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Rudy Giuliani’s 12 Commitments

Rudy Giuliani gave a speech this afternoon announcing his “Twelve Commitments to the American people, a bold vision aimed at moving America forward through change and reform, overcoming new challenges and increasing accountability in Washington.”

Let’s take them one at a time, shall we?

1. I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.

What the hell does that mean, exactly?

2. I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation.

No, you won’t. And, frankly, I wouldn’t want to give you (or anyone else) enough power to “identify every non-citizen in our nation.” There are over 300 million people living here, stretched across a continental landmass. How on earth would you do that?

3. I will restore fiscal discipline and cut wasteful Washington spending.

I’m for that. How would you define wasteful spending? How much would you cut it? How would you persuade Congress?

4. I will cut taxes and reform the tax code.

Which taxes? By how much? Reform how?

5. I will impose accountability on Washington.

How so? We’ve got elections, separation of powers, and checks and balances. What would you add? Is it Constitutional?

6. I will lead America towards energy independence.

I’m for that. How would you achieve it? What will it cost?

7. I will give Americans more control over, and access to, healthcare with affordable and portable free-market solutions.

I’m confused. Is this going to be done by the government or the free market? Anyway, I’ve already got plenty of control and access.

8. I will increase adoptions, decrease abortions, and protect the quality of life for our children.

From the White House? How? You’re already going to be chasing terrorists, illegal aliens, and looking for oil.

9. I will reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges.

Reform in what manner? Will these judges be confirmable?

10. I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

Have you ever heard of Federalism? Anyway, 99.9% of the communities in America are in essentially no danger from terrorism, so why would you expend federal resources on protecting them?

11. I will provide access to a quality education to every child in America by giving real school choice to parents.

No, you won’t. You’d never get it through Congress, for starters, and the courts would likely strike down any law that sent government money to religious schools.

12. I will expand America’s involvement in the global economy and strengthen our reputation around the world.

How could we be more involved in the global economy? And how are you going to do this while shutting down our borders, chasing illegal aliens, and stopping the import of energy from abroad.

Via Rob Bluey, who is more impressed.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. s, KFC, Starbucks and Microsoft involved in pretty much every country in the world outside of North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. I’m not quite sure how much more “involved” we could be. Unless by “involved” Rudy means, “invading.” H/T: James Joyner

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  2. [IMG]< ----Rudy’s role model That chorus of derisive laughter you heard was the response from both Left and Right Blogistan to Mayor 9/11’s attempt to invoke quasi-religiosity with his “Twelve Commitments.” I know they’re supposed to be charges that Rudy lays upon himself rather than others, but it so naturally - albeit clumsily - invokes an imperial Moses

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  3. : “It’s a sort of Contract With America, at the executive rather than legislative level. … I’ll tell you what I think: there is a whole lot there for conservatives, and many other Americans, to like.” Outside the Beltway’s James Joyner did not like the list and negatively responded to each one including this on securing the border: “No, you won’t. And, frankly, I wouldn’t want to give you (or anyone else) enough power to ‘identify every non-citizen in our nation.’

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  4. link

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  5. Who Is IOZ? says:

    1. I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.James Joyner says most of the funny and true things that one can say about Benito Giuliani’s “12 Committments,” which sounds frightfully Newt Gingrichian with its arbitrary numerology, though it also sounds like the working title of a Merchant-Ivory picture. But this

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  6. It reads like red meat to be thrown at the mouth-breathing 30% that still support Bush. Things that a sentient being understands are idiotic if they think about them for half a second (or less), but suuure dew sahnd gewd! I liked this comment and the original post discussing this list. Via the same Angry Bear link, Barney Frank, my favorite elected official tells it like it is about the Slimey Glove: “The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsover.

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  7. on most issues. How will these “strict constructionist” judges differ. 10. I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Really? How? For that matter, as James Joyner noted, “99.9% of the communities in America are in essentially no danger from terrorism, so why would you expend federal resources on protecting them?” 11. I will provide access to a quality education to every child in America by giving real school

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  8. » Outside The Beltway | OTB: Rudy Giuliani gave a speech this afternoon announcing his “Twelve Commitments to the American … Outside The Beltway | OTB: Rudy Giuliani gave a speech this afternoon announcing his “Twelve Commitments to the American … Washington Post / Sylvia Adcock Duke Lacrosse Prosecutor Faces Own Trial

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  9. Rudy Giuliani’s 12 Commitments — Rudy Giuliani gave a speech this afternoon announcing his “Twelve Commitments to the American people, a bold vision aimed at moving America forward through change and reform, overcoming new challenges and increasing accountability in Washington.”

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  10. in this country, let alone “identify every non-citizen in our nation.” And his call to “impose” accountability smacks of the whole Mayor Micromanager thing that’s one of the big knocks against Giuliani. But I’m not nearly as skeptical of this plan as James Joyner of Outside the Beltway, who takes Rudy to task for every single one of his 12 commitments.

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  11. to the American people, a bold vision aimed at moving America forward through change and reform, overcoming new challenges and increasing accountability in Washington.” Source:   Outside The Beltway | OTB Author:   James Joyner Link:   http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/06… memeorandum permalink

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  12. COMMITTED….Rudy Giuliani unveiled his “12 Commitments” to the American people today. James Joyner is seriously unimpressed. And he’s a conservative. In any case, I guess Rudy will be barnstorming America this summer to put some meat on the bones of each one of his commitments. I can’t wait. —Kevin Drum 4:52 PM Permalink

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  13. laura says:

    I don’t mind all the pious aspirations. I mean, I don’t mind the vagueness. He’s giving a general direction and a list of the issues that matter to him.

    The problem I see is that fiscal discipline and tax cutting are in absolute contradiction. We can’t afford another tax cut. All the rationalizing in the world about cutting spending doesn’t change that fact, especially if he plans to use federal money for winning his nebulous and endless war.

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  14. Someone once said, “Our ideals are like the stars, we can’t reach them but we set out course by them.”

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  15. Our, not out. Sorry.

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  16. legion says:

    Excellent work, James. That sort of list may play well to the red-meat crowd, but it’s so far beyond rational it makes me worry about Rudy’s sanity. At best, he’ll quickly find that such pointless puffery doesn’t play well on the campaign trail (at least when you don’t have the Secret Service vetting all your whistle-stop audiences).

    As for the earlier comments, let me elaborate just one of Jame’s worthy takedowns…

    2. I will end illegal immigration, secure our borders, and identify every non-citizen in our nation.

    OK, ‘secure our borders’ is subject to wildly differing interpretations, but those other two points? WTF? “END” illegal immigration? Not bloody likely. And identifying every non-citizen? Flatly impossible, Mr Mayor. I defy anyone to come up with a plausible, rational way to do either of those things outside of cribbing the plot from any of dozens of b-grade sci-fi movies. I know campaign promises are supposed to pie-in-the-sky, but to make such blatantly outlandish statements really worries me about his judgement.

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  17. Committed…

    COMMITTED….Rudy Giuliani unveiled his “12 Commitments” to the American people today. James Joyner is seriously unimpressed. And he’s a conservative. In any case, I guess Rudy will be barnstorming America this summer to put some meat on the bones o…

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  18. A.S. says:

    James Joyner doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of lists or bullet points, does he?

    Here’s a hint, James, they aren’t intended to be fully fleshed out policy proposals.

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  19. Doug-E-Fresh says:

    You have to admit that it is funny to hear thrice married Rudy talk about his “commitment” to anything. Seems to me the guy actually has something of a problem with commitments.

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  20. [...] Compare and contrast : Rudy Giuliani’s “Twelve Commitments to the American People” and his three commitments to American women. Considering that Rudy is a twice-divorced serial adulterer, I’m not so sure a “commitment” is something he’s able to live up to. Then again, since he’s running for the nomination of the party that prefers leaders that act presidential to ones that can be presidential, maybe Republican voters will be dumb enough to fall for his laundry list of conservative rhetoric so vague that it makes a fortune cookie look verbose by comparison. posted by greg on June 12, 2007 @ 2:21 pm [...]

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  21. [...] Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 in politics by Daniel Larison I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us. ~Rudy Giuliani [...]

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  22. James Joyner says:

    Here’s a hint, James, they aren’t intended to be fully fleshed out policy proposals.

    No, they’re designed to be universally appealing without saying anything. I’m mostly just pointing that out.

    In this particular case, though, at least a couple of the proposals strike me as downright dangerous even in the abstract.

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  23. hln says:

    Yep –

    Pretty much missing the defend, justify, and explain aspect. But so much of politics is.

    hln

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  24. Andrea says:

    I would say the most important of those goals is the last one. However, it does seem pretty ambitious if the other goals are to hunt for terrorists worldwide and stop illegal immigration. What America really needs to do in order to strengthen our reputation in the world and be a responsible member of the world economy is to lend our political and economic strength to the fight against global poverty. This is an issue that is vitally important in and of itself and which is also at the base of all the other issues we face, such as immigration and terrorism.

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  25. Derrick says:

    You asked what #1 is and I’ll tell you, it’s a reminder that “he was there on 9/11″. I know that its early but Guiliani seems woefully short on details on pretty much everything. I really believe that he thinks that he can coast to the presidency based on being the mayor of a city struck on 9/11. And if any conservative buys his “strict constructionist” talking point, my guess is that you are going to be severally disappointed.

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  26. Tlaloc says:

    Worse than the vagueness is that most of his “policies” are manifestly things the President does not control. Unless Guiliani intends to “revise” the separation of powers a bit more.

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  27. MarkT says:

    Rudy:
    6. I will lead America towards energy independence.

    James:
    I’m for that.

    I used to be too – it sounds good. But lately I’m not so sure.

    Is it even remotely realistic?

    Wouldn’t it lead towards isolationism? Burning more coal?

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  28. James Joyner says:

    Wouldn’t it lead towards isolationism? Burning more coal?

    Depends on the ‘how.’ More nuclear energy for home heating and alternative fuels (hydrogen?) for cars could be feasible. And, certainly, more drilling in places like Alaska and offshore. But those aren’t popular.

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  29. [...] Outside the Beltway presents Rudy Giuliani’s Twelve Commitments. They already tear them apart. While my criticism might be a bit different in places, referring to the list, along with OTB’s comments, should be sufficient to once again show that Giuliani is all rhetoric and no substance. For those who don’t want to follow the link, I’ll just quote a couple, starting with number one: “I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.” [...]

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  30. Wyatt Earp says:

    He forgot the part about promoting evil throughout the world!

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  31. Sisyphus says:

    Re #11, the Supreme Court has already decided that some school choice programs, in which the parents have the decision where to use the funding associated with the child, are Constitutional. So, no, the courts won’t strike that down, unless the people who write the bill don’t bother to read the Supreme Court decision ahead of time to make sure it is properly done.

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  32. A.S. says:

    No, they’re designed to be universally appealing without saying anything. I’m mostly just pointing that out.

    Politician says things that are designed to be universally appealling. That’s noteworthy?

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  33. A good skewering of a politician is always welcome. Being cynical I assumed they were all general platitudes that would be adjusted according to political circumstances. With these commitments we begin to see what a Giuliani administration would look like. As James notices there could be some significant problems.

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  34. [...] reply to this post     email it     rate     flag  Conservative rips Rudy’s bogus 12 Commitments. < HushPubbie > 06/12 16:20:56 I hope conservatives continue to point out to the republicans what an utter phony Rudy is. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/06/rudy_giulianis_12_commitments_/http://forums.craigslist.org/?ID=65609009 [...]

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  35. David says:

    Re: health care
    > I’m confused. Is this going to be
    > done by the government or the free
    > market?

    The free market is failing to provide health care for everyone–there are many people in this country who are unable to purchase health insurance at any price, due to prior existing medical conditions. This is why the government must step in.

    > Anyway, I’ve already got plenty of
    > control and access.

    Maybe you do, but about 46 million Americans do not — one-sixth of the country. This is a massive problem, and Guiliani doesn’t seem to have much interest in addressing it. Which is why he will not get my vote, regardless of his positions on the other issues.

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  36. [...] reply to this post     email it     rate     flag  Conservative rips Rudy’s bogus 12 Commitments. < HushPubbie > 06/12 16:20:56 I hope conservatives continue to point out to the republicans what an utter phony Rudy is. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/06/rudy_giulianis_12_commitments_/http://forums.phoenix.craigslist.org/?ID=65609009 [...]

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  37. [...] reply to this post     email it     rate     flag  Conservative rips Rudy’s bogus 12 Commitments. < HushPubbie > 06/12 16:20:56 I hope conservatives continue to point out to the republicans what an utter phony Rudy is. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/06/rudy_giulianis_12_commitments_/http://forums.honolulu.craigslist.org/?ID=65609009 [...]

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  38. AlbertCat says:

    The only purpose for these useless “commitments” is to make people think “commandments”. I’m surprised he didn’t just do 10.

    No doubt these will be held to the same standards that the GOP held “The Contract with America”. IOW….none at all.

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  39. Andy says:

    You ask the two critical questions:
    “Is it Constitutional?”
    “Have you ever heard of Federalism?”

    For Rudy, the answer to both questions is a resounding “no!”

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  40. [...] reply to this post     email it     rate     flag  Conservative rips Rudy’s bogus 12 Commitments. < HushPubbie > 06/12 16:20:56 I hope conservatives continue to point out to the republicans what an utter phony Rudy is. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/06/rudy_giulianis_12_commitments_/http://forums.chicago.craigslist.org/?ID=65609009 [...]

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  41. McCain: Pandering in San Fran…

    Yikes.
    Wonder if he’ll soon start waging a war on plastic bags in a show of solidarity?
    In related Republican candidate news, Mitt Romney continues an upward climb, and is now polling ahead in New Hampshire, while Rudy announced his “12 Com…

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  42. Ryan says:

    They are even posting a brick touting the 12 Commitments on the famous http://www.rudywall.com

    Wow, that is strong!!

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  43. d. b. cooper says:

    Giuliani’s 12 Commitments translated from vague politician-speak to plain English (I would like to point out before starting that in no way does any of this constitute a personal or ad hominem attack on Mr. Giuliani whatsoever, I am simply pointing out the principles behind this document and will not comment on the man himself):

    1. I will bomb Iran back to the stone age after I annihilate Iraq with nukes.

    2. I will terrorize all people darker than pink in the name of ending illegal immigration and fighting terrorism while actually doing absolutely nothing to even slow either.

    3. Your taxes will only go to defense spending and my major corporate backers from now on.

    4. More tax cuts for the rich.

    5. I will rid Washington of my political enemies. Krystalnacht for liberals.

    6. Iran is ours.

    7. I will disregard this commitment once I’m elected.

    8. I have telekinesis and can move things with my mind.

    9. Don’t worry James Dobson, I’ll do whatever you tell me, I’m your man.

    10. I will ensure that every community in America is so scared of being attacked by vaguely-defined, unreasoning terrorists that they are willing to give up every constitutional right they have ever had.

    11. I will further de-fund public schools that have already been so hopelessly de-funded that they make an easy target for people who say public schools don’t work.

    12. I will bomb Iran.

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  44. I believe you are a bit caustic toward Mr. Giuliani. Not quite sure of the audience demographic, but if this was for the grazing herd of voters in America, he is speaking to individuals who function at an approximate tenth grade reading level for the most part. (Though I heard it through the grapevine that Paris Hilton is reading WSJ in jail. smile) This is indeed a bullet format: Quick on the draw, a definable target and bulls-eye, easy to remember.

    This is not the speech which would be given to policy advisors or members of Congress. I believe you were a bit hard on the man.

    Tammy Swofford

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  45. James Joyner says:

    This is not the speech which would be given to policy advisors or members of Congress. I believe you were a bit hard on the man.

    No doubt. Still, I’m getting tired of platitudes about solving complex problems. Further, many of his goals strike me as contradictory.

    A month ago, Giuliani would have been they guy I picked if forced to choose between the candidates. I liked his CPAC rollout, for example. But his glib answers on terrorism and immigration, in particular, worry me.

    One of the things I liked about Giuliani is that he’s a pragmatist who has a record of actually making things work. Setting unreasonable goals — or goals whose achievement requires trampling our liberty — goes against that.

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  46. rob M says:

    Cause Wilson’s 14 point plan was such a stroke of success. I will rely on the same great statement, “God himself only gave us ten”

    And yes commitments and commandments are two totally different things but are close enough to bring the other to mind. If they wanted to avoid the commandments problem they could have called them a contract or promise or blood oath.

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  47. legion says:

    Politician says things that are designed to be universally appealling. That’s noteworthy?

    No, but the utter transparency and irrationality of his promises here is at a whole new level.

    I really believe that he thinks that he can coast to the presidency based on being the mayor of a city struck on 9/11.

    For the love of God, please tell me Marion Barry has no chance of becoming President!

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  48. Rula Lenska says:

    “I will…identify every non-citizen in our nation.”

    JJ: “How on earth would you do that?”

    He would sign up Fred Malek, Nixon’s Jew counter.

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  49. LJD says:

    Rudy=Gun Grabber. End of story.

    Now how about some analysis on the promises of the chicken-in-every-pot crowd?

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  50. asdf says:

    >> 6. I will lead America towards energy independence.
    > I’m for that. How would you achieve it? What will it cost?

    Forget what it will cost, what will it gain? Even if the US manages to do with zero oil and gas imports, I known, insane, but bear with me!, what will this gain?

    The rest of the world, especially China, India, will still happily import from rulers that, regardless of the level of democratic legitimacy, call the US president names. An because of the global free oil market everyone in the US will still pay the same price as everyone else.

    Don`t think for a second that that enron energy trading kid you heard joking about the “f##ed” grandma in California will think for a second about exporting energy from the US to somewhere where the economy is booming and where they known how to appreciate some “fresh” hydrocarbons.

    Though its always nice to hear a GOPer claim the free market isn`t the answer, even if its on a subject where I cant think of a better alternative.

    So any trouble near pipelines, shipping routes and what remains of the wells would still mess up the US economy, even with zero imports. Though every American car driving voter can feel great cause:
    A. its not their dollars going to the nasty/badly washed russians/arabs/persians/aziris and
    B. they got to vote for the the guy (no doubt) who was bashing Arabs the most. This always gives a safe and fuzzy warm “us vs them” feeling.

    Okay so maybe I should mention the cost. The biggest energy lever that “just works” is reducing consumption. The easy way of doing that? just taxing gas more. Even Ron Paul agrees this is the honest thing to do.

    But thats the lever that works, one can always just trust our kids will one day come up with new technology or solutions to the downside of current alternatives instead.

    Or you can work with china to get the energy together and reduce the staggering rise in consumption. And for every couple of efficient energy consuming products (cars, dryers) you buy in the US, china will produce one for the internal market as well.

    Also do I have to point out the unfortunate choice of the word “commitment” from the Giuliani campaign…. Seriously, “Giuliani” & “commitment”? Are they afraid late night comedy will run out of Bush jokes before more than the world runs out of cheap oil?

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  51. G.A. Phillips says:

    You hit right on the head LJD, and how about the same analysis on the donkey hoof in every pocket crowd?

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  52. Waveflux says:

    Thou shalt have no other presidential candidates before me…

    Rudy’s role model That chorus of derisive laughter you heard was the response from both Left and Right Blogistan to Mayor 9/11′s attempt to invoke quasi-religiosity with his “Twelve Commitments.” I know they’re supposed to be charges that Rudy……

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  53. Anderson says:

    I thought “Bellevue” would be the first on the list of Rudy’s commitments.

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  54. [...] Good Questions For RudyPosted by: MichaelJames Joyner has a few good questions that could be asked of any politician. They like to tell you what they’re going to do. They rarely tell youthey’re going to do it, however.      [...]

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  55. JD says:

    Gee, you might think Iraq would make the top 12. But Rudy is running far and fast from that GOP screw-up, whilke refusing to talk about it and trash the bushies.

    Hypocritical jerk.

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  56. matt says:

    he’s definitely got my vote in 08. republicans FTW.

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  57. The term Commitment as used is a good word. It projects a strong value and has a deeper meaning than goals or objectives.
    I do think it was smart for Rudy Giuliani to release a comprehensive plan, because he is not getting the base support he needs.

    It will be interesting to see if Rudy can break into the Republican Party!

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  58. claudia ascencio says:

    I think that Rudy Giuliani is not thinking right if he wants to pass an abortion law. That is not a great way to get citizens to vote for him especially democrats.

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  59. [...] 10. I will ensure that every community in America is prepared for terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Ninety-nine percent (99.9% ) of the communities in America are in essentially no danger from terrorism, so why would you expend federal resources on protecting them? (Outside the Beltway) [...]

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