Rudy Giuliani's speech, on day one of the RNC, has to be one of the best speeches advocating the reelection of an incumbent in recent history.
I have said before that the reelection of an incumbent is dependent upon the electorate answering two questions:
1. "does the incumbent deserve a second term?", and if the answer to that is NO, than 2." is the challenger an adequate replacement?" Giuliani's speech does a great job at addressing those two questions.
Rudy makes the case that Bush responded to 911 in the best possible manner when he said:
"It was here in 2001 in lower Manhattan that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center and said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, “They will hear from us.”
They have heard from us!
They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban.
They heard from us in Iraq and we ended Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror.
They heard from us in Libya and without firing a shot Qadhafi abandoned weapons of mass destruction.
They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists. So long as George Bush is President, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism.
We owe that much and more to those loved ones and heroes we lost on September 11th.
The families of some of those we lost on September 11th are here with us. To them, and all those families affected by September 11th, we recognize the sacrifices your loved ones and you have made. You are in our prayers and we are in your debt."
Rudy then went on to defend Bush's strategic vision when he said:
Terrorism did not start on September 11, 2001. It had been festering for many years. And the world had created a response to it that allowed it to succeed. The attack on the Israeli team at the Munich Olympics was in 1972. And the pattern had already begun.
The three surviving terrorists were arrested and within two months released by the German government.
Action like this became the rule, not the exception. Terrorists came to learn they could attack and often not face consequences.
In 1985, terrorists attacked the Achille Lauro and murdered an American citizen who was in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer. They marked him for murder solely because he was Jewish.
Some of those terrorist were released and some of the remaining terrorists allowed to escape by the Italian government because of fear of reprisals.
So terrorists learned they could intimidate the world community and too often the response, particularly in Europe, was “accommodation, appeasement and compromise.”
And worse the terrorists also learned that their cause would be taken more seriously, almost in direct proportion to the barbarity of the attack.
Terrorist acts became a ticket to the international bargaining table. How else to explain Yasser Arafat winning the Nobel Peace Prize when he was supporting a terrorist plague in the Middle East that undermined any chance of peace?
Before September 11, we were living with an unrealistic view of the world much like our observing Europe appease Hitler or trying to accommodate ourselves to peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union through mutually assured destruction.
President Bush decided that we could no longer be just on defense against global terrorism but we must also be on offense."
Finally, Rudy defends the decision to attack Iraq and shapes Bush's vision for the war on terror:
"On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world and he did change the direction of our ship of state. He dedicated America under his leadership to destroying global terrorism.
The President announced the Bush Doctrine when he said: “Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there.
It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.”
And since September 11th President Bush has remained rock solid.".....
" In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be accomplished.
Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction, was himself a weapon of mass destruction.
But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is something for which all those involved from President Bush to the brave men and women of our armed forces should be proud.
President Bush has also focused on the correct long-term answer for the violence and hatred emerging from the Middle East. The hatred and anger in the Middle East arises from the lack of accountable governments.
Rather than trying to grant more freedom, create more income, improve education and basic health care, these governments deflect their own failures by pointing to America and Israel and other external scapegoats.
But blaming these scapegoats does not improve the life of a single person in the Arab world. It does not relieve the plight of even one woman in Iran.
It does not give a decent living to a single soul in Syria. It certainly does not stop the slaughter of African Christians in the Sudan.
The changes necessary in the Middle East involve encouraging accountable, lawful governments that can be role models.
This has also been an important part of the Bush Doctrine and the President's vision for the future. Have faith in the power of freedom.
People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression. That’s the story of the Old Testament. That’s the story of World War II and the Cold War. That’s the story of the firefighters and police officers and rescue workers who courageously saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.
President Bush is the leader we need for the next four years because he sees beyond today and tomorrow. He has a vision of a peaceful Middle East and, therefore, a safer world. We will see an end to global terrorism. I can see it. I believe it. I know it will happen.
It may seem a long way off. It may even seem idealistic.
But it may not be as far away and idealistic as it seems."
On making the case that Kerry in not an adequate replacement for Bush, Rudy said:
"Ronald Reagan saw and described the Soviet Union as “the evil empire” while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and belittled Ronald Reagan’s intelligence. President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.
John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision.
This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry.
I respect him for his service to our nation.
But it is important to see the contrast in approach between the two men; President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts, and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often even on important issues.
When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, John Kerry voted against the Persian Gulf War. Later he said he actually supported the war.
Then in 2002, as he was calculating his run for President, he voted for the war in Iraq. And then just 9 months later, he voted against an $87 billion supplemental budget to fund the war and support our troops.
He even, at one point, declared himself an anti-war candidate. Now, he says he's pro-war. At this rate, with 64 days left, he still has time to change his position at least three or four more times.
My point about John Kerry being inconsistent is best described in his own words when he said, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
Maybe this explains John Edwards’ need for two Americas - - one where John Kerry can vote for something and another where he can vote against the same thing.'
"But John Kerry has made it the rule to change his position, rather than the exception. In October, 2003, he told an Arab-American Institute in Detroit that a security barrier separating Israel from the Palestinian Territories was a "barrier to peace."
A few months later, he took exactly the opposite position. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post he said, "Israel’s security fence is a legitimate act of self defense."
The contrasts are dramatic. They involve very different views of how to deal with terrorism. President Bush will make certain that we are combatting terrorism at the source, beyond our shores, so we can reduce the risk of having to confront it in the streets of New York.
John Kerry's record of inconsistent positions on combatting terrorism gives us no confidence he'll pursue such a determined course.
President Bush will not allow countries that appear to have ignored the lessons of history and failed for over thirty years to stand up to terrorists, to dissuade us from what is necessary for our defense. He will not let them set our agenda. Under President Bush, America will lead rather than follow.
John Kerry's claim that certain foreign leaders who opposed our removal of Saddam Hussein prefer him, raises the risk that he would accommodate his position to their viewpoint.
It would hardly be the first time he changed his position on matters of war and peace."
Sometimes only a Lawyer can make a case that resonates with the rest of the country, I think Rudy did just that!