THE BLOG
03/08/2007 04:49 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Rudy Giuliani: The Man of the Hour

Rudy is the current man of the hour in presidential politics.

The former mayor of New York is the cover story in the latest issues of Newsweek and New York Magazine.

Time's 2001 Person of the Year is leading in most of the polls over Senator John McCain as the candidate Republicans favor for president in 2008.

The former Associate Attorney General and US Attorney for the Southern District of New York was a speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC last week and is planning his first campaign trip to Iowa next month.

Hizzoner is on a roll. How long it will last, what substance is behind it and how he will play to conservative audiences across the country remains to be seen. Republicans will be choosing a candidate for president who is the opposite of the current unpopular president. New Yorker Giuliani would fit that description. He may agree with President Bush on Iraq and other domestic and foreign policy issues but no one would ever confuse the two GOP leaders. They have totally different personalities.

Giuliani, who became known as America's Mayor for his heroic performance on 9/11 and the days after our country's worst terrorist attack, transformed himself into an American icon.

The Brooklyn native is now primarily known for his efforts to save lives and keep New York City afloat during those dark days in 2001. He is forever cast in that image with most Americans.

In fact, most Americans when asked about Giuliani, come up with the response that he is a hero who symbolizes America's determination to fight terrorism and who protects our way of life in the face of the horrible events on 9/11.

The graduate of New York University Law School is seen as a tough, strong and dependable leader.

This seems to be the main, and some say his only, campaign strategy to capture the White House in 2008.

And, it may work. American voters are hungry for competent leaders who have faced adversity and come out as a winner. His image as a strong leader may be enough to overcome his three marriages and his so-called liberal views on abortion, gun control and gay rights.

The avid New York Yankees fan is known for his quick temper, stubbornness and arrogance. He doesn't handle criticism well according to those close to him.

He has little foreign policy experience and his highest job has been as mayor of New York, normally not a stepping stone to the White House.

However, the man who really became a legend for his performance on that tragic day in 2001, may be able to capture the GOP nomination and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on the strength of 9/11. Conservatives may overlook some of his more liberal views if they feel they have a winner on their hands. In the general election he would be a formidable candidate against either Senators Clinton or Obama.

Looking at his pre 9/11 accomplishments one can point to the fact that in an overwhelmingly Democratic city "in 1993, Rudy became the first Republican Mayor of the City of New York in a generation.

According to his Join Rudy 2008 website "Under Mayor Giuliani's leadership, overall crime was cut by 57%, murder was cut by nearly 70%, and New York City-once considered the crime capital of the country-was recognized by the FBI as the safest large city in America."

Giuliani can also point to his job creating, welfare reducing, and financially successful skills when he was mayor.

So, he does have a track record of accomplishment. He does seem successful. He is, indeed, successful, today as an entrepreneur, businessman, author and speaker.

He is running against another true American hero, John McCain. He is running against another very successful businessman, Mitt Romney. And Giuliani is both a hero and successful businessman.

On the other hand, the former crime fighter is not a particularly dynamic speaker. At the moment, he isn't that well versed on many of the other issues of the day besides terrorism and urban topics.

He does not have a nationally known campaign staff and he has yet to be tested on the campaign trail. His temper and stubbornness could do him in and his lack of knowledge on some key issues might make him look less presidential.

But, in a country looking for competence, strength and leadership America's Mayor may be the answer we are all looking for.

It will not be a candidate's views on Iraq, Iran, North Korea, global warming, welfare or Social Security that will put one of these politicians in the White House. It will be how the American voter sees the candidate's true character and how they feel he or she will perform in an emergency.

Rudy Giuliani has passed the test with flying colors on how he reacts in an emergency. If the former New York mayor can convince us he is also a man of character he could fool all of the pundits and find himself sitting in the Oval Office in January, 2009.