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Queen Elizabeth II in St. Georges Chapel Windsor
for the funeral of her husband Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rudy Visits Mike's America

And he showed he could take the heat (90 degrees and 60% humidity!)

Welcome Rudy Readers! Stop and see the main page while you are here and don't be shy about expressing your thoughts in the comments section on each post!

Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani with wife Judith in Bluffton, SC July 6, 2007

From the start of this early 2008 presidential campaign I've been eager to see, hear and speak with many of the fine candidates in the GOP field. That's one great benefit of living in a state known as the first southern, or truly conservative primary. Sooner or later they all make a visit to your state and hopefully your local community.

I've already had the pleasure of meeting potential candidate George Pataki, former Governor of New York in October 2006 and candidate Duncan Hunter in March.

So, I was very pleased to learn that Rudy Giuliani would be coming to historic Bluffton, SC a stones throw from the guarded gates of the Mike's America compound. As I have said previously I have yet to endorse any particular candidate but look forward to seeing all of them face to face and have the opportunity to ask a question.

Rudy didn't disappoint!

Politics Southern Style

Photo credit: Scarlett

The Rudy visit was politics the way it used to be: small and local. The chance to get up close and personal with a man in whom you might choose to cast your vote and place your confidence in undertaking the most difficult and most important job on earth.

Despite the heat, a very welcoming group gathered Friday, July 6, outside the Bluffton Oyster Company on the banks of the May River, just off the Intercoastal waterway and a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean. On a bed of Oyster shells with the water and sleepy cottages of historic Old Bluffton in the background America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani came to say hello.

Rudy could have picked from any one of dozens of nearby Country Clubs or Resort Hotels with air conditioning and facilities for crowd control. But there was something about visiting this visible symbol of the old South and talking to us about our future that seemed to resonate with his audience.

But before we could get down to business, it was clear that Rudy's smile and humor had cast a spell.

These were no Country Club Republican blue bloods and locals in Bluffton are known for being characters. Rudy fit right in. As his wife Judith offered to take Rudy's photo with a well wisher, the woman couldn't help but give Rudy a tease (photo here).

Rudy's Record: Solid Leadership with Results!

It wasn't all fun and games and Rudy shared with us his view on where we he would like to take the country should he be picked for the job.

Rudy pointed out the oddity of a Mayor of New York coming to Old Bluffton and standing on a bed of Oyster shells. But as he pointed to a nearby American flag he reminded this southern audience that "it's exactly the same flag" as those which fly over New York. "We're not so different" he said. "We all want a freer, stronger and better America."

And this is how he's going to go about making us freer stronger and better: Rudy carries a laminated card with him listing his "Twelve Commitments to the American People. It's his version of the Ten Commandments, only it has two more commandments. Considering the heat, he spared us all twelve, but you may read them on his web site here.

Friday, he stressed two paramount goals:

1. Keep our country safe and on the offensive in thew war on terror.
and
2. Control the size of government and empower the private sector to do more.

Rudy was quick to point out the contrast with Democrats who clearly would put our country back on defense in the War on terror and who count on larger government and more taxes as the solution to every problem.

Rudy Record: The Right Direction for New York and America

Rudy cited a poll of New Yorkers taken before he became Mayor which said that 70% of New Yorkers thought the City was moving in the wrong direction. By the end of Rudy's two terms as Mayor he had cut taxes by 23%, reduced the size of city government while increasing numbers of police and teachers and moved 600,000 people off welfare and into productive work. Also, he cut violent crime to the point where New York is one of America's safest large cities.

A similar poll taken shortly before he left office showed New Yorkers by 60% believed the City was headed in the right direction.

What does Rudy attribute to this turnaround? One word: Leadership. As Mayor, Rudy worked with the Democrats in city government and got results. It's that kind of leadership which could pay big dividends in the White House too.

Mike's America Pulls a "Sam Donaldson"

As the event drew to a close yours truly just had to get in a question.

Had it been a better forum for formal questions I would have asked the following:

We seem to be fighting this war with one hand tied behind our back. Specifically when it comes to Iran, a member of the “Axis of Evil.” Through their proxy Hezbollah, they’ve been killing U.S. troops for more than 25 years with impunity and continue to do so in Iraq with both Hezbollah and their own Qods agents. It seems we keep ignoring that declaration of war. What would YOU do to put a stop to this once and for all?

As he past down the line shaking hands all I could blurt out was "What would you do about Iran?" He answered that "Something has to be done. Iran cannot be allowed to get nukes."

I wish we had more time to explore the specifics of being on "offense" regarding threats like Iran. But with this long presidential campaign it's likely Rudy will come and visit us all again soon. Next time it would be OK if he choose an air conditioned country club.

All photos by Mike's America unless otherwise noted.

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