Thursday, November 8, 2007

Giuliani Watch: America's Tough Guy

No politician today better embodies the vision of the chief executive as crime fighter shaped by the war on crime than Rudolph Giuliani. This is why it does not matter whether crime drops out of the news to be replaced by terrorism or Iran's nukes. It is the mentality of governing, the ways of thinking and feeling projected by the leader that originate in the war against crime but carry over into governing generally.

While most of our recent Presidents have embodied the same crime mentality (consider Texas Governor George W Bush) the current group of candidates in both parties is remarkably thin in politicians who project this style of leadership well. That is why in my view, Guiuliani has a better than even chance of being our next president despite his very clear "problems"

Consider Rudy on the campaign trail as covered by Peter Wallsten in the Los Angeles Times:

A 9-year-old girl, afraid of another attack like the one on Sept. 11, sparked a finger-waving lecture at another point in the day from Giuliani, who said that Democrats were afraid to use the term "Islamic terrorism." "You have to face your enemy," he told the third-grader, Kailey Lemieux.

Other politicians might have expressed empathy, or drawn voters into deeper conversation, or lightened the talk of violence around elementary school children. But not the former New York mayor. With his intense demeanor and aggressive policy stances -- such as pledging to "prevent" Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon or to "set them back five or 10 years" -- Giuliani has methodically built an image as the toughest guy on the block, unafraid of looking belligerent in the cause of keeping America safe.

Read the whole story

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