Rudolph Giuliani has filed with the Federal Election Commission declaring his intention to run for president. I'm glad even though he is by no means the perfect candidate. I differ strongly with his views on abortion and gun control and when he was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of N.Y. his behavior could be appalling, heavy-handed and grandstanding. On the other hand, when he took office as mayor of New York, crime was out of control, people were fleeing the city and the city's fisc was a mess. He turned things around in remarkably short order. Also impressive and gratifying, he was (and is) utterly impervious to demagogues like Al Sharpton, who was not once permitted to enter City Hall while Giuliani was in office. Once he ordered the NYPD to eject the late Yasser Arafat from Avery Fisher Hall after that murderous thug had crashed a UN event there. "My only regret was I didn't throw him out myself," was his response to the howls from the critics, President Clinton on down.
Rudy's refusal to be cowed by the self-righteous fools at the New York Times, ACLU, NAACP etc. earned him many enemies when he was mayor and many people here hate him still. There is no denying he can be headstrong, stubborn and resistant to criticism. But having lived in New York City during the bad old days, when city was going down the toilet, it is an easy matter to forgive him his flaws for his virtues far outweigh them. These virtues were especially evident during the horrible days following 9/11 where he displayed true leadership, calm and compasionate. His running for president is welcome news and certainly improves the prospects for the 2008 elections. (h/t Riehl World View)