-talking Texan.

Stay on offense,

JeffR

It’s all good RSU. We all have those moments. I’m watching MSBNC right now with Ron Reagan, Joe Scarbourogh (sp?), Ron Silver, Fmr. Secretary for Clinton and writer for the Bost Globe. Pretty good discussion.

They are saying John McCain and Rudy nailed it to the JK campaign. It’ll be interesting to watch the JK response.

I’m sick of Guiliani and his shit-eating grin. Why is he relevant? Why is he speaking to the RNC? He doesn;t make policy, he doesn;t inform policy, he was a mediocre mayor, and he’s been out of office for 2 years.

I think the politicizing of 9/11 by both camps, but especially the Republicans by convening in NYC and letting Guiliani speak, is repugnant.

Winning the war on terror? The Taliban killed 17 people in Afghanistan yesterday. What the hell? The war in Iraq has been the best recruiting tool militant Islamists could have hoped for.

Not that it matters what any of us think. S

Jimmy Carter? DNC? 24 years? You figure it out.

There is one very important thing that has to be paid attention to. And that is this. Why Ed Koch, Zell Miller, Ron Silver, and I am sure oh so many Democrats, are saying I am a Democrat, and I am voting Republican. They are totally Democratic, but if you listen to their reasons why. they are voting Republican , even though they disagree on so many issues. It is becuase of George Bushes handling of 9/11. And his unflinching, not given in to the War on Terror. His total commitment to the War on Terror. And they feel that, that, is the most important issue facing America today.

Unlike the Democrats, who keep showing time and time again, let us turn the clock back to Sep 10. 2001. Let us bring back the economy which is the most important issue in our eyes. They want the glory days under Bill Clinton to once again return. They do not, like to talk about Sept 11. Both McCain and Rudy, made it a point and drove home that we cannot, ever forget 9/11. That we must know who and what this enemy can do. And we cannot run away or hide from them. We must go on the offensive, not the defensive. We had gone on the defensive in the past, give in appease the terrorists, as Rudy said back since 1972. And it did not work. For all it did was embolden them more and more. And realize hey we can win. Its like the Madrid bombing of the train. And what was the goal of Al Queda? Ok ok you win, AL Queda, we will pull our troops out of Iraq, and so they did. We won yippee!!! Now let us try it again. Let see what other nation, or leader will back down, give into us. You cannot run and hide, or be like an ostritch, hiding your head in the sand, you have to stand tough, and meet this enemy face to face. And that is exactly what both McCain and Rudy said so perfectly last night. That we must stay the course, not back down, not give into these terorrists one inch, and fight them wherever it takes. For if we do, we are doomed.

And as for Kerry, they really hit the ail on the head with him, with his flip flopping. His indecisiveness, his not knowing which direction to go with this War on Terror. His appeasement, giving into the terorists. Not being able to make decisions on our own. Not begin to stand on our own two feet. Again you look at all the Governments, groups, hoping to see Kerry as our next President. For they know he will back down , give in. They have seen his reocrd, his views, and they are overjoyed what they see. Its like the little kid who goes to the Prinicpal all the time, when some kids are picking on him. You go crying to the UN EU, for help, what kind of message is that going to give the terrorists? Again go back to Hitler, and the policy of appeasement. Well let us give into Hitler, then maybe he will be satisified. You give one inch with these people, they know they have you, right where they want to.

Again the bottom line will be, what is more important to the American people? Is it the War on Terror, our military, our defenses, knowing who this enemy is? And the very existence of Americas’ freedom, and for all we stand for, Or will it be turning back the clock to pre 9/11. The economy we had under the Clinton admin. TO once again, feel like hey we are safe now. Now it is time to once again turn all attention to the domestic issues. Let the good times roll once again! For these will be the choices America is going to have to make come November. And last night, at the convention this is exactly what the Republicans wanted to drive home. We cannot forget 9/11. And our War on Terror, we must not change direction with it now. And need someone who is strong, who will do exactly what he says. Not back down, or appease. A man with strong convictions. A person who the American people know what he stands for. A leader the terrorists would love to see just go away, And if you agree with what those Demcorats, and McCain and Rudy said, then you will say the War on Terror, is the most important issue facing America today, and will vote for George Bush.

Joe

I love Rick Brookhiser’s historic biographies – now I can say his political reviews are pretty good as well:

http://www.nationalreview.com/brookhiser/brookhiser200408310033.asp

August 31, 2004, 12:33 a.m.
Rudy!
?America?s mayor? at home.

New York, N.Y. ? I am in Madison Square Garden, the first night of the Republican convention, as an act of homage to Rudy Giuliani. Double homage, really: He saved my city; and when it couldn?t be saved, he succored it.

The hall is filled with people who think they will president in 2008. Governors of square states; senators from states with smaller populations than the five boroughs; permanent wannabes; future has-beens. Alan Keyes is also forever available. Standing out from the pack is Giuliani, who has more negatives and more potent positives than any other Republican.

Giuliani?s big-time career started when he was U.S. Attorney for the southern District of New York in the mid-Eighties. He went after drug dealers, mobsters, and the crooked outer-borough Democratic machines. He put Stanley Friedman, boss of the Bronx, behind bars, and drove Donald Manes, boss of Queens, to suicide. He counted on a 1989 run against Ed Koch, the fading Democratic mayor and jester, and he had the support of all the political malcontents in New York City, from the Village Voice to the tiny GOP. But then Koch lost the primary to Manhattan borough president David Dinkins, who, if he won, would be the city?s first black mayor. In the Dinkins/Giuliani matchup, Giuliani was suddenly running against History.

The Dinkins years were a disaster, a feral carnival only dimly foreseen by Tom Wolfe?s Bonfire of the Vanities. Now Giuliani had an issue straight up his strike zone as a prosecutor: crime. Enough terrorized white liberals switched their votes to put him in office in the 1993 rematch, and Rudy went to work.

Giuliani?s victory in the war on crime was partly the triumph of an idea. Conservatives always had a simple approach to crime: Get tough. Two academics, George Kelling and James Q. Wilson, told them they also had to get smart. Their theory, called ?broken windows,? held that the key to murder, robbery and rape, was moving against the little offenses: drunkenness, turnstile jumping, panhandling. The flecks of small scale disorder, like unrepaired broken windows, created the perception that no one was in charge, and that no one cared. Fix the irritations, and good people would be heartened, bad guys would be put on notice. A cadre of cops ? William Bratton, Jack Maple, John Timoney ? bought the broken-windows model, and Giuliani, when he won, gave them their head.

But Giuliani?s victory was also a matter of temperament: his own. He defined crime as a problem; he set his face against distractions; and he shrugged off attacks. For years politicians and intellectuals had wrung their hands over crime and its root causes. Giuliani was determined to do something about it. The Italian writer, Luigi Barzini, said that, among his countrymen, there was always a handful of incorruptible men, who defied the go-along, get-along atmosphere of Italian culture. Other Italians called them fessi, or damn fools. But they did their jobs (often they were carabineri). Giuliani was clearly such a person. Perhaps the example of Giuliani?s father was crucial here. The senior Giuliani, it turns out, engaged in petty crime. All this son could think to do was to be better. That is no bad response.

People who have moved to New York City in the last ten years have no idea how bad it was before Giuliani came along. Large tracts were given over to filth and danger. A block from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the fusillades of the drug dealers were like a nightly rifle range. Going into the subways was like entering a mugger?s unconscious. Sophisticates complain about the Disneyfication of Times Square. They miss their crack hos.

Giuliani won a smashing reelection in 1997. Higher things seemed to beckon. Daniel Patrick Moynihan?s Senate seat became vacant in 2000, and Giuliani, the most unsenatorial person in the world, sought it.

Suddenly, everything went wrong. Giuliani?s second marriage, to Donna Hanover, an ambitious harridan, blew up. Giuliani paraded his mistress, Judith Nathan (now his third wife). Hillary began her Anschluss. Giuliani got prostate cancer, the disease that felled his father. He pulled the plug on his own race.

Everyone knows Giuliani?s second act. Here was no question of saving New York. The damage was done?three thousand of us murdered, our tallest buildings destroyed. First we went numb, then we shuddered.

Giuliani?s performance over the following weeks was honest. He told everything he knew, including that he didn?t know. He gave us no frills, no false hopes. He spoke simply and earnestly.

He showed what Alexander Hamilton called ?energy in the executive? ? acting, directing, supervising. It was not the time to write laws, or to adjudicate them; it was the time to do. Giuliani was a textbook of doing.

Most important, he was there. Woody Allen once said that 80 percent of celebrity was showing up. Giuliani?s presence gave New Yorkers heart, and then he praised us for our courage. For two days, he was also President of the United States, as far as anyone could tell. While George W. Bush was flying in and out of Barksdale AFB, Giuliani was walking the mean streets ? far meaner than anything Raymond Chandler ever imagined.

Giuliani came at the climax of the evening, after an ideal build-up ? a grave and sober speech by John McCain; testimony from relatives of two pilots and one fireman who died on 9/11.

Giuliani does not have obvious advantages as a speaker. His bald head, and small glasses recall Werner Klemperer as Col. Klink; his numerous New York hand gestures are stiff and jerky. Do not be deceived: He plays an audience like a maestro, shifting emotions, building climaxes, and not letting applause derail him.

He was funny. ?I?ve never seen so many Republicans in New York City,? he cracked. ?I finally feel at home.? He gave a Gotham shrug to John Kerry?s flip flops. ?Maybe this explains John Edwards?s need for two Americas ? one where John Kerry can vote for something, and another where he votes against the same thing.?

He was optimistic. ?New York City and America are open for business, and we are stronger than ever.? (Open for business ? somewhere the dead Dutch are smiling.) He was inclusive, denying that either party had a monopoly on virtue or ideas, only insisting that war and danger were particularly suited to the GOP?s ideas. He conveyed the shock of 9/11, describing his first sight of a New Yorker jumping from the 101st floor of the North Tower.

He gave a historical and geopolitical outline of the problem of terror, tracing it from the attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972, through the murder of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro in 1985, to Yasser Arafat?s winning of a Nobel Prize. The lesson that terrorists learned, he said, was that they would not be punished; sometimes, they would even be rewarded.

He offered a solution ? the program of President Bush, though it also sounded like a self-portrait. Going on the offensive, without caring how one is ?demonized? or ?ridiculed.? ?Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.?

He ended with inspiration. ?Have faith in the power of freedom.? He became briefly intoxicated, saying that it always wins (always?). But freedom is certainly absent in the most troubled parts of the Moslem world. Either it will prevail, or jihad will take permanent root.

When he was done, the convention played a tape of Old Blue Eyes singing ?New York, New York,? and the delegates went off into the night.

What is Giuliani?s baggage as a would-be Republican nominee? You?d need a supertanker to hold it. Begin with the social issues: He would hold the chuppa at gay marriages, and abort late term fetuses himself. David Frum recently suggested in the Wall Street Journal that Giuliani promise to appoint anti-Roe judges to the court. He will never make that promise. He likes abortion, and he is uninterested in legalities.

Giuliani has the New York cops’ attitude towards guns: Only cops should have them. If you want a .22 to hunt deer, you must be a made man. He also has a New York textbook view of immigration. Let a billion Chinese come. Giuliani wouldn?t even teach them English.

On economics, he is not positively bad, only unconcerned. His line as mayor was that he would spend term one handling crime, and term two handling taxes and spending. Fred Siegel, the intelligent urbanist, said that was like trying to cross a chasm in two jumps. Good Giuliani economic policies would be random events.

Then there is the personal baggage. The last presidential candidate to have had cancer was Paul Tsongas, who lied about being cancer-free in 1992, and who has since died. We know the worst about Giuliani, but how much better is that?

Finally there is his ego. Giuliani is a publicity hound, and a bully. He must be on camera, and he must be right. He also has his weird edges, which he cannot conceal (guile is not his strong suit). Get ready for drag acts at the Gridiron Dinner.

What then are the man?s advantages? First is his ego. When he settles on a course, he will stay it. The praise of friends and the wrath of enemies are alike indifferent to him. The most famous lines of George Washington?s favorite play, Joseph Addison?s Cato, are

?Tis not in mortals to command success,


But we?ll do more, Sempronius: we?ll deserve it.

Giuliani believes he deserves success, and that he can command it.

His second advantage is cancer. The shadow of the Angel of Death passed over him, and humanized him a bit. It helped him immeasurably in dealing with the grief-stricken after 9/11. The prospect of the end of all things may have unlocked deeper springs in his nature.

Finally, there is leadership. In every presidential cycle, we sift the clues of candidates? lives ? Purple Hearts, draft dodging, drunken fathers, twitching skirts ? to try to figure out how they would lead. In most elections, we are looking for leadership in the scrum of domestic politics. But now we are looking for a commander-in-chief; bets are we still will be in 2008. With Giuliani we don?t have to imagine. We have his record. Not since Dwight Eisenhower has there been a clearer one. Eisenhower invaded Europe. Giuliani responded to an attack on the United States.

Giuliani presents conservatives with an unusual phenomenon ? the politician who is both extremely liberal and extremely conservative. This is a very different thing from being a ?moderate? (which is almost always code for trending liberal). On social issues he stands with Barney Frank. On security issues he stands with Douglas MacArthur.

As a New York voter, I resisted this combination early in Giuliani?s career. In 1993, the conservative alternative was my friend, George Marlin, 6?5? of Jesuitical wit and banker?s rectitude. Speaking as the John James Audobon of that mythical creature, the Catholic voter, Marlin pointed out all the ways in which Rudy was wrong. Marlin was right about all of it. But a Dinkins victory in 1993 would have been catastrophic. A Mayor Dinkins on 9/11 would be unimaginable.

I owe Giuliani my vote, whenever he asks, for whatever he wants it, including Miss America. We will see how he fares with conservatives and Republicans at large.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=694&u=/ap/20040831/ap_on_el_pr/cvn_giuliani_text_1&printer=1

Text of Rudolph Giuliani’s RNC Speech

Mon Aug 30,10:44 PM ET

By The Associated Press

The text of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (news - web sites)'s speech as prepared for delivery Monday at the Republican National Convention:


Welcome to the capital of the World.

New York was the first capital of our great nation. It was here in 1789 in lower Manhattan that George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States.

It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President George W. Bush (news - web sites) stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center and said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, “They will hear from us.”

They have heard from us! They heard from us in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and we removed the Taliban. They heard from us in Iraq (news - web sites) and we ended Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s reign of terror.

They heard from us in Libya and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned weapons of mass destruction.

They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists.

So long as George Bush (news - web sites) is President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism.

We owe that much and more to those loved ones and heroes we lost on September 11th.

The families of some of those we lost on September 11th are here with us. To them, and all those families affected by September 11th, we recognize the sacrifices your loved ones and you have made. You are in our prayers and we are in your debt.

This is the first Republican Convention ever held in New York City. It makes a statement that New York City and America are open for business and stronger than ever.

We’re not going to let the threat of terrorism stop us from leading our lives.

From the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, to President George W. Bush our party’s great contribution is to expand freedom in our own land and all over the world.

And our party is at its best when it makes certain that we have a powerful national defense in a still very dangerous world.

I don’t believe we’re right about everything and Democrats are wrong about everything.

Neither party has a monopoly on virtue.

But I do believe that there are times in our history when our ideas are more necessary and important for what we are facing.

There are times when leadership is the most important.

On September 11, this city and our nation faced the worst attack in our history.

On that day, we had to confront reality. For me, standing below the north tower and looking up and seeing the flames of hell and then realizing that I was actually seeing a man ? a human being ? jumping from the 101st or 102nd floor drove home to me that we were facing something beyond anything we had ever faced before.

We had to concentrate all of our energy, faith and hope to get through those first hours and days. And I will always remember that moment as we escaped the building we were trapped in at 75 Barclay Street and realized that things outside might be even worse than they were inside the building.

We did the best we could to communicate a message of calm and hope, as we stood on the pavement seeing a massive cloud rushing through the cavernous streets of lower Manhattan.

Our people were so brave in their response.

At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, “Thank God George Bush is our President.”

And I say it again tonight, “Thank God George Bush is our President.”

On September 11, George W. Bush had been President less than eight months. This new president, vice president, and new administration were faced with the worst crisis in our history.

President Bush (news - web sites)'s response in keeping us unified and in turning the ship of state around from being solely on defense against terrorism to being on offense as well and for his holding us together.

For that and then his determined effort to defeat global terrorism, no matter what happens in this election, President George W. Bush already has earned a place in our history as a great American president.

But let’s not wait for history to present the correct view of our president. Let us write our own history. We need George Bush now more than ever.

The horror, the shock and the devastation of those attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon (news - web sites) and over the skies of Pennsylvania lifted a cloud from our eyes.

We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just airplanes but a religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to eradicating us and our way of life.

Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years.

And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.

The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.

Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.

In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer.

They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.

Some of those terrorists were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.

So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was “accommodation, appeasement and compromise.”

And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.

Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table.

How else to explain Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?

Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful coexistence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.

President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense.

On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world and he did change the direction of our ship of state.

He dedicated America under his leadership to destroying global terrorism.

The president announced the Bush Doctrine when he said: "Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there.

It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.

“Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”

And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid.

It doesn’t matter how he is demonized. It doesn’t matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.

They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan (news - web sites).

But like President Bush, they were optimists; leaders must be optimists. Their vision was beyond the present and set on a future of real peace and true freedom.

Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership. President Bush has the courage of his convictions.

In choosing a president, we really don’t choose a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal.

We choose a leader.

And in times of danger, as we are now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.

There are many qualities that make a great leader but having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.

Winston Churchill saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a warmongering gadfly.

Ronald Reagan saw and described the Soviet Union as “the evil empire” while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and belittled Ronald Reagan’s intelligence.

President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is. John Kerry (news - web sites) has no such clear, precise and consistent vision. This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry. I respect him for his service to our nation.

But it is important to see the contrast in approach between the two men; President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts, and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War (news - web sites). Later he said he actually supported the war.

Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for president, he voted for the war in Iraq.

And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.

He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he’s pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times.

My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.”

Maybe this explains John Edwards (news - web sites)’ need for two Americas ? one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.

Yes, people in public office at times do change their minds, I’ve done that, or they realize they are wrong or circumstances change.

But John Kerry has made it the rule to change his position, rather than the exception. In October, 2003, he told an Arab-American Institute in Detroit that a security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories was a “barrier to peace.”

A few months later, he took exactly the opposite position. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he said, “Israel’s security fence is a legitimate act of self defense.”

The contrasts are dramatic. They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism. President Bush will make certain that we are combatting terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in the streets of New York.

John Kerry’s record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he’ll pursue such a determined course.

President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense.

He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow.

John Kerry’s claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.

It would hardly be the first time he changed his position on matters of war and peace.

I remember the days following September 11th when we were no longer Democrats or Republicans, but Americans determined to do all we could to help the victims, to rebuild our city and nation and to disable our enemies.

I remember President Bush coming here on September 14, 2001 and lifting the morale of our rescue workers by talking with them and embracing them and staying with them much longer than originally planned.

In fact, if you promise to keep it just between us so I don’t get in trouble it was my opinion that the Secret Service was concerned about the president remaining so long in that area.

With buildings still unstable, with fires raging below ground of 2000 degrees or more, there was good reason for concern.

Well the president remained there and talked to everyone, the firefighters, the police officers, the healthcare workers, the clergy, but the people who spent the most time with him were our construction workers.

Now New York construction workers are very special people. I’m sure this is true all over but I know the ones here the best. They were real heroes along with many others that day, volunteering immediately. And they’re big, real big. Their arms are bigger than my legs and their opinions are even bigger than their arms. Now each one of them would engage the president and I imagine like his cabinet give him advice. They were advising him in their own words on exactly what he should do with the terrorists. Of course I can’t repeat their exact language.

But one of them really went into great detail and upon conclusion of his remarks President Bush said in a rather loud voice, “I agree.”

At this point the guy just beamed and all his buddies turned toward him in amazement.

The guy just lost it.

So he reached over, embraced the president and began hugging him enthusiastically.

A Secret Service agent standing next to me looked at the president and the guy and instead of extracting the president from this bear hug, he turned toward me and put his finger in my face and said, “If this guy hurts the president, Giuliani you’re finished.”

Meekly, and this is the moral of the story, I responded, “but it would be out of love.”

I also remember the heart wrenching visit President Bush made to the families of our firefighters and police officers at the Javits Center.

I remember receiving all the help, assistance and support from the president and even more than we asked.

For that I will be eternally grateful to President Bush.

And I remember the support being bipartisan and actually standing hand in hand Republicans and Democrats, here in New York and all over the nation.

During a Boston Red Sox game there was a sign held up saying Boston loves New York.

I saw a Chicago police officer sent here by Mayor Daley directing traffic in Manhattan.

I’m not sure where he sent the cars, they are probably still riding around the Bronx, but it was very reassuring to know how much support we had.

And as we look beyond this election ? and elections do accentuate differences ? let’s make sure we rekindle that spirit that we are one ? one America ? united to end the threat of global terrorism.

Certainly President Bush will keep us focused on that goal. When President Bush announced his commitment to ending global terrorism, he understood ? I understood, we all understood ? it was critical to remove the pillars of support for the global terrorist movement.

In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be accomplished.

Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction, was himself a weapon of mass destruction.

But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.

To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is something for which all those involved from President Bush to the brave men and women of our armed forces should be proud.

President Bush has also focused on the correct long-term answer for the violence and hatred emerging from the Middle East. The hatred and anger in the Middle East arises from the lack of accountable governments.

Rather than trying to grant more freedom, create more income, improve education and basic health care, these governments deflect their own failures by pointing to America and Israel and other external scapegoats.

But blaming these scapegoats does not improve the life of a single person in the Arab world. It does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran.

It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria. It certainly does not stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan.

The changes necessary in the Middle East involve encouraging accountable, lawful governments that can be role models.

This has also been an important part of the Bush Doctrine and the president’s vision for the future.

Have faith in the power of freedom.

People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression. That’s the story of the Old Testament. That’s the story of World War II and the Cold War.

That’s the story of the firefighters and police officers and rescue workers who courageously saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.

President Bush is the leader we need for the next four years because he sees beyond today and tomorrow. He has a vision of a peaceful Middle East and, therefore, a safer world. We will see an end to global terrorism. I can see it. I believe it. I know it will happen.

It may seem a long way off. It may even seem idealistic. But it may not be as far away and idealistic as it seems.

Look how quickly the Berlin Wall was torn down, the Iron Curtain ripped open and the Soviet Union disintegrated because of the power of the pent-up demand for freedom.

When it catches hold there is nothing more powerful than freedom. Give it some hope, and it will overwhelm dictators, and even defeat terrorists. That is what we have done and must continue to do in Iraq.

That is what the Republican Party does best ? when we are at our best, we extend freedom.

It’s our mission. And it’s the long-term answer to ending global terrorism. Governments that are free and accountable.

We have won many battles ? at home and abroad ? but as President Bush told us on September 20, 2001 it will take a long-term determined effort to prevail.

The war on terrorism will not be won in a single battle. There will be no dramatic surrender. There will be no crumbling of a massive wall.

But we will know it. We’ll know it as accountable governments continue to develop in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We’ll know it as terrorist attacks throughout the world decrease and then end.

And then, God willing, we’ll all be able on a future anniversary of September 11th to say to our fallen brothers and sisters, to our heroes of the worst attack in our history and to our heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror.

We will say to them we have done all that we could with our lives that were spared to make your sacrifices build a world of real peace and true freedom.

We will make certain in the words of President Bush that they have heard from us.

That they have heard from us a message of peace through free, accountable, lawful and decent governments giving people hope for a future for themselves and their children.

God bless each one we have lost, here and abroad, and their families. God bless all those defending our freedom. God bless America.

I love Rudy and thought he gave a great speech. Bloomberg…forget it. His was terrible.

Rudy gave a lot of people in the city confidence after 9/11. We all looked up to him. I think it defined him. I was proud he was mayor. He went to almost all the cops and firefighters funerals. Even after he was mayor. He was quite a guy.

Rudy’s speech was the highlight of the evening! He was passionate, to the point and very accurate! No wonder certain liberals hated it. Ha ha

Was I supposed to read that dreck?

Giuliani is a turd, he was hated by most New Yorkers at the time of 9-11. He admittedly did a good job of keeping people calm during the crisis, and unlike President Bush (who was AWOL during the crisis for the most part) Giuliani deserves some credit for his leadership.

Giuliani wants to run for mayor, so that explains his grandstanding. Real New Yorkers are disgusted by the Republican’s shameless use of 9-11 for political purposes though.

Again, Chuckmanjoe, you say you are a grad student? I don’t believe you ever made it out of high school. Your post just shows you don’t have a clue… Koch is a Republican in sheep’s clothing, he has stumped for Republican candidates for years. He’s no more a Democrat than I am an astronaut.

But I can’t wait for these clowns to start talking about Bush’s actual record! I expect a HUGE BUMP in the polls after this convention… 10 to 15 points!

“Still the same guy as I’ve always known. He’s a republican. What did you expect?”

  • Not so. Giuliani also ran on the Liberal (GASP!) Party ticket and the Independence Party. He has always toed the line betw democrat and republican. He probably had to, considering Dems outnumer repubs 5-1 in NYC.

He also endorsed Cuomo over Pataki for gov.

"People who have moved to New York City in the last ten years have no idea how bad it was before Giuliani came along. Large tracts were given over to filth and danger. A block from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the fusillades of the drug dealers were like a nightly rifle range. Going into the subways was like entering a mugger?s unconscious. Sophisticates complain about the Disneyfication of Times Square. They miss their crack hos. "

-BS, BS and more BS.

As a New Yorker I need to set the record straight. The author is wron on all points above.

To wit:
The hos were gone by the late 70s, early 80s, at least 8 yrs before Rudy was elected.

The subway claims are exaggerated. The worst stations were, surprise surprise, the ones by Times Square.

St John the Divine is in a really shady neighborhood to begin with.

I’m not running down Rudy, I love him and he did great things in reducing crime in the city. But the author is writing a BJ piece and I have to point it out.

Nothing against Rudy, except…

I lost a lot of respect for McCain and Giuliani this last month. They are selling themselves out for Bush. McCain campaigning for Bush after what was done to him in the 2000 primaries by bush’s team is pathetic. What happened to your grapefruits John?

And Giuliani licking bush’s a$s was sad to watch. Giuliani has always been his own man,and has always practiced liberal repub politics that are nothing like bush’s.

I understand why they did it though. They want the republ support for when they run for office. McCain for prez in 08, and Giuliani for vice prez or again against hillary in '08 for senate.

I guess that’s the price you have to pay in politics.

Sonny,

I read your last post lampooning both Guiliani and McCain for being political opportunists in the worst sense of the word.

Since both of these men have a long history of independent thinking and acting, ISN’T THERE JUST A teenie, tiny, microscopic, infinitesimal CHANCE, that they believed everything they said? I want you to contemplate this very seriously.

This is going to come as a shock (I think): There are some very prominent/successful/independent thinking people NOT ON THE REPUBLICAN PAYROLL OUT HERE.

Is it at all conceivable to you that there are people free of psychiatric disorders that trully believe that G.W.B. is the best man running in this race?

Have you ever considered that?

Even once?

For a microsecond?

I am interested in ANY SIGN that you have thought about these remote possibilities.

Will be waiting anxiously for your response,

JeffR

Let me ask you this Lumpy, and I do hope you answer the following questions without any attacks, without any name calling. Nor any partainship. ANd with all honesty.

If you were President of the United States, and 9/11 occurred, during your Presidency, what would of been your response to the worst terror attacks that occured while you were President? Also have two followup questions for you, after those attacks, what would be your number one priority as President? What would you do to make sure that aother terror attack does not occur in the United States again?

Again I really hope you do answer those questions…

Joe

Why I Can’t Vote for John Kerry
Edward I. Koch
Wednesday, Sep. 1, 2004

In a weekly commentary in February 2002, I announced that I would support President Bush for re-election.
I wrote that I had recently had dinner with two diehard liberal Democrats and told them that if the election were held tomorrow, I would vote to re-elect President Bush. They nearly choked on their appetizers.

I explained that I was supporting the president because he had ?made terrorism, which in my view is the greatest threat faced by this country, the number one issue in the world. He put together an unexpected grand coalition against Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, al-Qaida and the warlords of Afghanistan. Most important, he defied the generally held view of American media commentators that Afghanistan would become a quagmire, another Vietnam. Instead, victory was swift and with extraordinarily few American casualties.?

Over the next two years, I reiterated my commitment to the president?s re-election, and this week I endorsed the president at the Republican National Convention. Before introducing Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the assembled delegates, I said: ?I know what you?re thinking. What?s Ed Koch doing at the Republican convention? Me. A Democratic district leader in Greenwich Village. Democratic city councilman. Democratic congressman, Democratic mayor. Why am I here? To convert you. But that?s for the next election. This year I?m voting for the re-election of President George W. Bush.?

I cannot support John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, because he wavers too much on issues of fundamental importance:

For example, in explaining his vote in the U.S. Senate in favor of the war against Iraq, Kerry said, ?He [Bush] misled every one of us.? After the Democratic convention, President Bush challenged Senator Kerry: ?My opponent hasn?t answered the question of whether, knowing what we know now, he would have supported going into Iraq.? Kerry responded, ?Yes, I would have voted for the authority.?

Similarly, during his appearances with the other candidates at the first Democratic debate on May 3, 2004, Kerry strongly supported the president?s actions in Iraq, stating, ?George, I said at the time, I would have preferred if we had given diplomacy a greater opportunity, but I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam, and when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him.?

But on June 18, 2003, the Associated Press reported: ?Kerry said Wednesday that President Bush broke his promise to build an international coalition against Iraq?s Saddam Hussein and then waged a war based on questionable intelligence. ?He misled every one of us,? Kerry said.?

On September 2, 2003, Kerry claimed that he voted ?to threaten? the use of force in Iraq. He said, ?I voted to threaten the use of force to make Saddam Hussein comply with the resolutions of the United Nations.? Then, on January 6, 2004, when asked by MSNBC “Hardball” host Chris Matthews, ?Are you one of the anti-war candidates?? Kerry replied, ?I am ? yes, in the sense that I don?t believe the president took us to war as he should have, yes, absolutely.?

Kerry more recently told the American public that in fact he would have voted for the war even if he had known at the time of his Senate vote that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. Kerry exhibited all the failures of a tortured soul, having to decide which was more important, winning the nomination or doing what was morally right. He chose the nomination.

Kerry?s waffling is not limited to the war against Iraq. Kerry announced to the country that he opposed same-sex marriages and nevertheless would vote in the U.S. Senate against the constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, his reason being that the Constitution should not be used to deny civil rights to people.

In 2002 he signed a letter opposing a similar amendment. The letter stated: ?We believe it would be a grave error for Massachusetts to enshrine in our Constitution a provision which would have such a negative effect on so many of our fellow residents. … We are therefore united in urging you to reject this Constitutional amendment and avoid stigmatizing so many of our fellow citizens who do not deserve to be treated in such a manner.?

On the other hand, an article in the Boston Globe on February 6, 2004, reported: ?Asked if he would support a state constitutional amendment barring gay and lesbian marriages, Kerry didn?t rule out the possibility. ?I?ll have to see what language there is,? he said.?

Even worse, the Los Angeles Times reported on August 7, 2004, that while in Missouri, Kerry came out in favor of Missouri?s recent amendment to its constitution that states ?To be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.?

According to the Times, a spokesman for the Human Rights Fund, a Washington group that lobbies for gay rights, said Kerry?s support for the Missouri amendment (forbidding gay marriage) was not surprising. ?This is consistent with what he?s been saying all along,? Steven Fisher, the group?s communications director, said.?

Again, a tortured soul, having to choose between principle and hopefully winning in the general election to come. He chose winning.

I respect those who have different opinions, but I have little regard for those who bend with the wind, those who vacillate, those who cave to the threats of others. I supported from the beginning the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. I continue to support our armed forces being there. I cannot admire a public official who straddles that issue.

I support the right to same-sex marriages. Gays and lesbians have every constitutional right to equal treatment before the law. I maintain my beliefs before every group. I simply cannot abide the panderer who takes both sides of an issue, thinking no one will notice.

Immediately following my speech at the Republican convention, I was asked by Wolf Blitzer of CNN what I thought of ?the president?s statement that the war on terrorism cannot be won.? I was unfamiliar with any such statement, as I had not seen the interview with Matt Lauer of NBC-TV at which it was allegedly made. My mind raced, thinking Blitzer wants me to make some comment that he can use against Bush.

In World War II, one of the great poster statements was ?Loose lips sink ships.? That applied to inadvertently giving locations of ships to German submarines. But it applies in a different context to all candidates in an election who let down their guard in responding to smiling reporters lying in wait for gaffes.

I responded to Blitzer, ?I?ve neither seen nor heard his comments and won?t comment until I do.? That was fortunate because his comments in context make sense.

The New York Sun reported today, ?Interviewed on NBC?s ?Today? show, Mr. Bush was asked, ?Do you really think we can win this war on terror in the next four years?? Mr. Bush replied, ?I have never said we can win it in four years.? NBC?s Matt Lauer rephrased the question: ?So I?m just saying can we win it? Do you see that?? Mr. Bush said: ?I don?t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.??

He is right. There will always be someone or some group willing to use terror as a weapon. As President Bush has indicated, the key is to ?go after the terrorists and the countries that harbor them.?

While an individual terrorist can always hide in a cave, he or she will have little or no impact on the world if no country is willing to provide weapons or sanctuary. It is a battle that will go on for an extended period of time. President Bush has always said so.

Edward I. Koch is the former mayor of New York City. His commentary for Bloomberg radio is republished here. You can hear his weekly radio show by going to www.bloomberg.com/radio.

Sonny - Just to clarify, are you saying Dinkins cleaned up the crime, organized and otherwise, straigtened out the city’s finances and cleaned up Times Square and that Rudy merely benefited by following him?