Lorie Byrd

One of the biggest problems we face in America today is the willingness of too many to accept defeat and to blame America for the world’s ills. On the subject of Iraq and the war on terror, this country is embroiled in a battle of wills and of philosophies unlike anything we have seen since The Cold War, and before that, the Vietnam War. Whether we decide to continue the fight or we decide to accept defeat will depend in large measure on whom we choose to lead for the next decade. The next presidential election will be incredibly pivotal.

There are a few traits the next president will need to possess to effectively lead. Rudy Giuliani has already exhibited many of them, having a proven track record, not only as the mayor of New York City, but also as a prosecutor.

We need an articulate leader. I greatly appreciate President Bush and respect the resolve he has shown over the past six years since September 11, but he has obviously not done the best job communicating the reasons behind many of the actions he has taken. Rudy Giuliani gave a rousing speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention and has frequently, through interviews and speeches, given articulate, yet clear, arguments on behalf of the administration’s policies.

We need an action-oriented leader. On the Larry King Show this week, Giuliani noted that many voting for the non-binding resolution on Iraq are not willing to back up their words: “We pay them to make decisions, not just to make comments…The ones I think have a better understanding of what their responsibility is and are willing to take a risk are the ones who are saying we've got to hold back the funds, we've got to vote against the war or we're for the war. And maybe it's because I ran a government and I tend to be a decisive person… I think one of the things wrong with Washington is they don't want to make tough decisions anymore.”

We need a leader who knows the stakes. Rudy Giuliani saw the result of ignoring the threat of terrorism first hand, up close and personal on September 11. He not only saw the sights and heard the sounds of innocent Americans jumping to their deaths from the Twin Towers, but he lost personal friends that day.

We need a leader with guts who will not be intimidated by murderous thugs or pompous politicians. Giuliani exhibited courage as a U.S. Attorney who prosecuted mob bosses and corrupt politicians, obtaining 4,152 convictions and gaining recognition as “the most effective prosecutor in the country. “

We need a bold leader willing to take unpopular positions and accept seemingly overwhelming challenges. When Rudy Giuliani became the mayor of New York City, very few, if any, believed he could turn the broken city into one of the safest and most impressive in the world. When describing the amazing feat Giuliani accomplished in revitalizing NYC, Patrick Ruffini recently noted that “nothing he accomplished in those years came through half-measures or trimming his sails.” He acted boldly.

We need a leader committed to finishing the job in Iraq and addressing the threat of global terrorism. Rudy Giuliani did not quit in New York City when the odds were against him and I don’t believe he will give up when faced with some of the great challenges this country will face over the next decade.

In addition to the characteristics above, Giuliani has shown great leadership on economic issues, including lowering taxes. For these reasons, among others, he is currently at the top of my list of GOP candidates for President.

Lorie Byrd

Lorie Byrd is a Townhall.com columnist and blogs at Wizbang and at LorieByrd.com.

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