CPAC – Giuliani Time
Rudy Giuliani’s speech at CPAC starts at noon. Unfortunately, they’re turning people away at the door because there are more people who want to see the speech than, to quote Waylon Jennings, than the law will allow. The fire code, in this case.
I can’t decide whether this is a brilliant stroke on Giuliani’s part, demonstrating that he’s wildly popular, or sabotage on the part of the organizers to irritate those who couldn’t get in.
UPDATE: The speech, which I was able to watch via closed circuit television, was quite impressive. George Will provided an excellent introduction, making the bold statement that Giuliani’s tenure as mayor represented the “eight years of most conservative governance in the 20th century.” He pointed to Giuliani’s record of tax cutting, crime fighting, and getting people off welfare and into jobs.
Giuliani himself emphasized his conservative credentials, talking about the things he learned from Ronald Reagan, but acknowledged that he had differences with many in the audience. He quoted Reagan, though, in pointing out that “Someone who agrees with me eighty percent of the time is not my twenty percent enemy.” It’s a lesson that he’ll have to teach over and over again.
He derided the Democrats in Congress for their fondness for non-binding resolutions, saying the job of elected leaders is to make tough decisions, not to be commentators.
He emphasized his conservative accomplishments as NYC mayor, including enacting the first tax cuts in the city’s history, changing Welfare Centers to Job Placement Centers, and cracking down on crime.
Interwoven throughout the speech, though, was what he said was Reagan’s foremost lesson, that of optimistic leadership. Giuliani is not quite a Reagan as a communicator, but he got the job done, I think.